A synthetic pentapeptide with biological activity characteristic of the thymic hormone thymopoietin

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Science  22 Jun 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4399, pp. 1309-1310
DOI: 10.1126/science.451537


The pentapeptide arginyl-lysyl-aspartyl-valyl-tyrosine, corresponding to amino acid residues 32--36 in thymopoietin, was synthesized. In vitro, this pentapeptide induced the differentiation of murine prothymocytes to thymocytes and inhibited differentiative induction of cells of the B lineage. This combination of actions is presently unique to the parent molecule thymopoietin. In vivo, the pentapeptide reduced the high numbers of autologous rosette-forming cells normally present in the spleens of athymic mice; this also is a property of thymopoietin. These results suggest that this readily synthesized pentapeptide corresponds to an active site of thymopoietin and might serve as a therapeutic substitute for thymopoietin.