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Acyl- and des-acyl ghrelin
What is the difference between acyl- and des-acyl ghrelin?

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    Bartek Rajwa

    A comprehensive explanation can be found in Delhanty PJ et al. Mechanisms in endocrinology, "Ghrelin: the differences between acyl- and des-acyl ghrelin." Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Nov;167(5):601-8. doi: 10.1530/EJE-12-0456. This is the relevant section from the abstract:
    Des-acyl ghrelin (DAG) has long been considered an inert degradation product of acyl ghrelin (AG). Recent evidence, however, indicates that DAG behaves like a separate hormone. DAG can act together with AG, can antagonize AG, and seems to have AG-independent effects. Therefore, it is believed that DAG must activate its own receptor and that it may also interact with AG at this receptor. Of potential clinical importance is that an increasing number of studies suggest that DAG might be a functional inhibitor of ghrelin and that DAG can suppress ghrelin levels in humans.

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