Corticotropin (ACTH) is biosynthesized in the human pituitary gland as a long polypeptide precursor (pro-opiocortin) of some 240 residues. When ACTH is secreted in response to stress, the peptides derived from the rest or this precursor, pro-γ-melanotropin (γ-MSH) and β-1ipotropin (β-LPH), are also secreted (Fig. 1). This article will describe the search for a biological significance for this phenomenon.

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