The agonists for these receptors the melanocortins

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Unformatted text preview: the melanocortins -MSH, -melanocyte stimulating hormone ( -MSH) and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), are derived from the same precursor protein, pro-opiomelanocortin (Pomc). In addition to influencing pigmentation in the skin, melanocortin receptors are involved in several other physiological processes, including mediating cortisol release from the adrenal gland (Mc2r)16 and regulating exocrine function in the lacrimal and sebaceous glands (Mc5r)17. In role in regulating body weight. Recently, mutations of the melanocortin precursor, Pomc, were found to be associated with a human syndrome that is characterized by severe early-onset obesity, adrenal insufficiency and red hair color18. Thus, decreased melanocortin activity leads to obesity. In particular, decreased Mc4r signaling leads to obesity. Evidence for this initially came from mouse knockout experiments in which a targeted loss-of-function mutation of Mc4r produced severe obesity and increased linear growth19, a phenotype reminiscent of that caused by overexpression of the agouti gene. More recently, loss-of-function mut...
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