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A pituitary hormone (39 aa) derived from a larger precursor, pro-opiomelanocortin, by the action of an endopeptidase that also releases β-*lipotropin. Corticotropin releasing factor (41 aa) is released by the hypothalamus in response to stress and causes an increase in ACTH production and thus, indirectly, the release of hormones from the adrenal cortex, mostly glucocorticoids. The N-terminal 13 aa of ACTH can be cleaved to produce α-*melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH).

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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