Peptide hormone

Peptide hormone

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Peptide hormones are a class of peptide
Peptide
Peptides are short polymers of amino acid monomers linked by peptide bonds. They are distinguished from proteins on the basis of size, typically containing less than 50 monomer units. The shortest peptides are dipeptides, consisting of two amino acids joined by a single peptide bond...

s that are secreted into the blood stream and have endocrine functions in living animals.

Like other protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

s, peptide hormone
Hormone
A hormone is a chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. In essence, it is a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one...

s are synthesized in cells
Cell (biology)
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. It is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing, and is often called the building block of life. The Alberts text discusses how the "cellular building blocks" move to shape developing embryos....

 from amino acid
Amino acid
Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group and a side-chain that varies between different amino acids. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen...

s according to an mRNA
Messenger RNA
Messenger RNA is a molecule of RNA encoding a chemical "blueprint" for a protein product. mRNA is transcribed from a DNA template, and carries coding information to the sites of protein synthesis: the ribosomes. Here, the nucleic acid polymer is translated into a polymer of amino acids: a protein...

 template, which is itself synthesized from a DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 template inside the cell nucleus
Cell nucleus
In cell biology, the nucleus is a membrane-enclosed organelle found in eukaryotic cells. It contains most of the cell's genetic material, organized as multiple long linear DNA molecules in complex with a large variety of proteins, such as histones, to form chromosomes. The genes within these...

. Peptide hormone precursors (pre-prohormones) are then processed in several stages, typically in the endoplasmic reticulum
Endoplasmic reticulum
The endoplasmic reticulum is an organelle of cells in eukaryotic organisms that forms an interconnected network of tubules, vesicles, and cisternae...

, including removal of the N-terminal signal sequence
Signal sequence
Signal sequence can refer to:*Protein targeting*Signal peptide*DNA uptake signal sequence...

 and sometimes glycosylation
Glycosylation
Glycosylation is the reaction in which a carbohydrate, i.e. a glycosyl donor, is attached to a hydroxyl or other functional group of another molecule . In biology glycosylation refers to the enzymatic process that attaches glycans to proteins, lipids, or other organic molecules...

, resulting in prohormone
Prohormone
A prohormone is a substance that is a precursor to a hormone, usually having minimal hormonal effect by itself. The term has been used in medical science since the middle of the 20th century. The primary function of a prohormone is to enhance the strength of the hormone that already occurs in the...

s. The prohormones are then packaged into membrane-bound secretory vesicles
Vesicle (biology)
A vesicle is a bubble of liquid within another liquid, a supramolecular assembly made up of many different molecules. More technically, a vesicle is a small membrane-enclosed sack that can store or transport substances. Vesicles can form naturally because of the properties of lipid membranes , or...

, which can be secreted from the cell by exocytosis
Exocytosis
Exocytosis , also known as 'The peni-cytosis', is the durable process by which a cell directs the contents of secretory vesicles out of the cell membrane...

 in response to specific stimuli e.g. increase of calcium and cAMP concentration in cytoplasm..

These prohormones often contain superfluous amino acid residues that were needed to direct folding
Folding (chemistry)
In chemistry, folding is the process by which a molecule assumes its shape or conformation. The process can also be described as intramolecular self-assembly where the molecule is directed to form a specific shape through noncovalent interactions, such as hydrogen bonding, metal coordination,...

 of the hormone molecule into its active configuration but have no function once the hormone folds. Specific endopeptidase
Endopeptidase
Endopeptidase or endoproteinase are proteolytic peptidases that break peptide bonds of nonterminal amino acids , in contrast to exopeptidases, which break peptide bonds from their end-pieces. For this reason, endopeptidases cannot break down peptides into monomers, while exopeptidases can break...

s in the cell cleave
Bond cleavage
Bond cleavage, or scission, is the splitting of chemical bonds.If the two electrons in a cleaved covalent bond are divided between the products, the process is known as homolytic fission and free redicals are generated by homolytic cleavage the process is known as homolytic fission or homolysis...

 the prohormone just before it is released into the bloodstream
Circulatory system
The circulatory system is an organ system that passes nutrients , gases, hormones, blood cells, etc...

, generating the mature hormone form of the molecule. Mature peptide hormones then diffuse through the blood to all of the cells of the body, where they interact with specific receptors
Receptor (biochemistry)
In biochemistry, a receptor is a molecule found on the surface of a cell, which receives specific chemical signals from neighbouring cells or the wider environment within an organism...

 on the surface of their target cells. Some peptide/protein hormones (angiotensin II
Angiotensin
Angiotensin, a peptide hormone, causes blood vessels to constrict, and drives blood pressure up. It is part of the renin-angiotensin system, which is a major target for drugs that lower blood pressure. Angiotensin also stimulates the release of aldosterone, another hormone, from the adrenal cortex...

, basic fibroblast growth factor
Basic fibroblast growth factor
Basic fibroblast growth factor, also known as bFGF, FGF2 or FGF-β, is a member of the fibroblast growth factor family.- Function :...

-2, parathyroid hormone-related protein
Parathyroid hormone-related protein
Parathyroid hormone-related protein is a protein member of the parathyroid hormone family. It is occasionally secreted by cancer cells . However, it also has normal functions.- Function :PTHrP acts as an endocrine, autocrine, paracrine, and intracrine hormone...

) also interact with intracellular receptor
Intracellular receptor
Intracellular receptors are receptors located inside the cell rather than on its cell membrane. Examples are the class of nuclear receptors located in the cell nucleus and the IP3 receptor located on the endoplasmic reticulum...

s located in the cytoplasm
Cytoplasm
The cytoplasm is a small gel-like substance residing between the cell membrane holding all the cell's internal sub-structures , except for the nucleus. All the contents of the cells of prokaryote organisms are contained within the cytoplasm...

 or nucleus by an intracrine
Intracrine
Intracrine refers to a hormone that acts inside a cell. Steroid hormones act through intracellular receptors and, thus, may be considered to be intracrines. In contrast, peptide or protein hormones, in general, act as endocrines, autocrines, or paracrines by binding to their receptors present on...

 mechanism.

Notable peptide hormones


Several important peptide hormones are secreted from the pituitary gland. The anterior pituitary
Anterior pituitary
A major organ of the endocrine system, the anterior pituitary, also called the adenohypophysis, is the glandular, anterior lobe of the pituitary gland...

 secretes prolactin
Prolactin
Prolactin also known as luteotropic hormone is a protein that in humans is encoded by the PRL gene.Prolactin is a peptide hormone discovered by Henry Friesen...

, which acts on the mammary gland
Mammary gland
A mammary gland is an organ in mammals that produces milk to feed young offspring. Mammals get their name from the word "mammary". In ruminants such as cows, goats, and deer, the mammary glands are contained in their udders...

, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), which acts on the adrenal cortex
Adrenal cortex
Situated along the perimeter of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex mediates the stress response through the production of mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, including aldosterone and cortisol respectively. It is also a secondary site of androgen synthesis.-Layers:Notably, the reticularis in...

 to regulate the secretion of glucocorticoids, and growth hormone
Growth hormone
Growth hormone is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals. Growth hormone is a 191-amino acid, single-chain polypeptide that is synthesized, stored, and secreted by the somatotroph cells within the lateral wings of the anterior...

, which acts on bone
Bone
Bones are rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue...

, muscle
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

, and the liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

. The posterior pituitary
Posterior pituitary
The posterior pituitary comprises the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland and is part of the endocrine system. Despite its name, the posterior pituitary gland is not a gland, per se; rather, it is largely a collection of axonal projections from the hypothalamus that terminate behind the anterior...

 gland secretes antidiuretic hormone, also called vasopressin, and oxytocin
Oxytocin
Oxytocin is a mammalian hormone that acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain.Oxytocin is best known for its roles in sexual reproduction, in particular during and after childbirth...

. Peptide hormones are produced by many different organs and tissues, however, including the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 (atrial-natriuretic peptide (ANP) or atrial natriuretic factor (ANF)) and pancreas
Pancreas
The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine system of vertebrates. It is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin, as well as a digestive organ, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that assist...

 (insulin
Insulin
Insulin is a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle....

 and somatostatin
Somatostatin
Somatostatin is a peptide hormone that regulates the endocrine system and affects neurotransmission and cell proliferation via interaction with G-protein-coupled somatostatin receptors and inhibition of the release of numerous secondary hormones.Somatostatin...

), the gastrointestinal tract cholecystokinin
Cholecystokinin
Cholecystokinin is a peptide hormone of the gastrointestinal system responsible for stimulating the digestion of fat and protein...

, gastrin
Gastrin
In humans, gastrin is a peptide hormone that stimulates secretion of gastric acid by the parietal cells of the stomach and aids in gastric motility. It is released by G cells in the antrum of the stomach, duodenum, and the pancreas...

), and adipose tissue
Adipose tissue
In histology, adipose tissue or body fat or fat depot or just fat is loose connective tissue composed of adipocytes. It is technically composed of roughly only 80% fat; fat in its solitary state exists in the liver and muscles. Adipose tissue is derived from lipoblasts...

 stores (leptin
Leptin
Leptin is a 16 kDa protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. It is one of the most important adipose derived hormones...

).

Some neurotransmitters are secreted and released in a similar fashion to peptide hormones, and some 'neuropeptides' may be used as neurotransmitters in the nervous system
Nervous system
The nervous system is an organ system containing a network of specialized cells called neurons that coordinate the actions of an animal and transmit signals between different parts of its body. In most animals the nervous system consists of two parts, central and peripheral. The central nervous...

 in addition to acting as hormones when released into the blood. When a peptide hormone binds to receptors on the surface of the cell, a second messenger appears in the cytoplasm
Cytoplasm
The cytoplasm is a small gel-like substance residing between the cell membrane holding all the cell's internal sub-structures , except for the nucleus. All the contents of the cells of prokaryote organisms are contained within the cytoplasm...

, which triggers intracellular responses.