Lipotropin is a hormone produced by the cleavage of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). The anterior pituitary gland produces the pro-hormone POMC, which undergoes cleavage to adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and β-lipotropin (β-LPH) which is a 90 amino acid polypeptide that is the carboxy-terminal fragment of POMC. It is the predominant opioid peptide of the human pituitary and rat pars distalis and is present in concentrations essentially equimolar with corticotropin.
It stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin, and can also be cleaved into smaller peptides. In humans, γ-lipotropin, α-MSH, β-MSH, γ-MSH, α-endorphin, β-endorphin, γ-endorphin, and met-enkephalin are all possible fragments of β-lipotropin. β-lipotropin also performs lipid-mobilizing functions such as lipolysis and steroidogenesis.
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