|Precautions||α-MSH Protein is for research use only and not for use in diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.|
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α-MSH is a neuropeptide originally isolated from the pituitary gland1. α-MSH is produced by post-translational processing of a precursor protein, proopiomelanocortin (POMC)2. In most vertebrates but not in mammals, α-MSH is produced in the intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland. The biological activities of α-MSH are mediated through a family of five specific G-protein coupled receptors: MCR1, MCR2, MCR3, MCR4, and MCR5. α-MSH is an evolutionarily highly conserved peptide action that induces pigment dispersion in skin melanocytes of amphibians, reptiles and mammals by stimulating melanin production3,4.
However, in human and other mammals, α-MSH acts in the brain in appetite suppresion and sexual arousal. Some cases of extreme obesity have been traced to mutated α-MSH receptor in the brain. Presumably, these people are unable to respond to the appetite-suppressing effect of α-MSH5. α-MSH has significant anti-inflammatory properties, mediated through its binding to MCR16 and includes regulation of expression and secretion of chemokines, downregulation of proinflammatory signal-induced NF-kB activation and adhesion molecule expression, prostaglandin E2 synthesis, as well as induction of interleukin-107.
1 . Lerner, A.B. et al. (1954) AMA Arch. Derm. Syphilol.70,669.
2 . Pritchard, L.E, and White, A. (2007) Endocrinology148,4201.
3 . Nakanishi, S. et al.(1979)Nature278,423.
4 . Tsatmali, T. et al.(2002)J. Histochem. Cytochem.50,125.
5 . Bloomgarden, Z. T. (2002) Diabetes Care.25,789.
6 . Catania, A. et al.(2004)Pharmacol. Rev.56,1.
7 . Böhm, M. et al.(2006)Cell. Mol. Biol.52,61.
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