Gene structure and post-translational processing of proopiomelanocortin (POMC). POMC in mammals consists of 3 exons, of which exons 2 and 3 are translated. Prohormone convertases 1 and 2 (PC1/2) break the parent POMC peptide into successively smaller peptides by cleavage at paired dibasic amino acid residues consisting of lysine (K) and/or arginine (R). The final products are generated in a tissue specific manner, for example α-MSH and ACTH are not produced by the same cells in the pituitary. They also involve additional enzymatic post translational modifications, such as the acetylation of α-MSH. The final products include the melanocortins (MSHs and ACTH), β-endorphin (β-end) and corticotrophin-like intermediate peptide (CLIP). There are intermediate peptides whose biological function remains unclear, such as β and γ lipotrophins (β-LPH, γ-LPH).
Millington Nutrition & Metabolism 2007 4:18 doi:10.1186/1743-7075-4-18