Tripeptide structure of bursin, a selective B-cell-differentiating hormone of the bursa of fabricius

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Science  28 Feb 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4741, pp. 997-999
DOI: 10.1126/science.3484838


Differentiation of lymphoid precursor cells in a variety of species is induced by polypeptide hormones such as thymopoietin for T cells and bursin for B cells. In the present experiments, bursin isolated from the bursa of Fabricius of chicken was found to induce the phenotypic differentiation of mammalian and avian B precursor cells but not of T precursor cells in vitro. Similarly, bursin increased cyclic guanosine monophosphate in cells of the human B-cell line Daudi but not in cells of the human T-cell line CEM. These inducing properties of bursin are the reverse of the inducing properties of thymopoietin produced by the thymus and are appropriate to a physiological B-cell-inducing hormone. A tripeptide sequence (lysyl-histidyl-glycyl-amide) was determined for bursin and confirmed by synthesizing this proposed structure and demonstrating chemical identity of the natural and synthetic peptides. Similarity of biological action was indicated in induction assays by elevation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate and guanosine monophosphate in Daudi B cells but not in CEM T cells.