Proopiomelanocortin and energy balance: insights from human and murine genetics

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jun;89(6):2557-62. doi: 10.1210/jc.2004-0428.


Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) undergoes extensive and tissue-specific posttranslational processing to yield a range of biologically active peptides. Historically, the most clearly defined roles of these peptides are in the control of adrenal steroidogenesis by corticotroph-derived ACTH and skin pigmentation by alphaMSH. However, a rapidly expanding body of work has established that POMC-derived peptides synthesized in neurons of the hypothalamus play a central role in the control of energy homeostasis. We review how inherited abnormalities in POMC synthesis and processing and defects in the action of POMC-derived peptides in both humans and mice have helped shape our current understanding of the importance of the melanocortin system in human energy balance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin / genetics*
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin / metabolism*


  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin