Adrenocorticotropic hormone

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proopiomelanocortin (adrenocorticotropin/ beta-lipotropin/ alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone/ beta-melanocyte stimulating hormone/ beta-endorphin)
Identifiers
Symbol POMC
Entrez 5443
HUGO 9201
OMIM 176830
RefSeq NM_000939
UniProt P01189
Other data
Locus Chr. 2 p23

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Adrenocorticotropic hormone (pronounced /əˈdriːnoʊˌkɔrtɪkoʊˈtrɒpɪk ˈhɔrmoʊn/, /-ˈtroʊpɪk/) (ACTH or corticotropin) is a polypeptide hormone produced and secreted by the pituitary gland.

It is an important player in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Stimulates growth of the adrenal cortex or secretion of its hormones

Production

ACTH is synthesised from pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and secreted from corticotropes in the anterior lobe (or adenohypophysis) of the pituitary gland in response to the hormone corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) released by the hypothalamus. It can be produced also by cells of immune system (T cells, B cells and macrophages) as a response to stimuli that go along with stress (including CRH).

POMC is cleaved into ACTH and β-lipotropin. γ-lipotropin and β-endorphin result from the cleavage of this β-lipotropin.

Structure

ACTH consists of 39 amino acids, the first 13 of which (counting from the N-terminus) may be cleaved to form α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). (This common structure is one reason that patients with hypocortisolism or Addison's disease, in which ACTH levels are elevated, often present with excessively tanned skin.)

After a short period of time, ACTH is cleaved into α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and CLIP, a peptide with unknown activity in humans.

Function

ACTH acts through the stimulation of cell surface ACTH receptors, which are primarily located on the adrenocortical cells. ACTH stimulates the cortex of the adrenal gland and boosts the synthesis of corticosteroids, mainly glucocorticoids but also sex steroids (androgens).

ACTH is also related to the circadian rhythm in many organisms.

The half-life of ACTH in human blood is about ten minutes.

Synthetic ACTH

ACTH is available as a synthetic derivative in the form of cosyntropin (synthetic ACTH), tradename Cortrosyn®.

Associated conditions

Differential Diagnosis

Increased ACTH

Decreased ACTH

See also

bg:Адренокортикотропен хормон

cs:Adrenokortikotropní hormon da:Adrenokortikotropt hormon de:Adrenocorticotropinid:Hormon Adrenocorticotropic it:Ormone adrenocorticotropo he:הורמון אדרנוקורטיקוטרופי mk:Адренокортикотропин nl:Corticotropineno:Adrenokortikotropt hormonsk:Kortikotropín fi:Adrenokortikotrooppinen hormoni sv:Adrenokortikotropiskt hormon



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