Pro-adrenocorticotropin/endorphin-derived peptides: coordinate action on adrenal steroidogenesis

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Science  30 May 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4447, pp. 1044-1046
DOI: 10.1126/science.6246578


A synthetic peptide, representing a portion of the 16K (16,000 dalton)-fragment sequence within the pro-adrenocorticotropin/endorphin precursor molecule, potentiates the steroidogenic action of the 1 to 24 portion of adrenocorticotropin [ACTH(1-24)] on the rat adrenal cortex. The peptide has 27 amino acid residues and consists of gamma-melanotropin with a carboxyl terminal extension. It affects both the inner and outer adrenocortical zones of hypophysectomized animals, as evidenced by a synergistic augmentation of corticosterone and aldosterone production, respectively. The peptide can be distinguished from adrenocorticotropin by its activation of cholesterol ester hydrolase and its failure to stimulate cholesterol side-chain cleavage.