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Peptide hormone

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Title: Peptide hormone  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Insulin, Gastrin, Melanotan II, Hormone, Peptide
Collection: Peptide Hormones, Proteins
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Peptide hormone

Peptide hormones and protein hormones are hormones whose molecules are peptides or proteins, respectively. The latter have longer amino acid chain lengths than the former. These hormones have an effect on the endocrine system of animals, including humans.[1]

Like all peptides and proteins, peptide hormones and protein hormones are synthesized in cells from amino acids according to mRNA transcripts, which are synthesized from DNA templates inside the cell nucleus. Preprohormones, peptide hormone precursors, are then processed in several stages, typically in the endoplasmic reticulum, including removal of the N-terminal signal sequence and sometimes glycosylation, resulting in prohormones. The prohormones are then packaged into membrane-bound secretory vesicles, which can be secreted from the cell by exocytosis in response to specific stimuli (e.g. --an increase in Ca2+ and cAMP concentration in cytoplasm).[2]

These prohormones often contain superfluous amino acid residues that were needed to direct folding of the hormone molecule into its active configuration but have no function once the hormone folds. Specific endopeptidases in the cell cleave the prohormone just before it is released into the bloodstream, generating the mature hormone form of the molecule. Mature peptide hormones then travel through the blood to all of the cells of the body, where they interact with specific receptors on the surfaces of their target cells.

Some neurotransmitters are secreted and released in a similar fashion to peptide hormones, and some 'neuropeptides' may be used as neurotransmitters in the nervous system in addition to acting as hormones when released into the blood.

When a peptide hormone binds to a receptor on the surface of the cell, a second messenger appears in the cytoplasm, which triggers signal transduction leading to the cellular responses.[3]

Some peptide/protein hormones (angiotensin II, basic fibroblast growth factor-2, parathyroid hormone-related protein) also interact with intracellular receptors located in the cytoplasm or nucleus by an intracrine mechanism.[4]

Notable peptide hormones

Several important peptide hormones are secreted from the pituitary gland. The heart (atrial-natriuretic peptide (ANP) or atrial natriuretic factor (ANF)) and pancreas (glucagon, insulin and somatostatin), the gastrointestinal tract (cholecystokinin, gastrin), and adipose tissue stores (leptin).[5][6]


  1. ^ Peptide Hormone Secretion/Peptide Hormone Action: A Practical Approach, K. Siddle, J. C. Hutton, Oxford University Press, 1991, ISBN 0-19-963073-9.
  2. ^ Peptide Hormone Secretion: A Practical Approach, J. C. Hutton, Hull University Press, 1991, ISBN 0-19-963068-2.
  3. ^ The Practice of Medicinal Chemistry, C. G. Wermuth, Academic Press, 2003, ISBN 0-12-744481-5.
  4. ^ The Endocrine System in Sports and Exercise, William J. Kraemer, Alan D. Rogol, Blackwell Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1-4051-3017-2.
  5. ^ Dictionary of Biological Psychology, Philip Winn, Taylor and Francis, 2001, ISBN 0-415-13606-7.
  6. ^ McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, Sybil P. Parker, McGraw-Hill, 1997, ISBN 0-07-911504-7.

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