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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1989 Feb;61(2):175-80.

Preprocorticotropin releasing hormone: cDNA sequence and in vitro processing.

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Neuroendocrine Genetics Laboratory, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, MA 02115.


Human corticotropin releasing hormone (hCRH) is expressed in both hypothalamus and placenta. Its expression in placenta increases markedly in the latter part of gestation. We have isolated and characterized a human placental CRH cDNA clone and performed in vitro translation of sense-strand hCRH cRNA synthesized from this cDNA and co-translational processing of the resulting preproCRH peptide. Sequence analysis of the cDNA confirms the exon-intron junctions predicted from the gene sequence and establishes the presence of at least two sites of transcription initiation of the human CRH gene in placenta. The translated preproCRH gene product contains a hydrophobic, functional signal sequence which suggests that placental CRH peptide is capable of being secreted. These structural features of the preproCRH mRNA and peptide may help to understand the regulation of placental CRH observed during human gestation.

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