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Gene Review

POMC  -  proopiomelanocortin

Sus scrofa

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Disease relevance of POMC

  • This reduction in POMC message is consistent with the onset of obesity in the animals [1].
  • We hypothesize that the POMC melanocortin pathway provides a mechanistic basis for the observed effects of sulfur mustard on body weight [1].

High impact information on POMC


Chemical compound and disease context of POMC


Biological context of POMC


Anatomical context of POMC

  • The existence of heterogeneous molecular species of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) has been reported and it has been inferred that this explains the distinct release patterns of POMC-derived peptide hormones by the anterior and intermediate lobes of the pituitary gland [7].
  • POMC mRNA was localized to the arcuate nucleus (Arc) and median eminence (ME) of the medial basal hypothalamus [8].
  • These data suggest that both lung and thyroid gland synthesize POMC, which in normal tissue is usually predominantly processed to species other than ACTH and beta EP [11].
  • Localization of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) immunoreactive neurons in the forebrain of the pig [12].
  • Intracellular accumulation of POMC was not observed in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts [13].

Associations of POMC with chemical compounds

  • The ATP-sensitive potassium channel opener diazoxide also induced an outward K(+) current (maximum of 18.7 +/- 2.2 pA) in the majority (92%) of POMC neurons with an EC(50) of 61 micro M [5].
  • This pharmacological and molecular profile suggested that POMC neurons might be sensitive to metabolic inhibition, and indeed, we found that their firing rate varied with changes in glucose concentrations [5].
  • In addition, the selective micro -opioid receptor agonist DAMGO induced an outward current (maximum of 12.8 +/- 1.2 pA), which reversed at K(+) equilibrium potential (E(K+)), in the majority (85%) of POMC neurons with an EC(50) of 102 nM [5].
  • Estrogen rapidly uncouples mu-opioid receptors from G protein-gated inwardly-rectifying K(+) (GIRK) channels in POMC neurons and GABA(B) receptors from GIRK channels in dopamine neurons as manifested by a reduction in the potency of mu-opioid and GABA(B) receptor agonists to hyperpolarize their respective cells [14].
  • These findings indicate a richly complex yet coordinated steroid modulation of K(+) channel activity in hypothalamic (POMC, dopamine, GABA, GnRH) neurons that are involved in regulating numerous homeostatic functions [14].

Other interactions of POMC


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of POMC

  • The POMC cDNAs were obtained using immunoscreening (anterior lobe) and the polymerase chain reaction (intermediate lobe), and their nucleotide sequences determined [7].
  • Sequence analysis of the cDNA inserts revealed the complete structure of the porcine pro-opiomelanocortin mRNA [18].
  • Steady-state analysis of acid extracts of dorsal caudal medulla from rat and guinea pig CNS by gel filtration chromatography and radioimmunoassay indicated that in both species the major POMC-related end products are alpha-MSH-sized material and beta-endorphin-sized [19].
  • The expression of POMC mRNA were investigated using in situ hybridization histochemistry with a guinea pig specific 35S-labeled cRNA probe in hypothalamic tissue sections [8].
  • Protein sequence analysis revealed that one of the PIF peptides was Trp-Cys-Leu-Glu-Ser-Ser-Gln-Cys-Gln-Asp-Leu-Ser-Thr-Glu-Ser-Asn-Leu-Leu- Ala-Cys - Ile-Arg-Ala-Cys-Lys-Pro, identical to residues 27-52 of the N-terminal region of the proopiomelanocortin (POMC) precursor (corresponding to amino acids 1-26 of the 16-kDa fragment) [20].


  1. Decrease in brain POMC mRNA expression and onset of obesity in guinea pigs exposed to 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide, a mustard analogue. Das, S.K., Chatterjee, D., Mukherjee, S., Grimes, A., Shen, Y., Smith, M., Ghosh, S. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. An antibody specific for an endoproteolytic cleavage site provides evidence that pro-opiomelanocortin is packaged into secretory granules in AtT20 cells before its cleavage. Tooze, J., Hollinshead, M., Frank, R., Burke, B. J. Cell Biol. (1987) [Pubmed]
  3. Higher order structures of the 5'-proximal region decrease the efficiency of translation of the porcine pro-opiomelanocortin mRNA. Chevrier, D., Vézina, C., Bastille, J., Linard, C., Sonenberg, N., Boileau, G. J. Biol. Chem. (1988) [Pubmed]
  4. Expression of porcine pro-opiomelanocortin cDNA in heterologous monkey kidney cells. Biosynthesis and secretion of the prohormone without processing. Noël, G., Zollinger, L., Larivière, N., Nault, C., Crine, P., Boileau, G. J. Biol. Chem. (1987) [Pubmed]
  5. Hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin neurons are glucose responsive and express K(ATP) channels. Ibrahim, N., Bosch, M.A., Smart, J.L., Qiu, J., Rubinstein, M., Rønnekleiv, O.K., Low, M.J., Kelly, M.J. Endocrinology (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. 5' sequence of porcine and rat pro-opiomelanocortin mRNA. One porcine and two rat forms. Oates, E., Herbert, E. J. Biol. Chem. (1984) [Pubmed]
  7. Presence of the same transcript of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) genes in the porcine anterior and intermediate pituitary lobes. Gen, K., Hirai, T., Kato, T., Kato, Y. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  8. Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA expression: distribution and region-specific down-regulation by chronic morphine in female guinea pig hypothalamus. Fang, Y., Kelly, M.J., Rønnekleiv, O.K. Brain Res. Mol. Brain Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
  9. Developmental changes in the long form leptin receptor and related neuropeptide gene expression in the pig brain. Lin, J., Richard Barb, C., Kraeling, R.R., Rampacek, G.B. Biol. Reprod. (2001) [Pubmed]
  10. Expression of porcine pro-opiomelanocortin cDNA in an established fibroblastic cell line: constitutive secretion of the precursor without proteolytic processing. Zollinger, L., Noël, G., Des Parois, L., Sales, V., Crine, P., Boileau, G. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. (1988) [Pubmed]
  11. Adrenocorticotropin, beta-endorphin, and beta-lipotropin in normal thyroid and lung: possible implications for ectopic hormone secretion. Clements, J.A., Funder, J.W., Tracy, K., Morgan, F.J., Campbell, D.J., Lewis, P., Hearn, M.T. Endocrinology (1982) [Pubmed]
  12. Localization of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) immunoreactive neurons in the forebrain of the pig. Kineman, R.D., Kraeling, R.R., Crim, J.W., Leshin, L.S., Barb, C.R., Rampacek, G.B. Biol. Reprod. (1989) [Pubmed]
  13. Expression of porcine pro-opiomelanocortin in mouse neuroblastoma (Neuro2A) cells: targeting of the foreign neuropeptide to dense-core vesicles. Chevrier, D., Fournier, H., Nault, C., Zollinger, M., Crine, P., Boileau, G. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  14. Rapid effects of estrogen on G protein-coupled receptor activation of potassium channels in the central nervous system (CNS). Kelly, M.J., Qiu, J., Wagner, E.J., Rønnekleiv, O.K. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  15. Stress-related gene expression in brain and adrenal gland of porcine fetuses and neonates. Schwerin, M., Kanitz, E., Tuchscherer, M., Brüssow, K.P., Nürnberg, G., Otten, W. Theriogenology (2005) [Pubmed]
  16. Administration of ACTH to restrained, pregnant sows alters their pigs' hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Haussmann, M.F., Carroll, J.A., Weesner, G.D., Daniels, M.J., Matteri, R.L., Lay, D.C. J. Anim. Sci. (2000) [Pubmed]
  17. Vasopressin and oxytocin gene expression in the porcine forebrain under basal conditions and following acute stress. Vellucci, S.V., Parrott, R.F. Neuropeptides (1997) [Pubmed]
  18. Complete structure of the porcine pro-opiomelanocortin mRNA derived from the nucleotide sequence of cloned cDNA. Boileau, G., Barbeau, C., Jeannotte, L., Chrétien, M., Drouin, J. Nucleic Acids Res. (1983) [Pubmed]
  19. Characterization of the forms of beta-endorphin and alpha-MSH in the caudal medulla of the rat and guinea pig. Dores, R.M., Jain, M., Akil, H. Brain Res. (1986) [Pubmed]
  20. Isolation and characterization of two peptides with prolactin release-inhibiting activity from porcine hypothalami. Schally, A.V., Guoth, J.G., Redding, T.W., Groot, K., Rodriguez, H., Szonyi, E., Stults, J., Nikolics, K. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1991) [Pubmed]
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