Adrenocorticotropic Hormone

  • C. R. Kannan
Part of the Clinical Surveys in Endocrinology book series (CSED, volume 1)


Human ACTH is a linear polypeptide containing 39 amino acids. ACTH is secreted by the corticotropes of the anterior pituitary. The secretion of ACTH is linked to that of β-lipotropin and β-endorphins, two closely related peptides. It is now apparent that several structurally related peptides are secreted by corticotropes.1,2 These peptides, all possessing a common heptapeptide sequence (Met-Glu-His-Phe-Arg-Trp-Gly), originate from a single large-molecular-weight precursor, pro-opio-melano-cortin, POMC.3,4 This glycoprotein has a molecular weight of 30,000–36,000. Although it was known that corticotropin, β-lipotropin, and (β-endorphin in the rodent anterior pituitary are derived from the single precursor, pro-opio-melano-cortin,5 it was unclear during the early 1980s if the human anterior pituitary processes the precursor in an identical fashion.


Cortisol Response Plasma ACTH ACTH Secretion ACTH Response ACTH Release 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. R. Kannan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Department of MedicineCook County HospitalChicagoUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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