This chapter discusses growth hormone (GH), also known as somatotropin, which is a molecule with diverse action due in part to the widespread distribution of its receptor. GH is a non-glycoslated polypeptide composed of 191 amino acids and can stimulate the growth and differentiation of muscle, bone and cartilage. In addition to the pituitary gland, GH is produced in many other tissues. This suggests that in addition to its function as a classic endocrine hormone, GH may also function in an autocrine/ paracrine fashion. In addition to direct receptor-mediated activity, GH stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) that mediate many growth promoting actions of the hormone. The structure and function of growth hormone and its receptors have been intensely studied in the chapter. These studies have contributed greatly to the understanding of receptor activation and signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)