Melanocyte-stimulating hormone

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Proopiomelanocortin derivatives
γ-MSH ACTH β-lipotropin
  α-MSH CLIP γ-lipotropin β-endorphin

Melanocyte-stimulating hormones ( MSH ), also known as melanotropins , are a group of peptide hormones that are made in the hypothalamus and the lobes of the pituitary and activate the same group of melanocortin receptors ( MC1R , MC2R , MC3R , MC4R, and MC5R ). They regulate melanin synthesis as well as melanocyte expansion and pigment dispersion in the pigment-forming melanocytes . They limit the fever reaction . They are also involved in the regulation of hunger and sexual arousal.

Chemical structure

The group of melanotropins (MSH) consists of α-MSH , β-MSH and γ-MSH , while adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) also belongs to the group of melanocortins . These peptides are from the proprotein pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) processed .

The human melanotropins have the following primary structure :

  • α-MSH : Ser-Tyr-Ser-Met-Glu-His-Phe-Arg-Trp-Gly-Lys-Pro-Val-NH 2
  • β-MSH : Asp-Glu-Gly-Pro-Tyr-Arg-Met-Glu-His-Phe-Arg-Trp-Gly-Ser-Pro-Pro-Lys-Asp
  • γ-MSH : Tyr-Val-Met-Gly-His-Phe-Arg-Trp-Asp-Arg-Phe-NH 2

Synthetic variants

A synthetic MSH analog, bremelanotide , is a drug belonging to the group of melanocortin receptor agonists. It was approved in the United States in June 2019 under the trade name Vyleesi (marketing authorization holder: AMAG Pharmaceuticals) for the treatment of so-called hypoactive sexual regulation disorder in women before menopause. Another MSH analog, Melanotan for skin tanning and weight loss, is still in clinical development.

Individual evidence

  1. UniProt P01189
  2. Celine Müller: FDA approves bremelanotide for sexual aversion. In: Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung. June 27, 2019, accessed May 10, 2020 .