Induction of the intermediate pituitary by stress: synthesis and release of a nonopioid form of beta-endorphin

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Science  25 Jan 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4685, pp. 424-426
DOI: 10.1126/science.3155575


beta-Endorphin in the intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland is posttranslationally modified to produce opioid inactive peptides. Whether these are metabolites or biologically relevant products has not been known. It was found that repeated stress induces increased biosynthesis and release of beta-endorphin-like substances from the intermediate lobe of rats and that opioid-inactive N-acetylated beta-endorphin-(1-31) is selectively made and liberated. The possible role of this nonopioid product and the selective release of peptide forms are discussed.