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Urocortin is a protein that in humans is encoded by the UCN gene.[1][2][3] This gene is a member of the sauvagine/corticotropin-releasing factor/urotensin I family. It is structurally related to the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) gene and the encoded product is an endogenous ligand for CRF type 2 receptors. In the brain, it may be responsible for the effects of stress on appetite. In spite of the gene family name similarity, the product of this gene has no sequence similarity to urotensin II.[3] Urocortin is a potent anorexigenic peptide of 40 amino acids that induces fed-like motor activity when administered centrally or peripherally in fasted animals. Urocortin belongs to the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) family that includes CRF, urotensin I, sauvagine, urocortin II and urocortin III. Urocortin is also a potent and long-lasting hypotensive agent and increases coronary blood flow.


Urocortin has been shown to interact with Corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1.[4][5]


  1. Zhao L, Donaldson CJ, Smith GW, Vale WW (April 1999). The structures of the mouse and human urocortin genes (Ucn and UCN). Genomics 50 (1): 23–33.
  2. Tsarev OB (July 1977). [Dynamics of matrix synthesis in molecular biophysics. II. Principle of insertability and the single-valued solution of feedback tasks]. Biofizika 22 (2): 197–200.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Entrez Gene: UCN urocortin.
  4. Donaldson, C J, Sutton S W, Perrin M H, Corrigan A Z, Lewis K A, Rivier J E, Vaughan J M, Vale W W (May. 1996). Cloning and characterization of human urocortin. Endocrinology 137 (5): 2167–70.
  5. Gottowik, J, Goetschy V, Henriot S, Kitas E, Fluhman B, Clerc R G, Moreau J L, Monsma F J, Kilpatrick G J (October 1997). Labelling of CRF1 and CRF2 receptors using the novel radioligand, [3H]-urocortin. Neuropharmacology 36 (10): 1439–46.

Further readingEdit

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PMID 15003990]
  • Huang Y, Yao XQ, Lau CW, Chan YC, Tsang SY, Chan FL. Urocortin and cardiovascular protection. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2004 Mar;25(3):257-65.
  • Takahashi, Kazuhiro. Translational medicine in fish-derived peptides: From fish endocrinology to human physiology and diseases. Endocrine Journal (Kyoto, Japan) (2004), 51(1), 1-17.
  • Adachi T, Schamel WW, Kim KM, et al. (1996). The specificity of association of the IgD molecule with the accessory proteins BAP31/BAP29 lies in the IgD transmembrane sequence.. EMBO J. 15 (7): 1534–41.
  • Iino K, Sasano H, Oki Y, et al. (1997). Urocortin expression in human pituitary gland and pituitary adenoma.. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 82 (11): 3842–50.
  • Gottowik J, Goetschy V, Henriot S, et al. (1998). Labelling of CRF1 and CRF2 receptors using the novel radioligand, [3H]-urocortin.. Neuropharmacology 36 (10): 1439–46.
  • Bamberger CM, Wald M, Bamberger AM, et al. (1998). Human lymphocytes produce urocortin, but not corticotropin-releasing hormone.. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 83 (2): 708–11.
  • Takahashi K, Totsune K, Sone M, et al. (1998). Regional distribution of urocortin-like immunoreactivity and expression of urocortin mRNA in the human brain.. Peptides 19 (4): 643–7.
  • Iino K, Sasano H, Oki Y, et al. (1999). Urocortin expression in the human central nervous system.. Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf) 50 (1): 107–14.
  • Watanabe F, Oki Y, Ozawa M, et al. (1999). Urocortin in human placenta and maternal plasma.. Peptides 20 (2): 205–9.
  • Slominski A, Roloff B, Curry J, et al. (2000). The skin produces urocortin.. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 85 (2): 815–23.
  • Muramatsu Y, Fukushima K, Iino K, et al. (2001). Urocortin and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor expression in the human colonic mucosa.. Peptides 21 (12): 1799–809.
  • Muramatsu Y, Sugino N, Suzuki T, et al. (2001). Urocortin and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor expression in normal cycling human ovaries.. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 86 (3): 1362–9.
  • Hsu SY, Hsueh AJ (2001). Human stresscopin and stresscopin-related peptide are selective ligands for the type 2 corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor.. Nat. Med. 7 (5): 605–11.
  • Lewis K, Li C, Perrin MH, et al. (2001). Identification of urocortin III, an additional member of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) family with high affinity for the CRF2 receptor.. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 98 (13): 7570–5.
  • Kimura Y, Takahashi K, Totsune K, et al. (2002). Expression of urocortin and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor subtypes in the human heart.. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 87 (1): 340–6.
  • Florio P, Arcuri F, Ciarmela P, et al. (2002). Identification of urocortin mRNA and peptide in the human endometrium.. J. Endocrinol. 173 (2): R9–14.
  • Arcuri F, Cintorino M, Florio P, et al. (2002). Expression of urocortin mRNA and peptide in the human prostate and in prostatic adenocarcinoma.. Prostate 52 (3): 167–72.
  • Ikeda K, Tojo K, Oki Y, Nakao K (2002). Urocortin has cell-proliferative effects on cardiac non-myocytes.. Life Sci. 71 (16): 1929–38.
  • Strausberg RL, Feingold EA, Grouse LH, et al. (2003). Generation and initial analysis of more than 15,000 full-length human and mouse cDNA sequences.. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99 (26): 16899–903.

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