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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Aug 28;237(3):629-31.

ART (protein product of agouti-related transcript) as an antagonist of MC-3 and MC-4 receptors.

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Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 07065, USA.


The mRNA encoding an agouti related protein (ART) of unknown biochemical function was previously reported to be up-regulated in the hypothalamus of two genetically obese mouse strains. We have expressed human ART as a secreted protein in COS-7 cells, and show that recombinant ART is functionally active in inhibiting the binding of a radiolabeled alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) analog to the human melanocortin-3 (MC-3) and melanocortin-4 (MC-4) receptors, while it is not a potent inhibitor of the human melanocortin-5 (MC-5) receptor. ART is an antagonist of the human MC-3 and MC-4 receptors as determined in functional assay. ART appears to be approximately 100-fold more potent than agouti with reference to the MC-3R and MC-4R binding affinity. These data suggest that ART may be a physiological regulator of feeding behavior.

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