Curr Med Chem. 1999 Nov;6(11):1067-93.


The peptide calcitonin (CT) was initially discovered in 1962 as a novel hypocalcemic hormone. This hypocalcemic response was principally due to a potent inhibitory action of CT on osteoclast mediated bone resorption and it is this action which underlies its widespread clinical use for the treatment of bone disorders, including Paget's disease, osteoporosis and hypercalcemia of malignancy. In this article we review the basic physiology of CT action, structure-function studies on CT peptides, cloning of CT receptors and the identification of isoforms of the receptor derived from alterative splicing of the receptor mRNA. We also review the state of understanding on CT receptor mediated signaling and receptor regulation, along with developing concepts of how CT peptides interact with the receptor, including how the receptors may interact with receptor activity modifying proteins to produce novel phenotypes. Finally, current therapeutic use is reviewed, and the potential for expanded use that may come with advances in delivery of peptides or CT mimetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Calcitonin / chemistry
  • Calcitonin / genetics
  • Calcitonin / pharmacology*
  • Calcitonin / physiology
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Calcitonin / drug effects
  • Receptors, Calcitonin / genetics
  • Receptors, Calcitonin / metabolism


  • Receptors, Calcitonin
  • Calcitonin
  • Calcium