The intracrine hypothesis: an update

Regul Pept. 2006 Jan 15;133(1-3):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2005.09.012. Epub 2005 Oct 13.


The intracellular actions of peptide hormones, growth factors, as well as of extracellular-signaling enzymes and DNA-binding proteins, either within target cells or within their cells of synthesis has been called intracrine action. Although these intracrine moieties are structurally diverse, they share certain characteristics of synthesis and function. This has given rise to the development of a theory of intracrine action which permits testable predictions to be made regarding the functioning of these peptides/proteins. Here the intracrine hypothesis is briefly described and then recent experimental findings which bear on predictions made earlier on the basis of the theory are discussed. These findings provide new support for the intracrine hypothesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Peptide Hormones / metabolism
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Growth Substances
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Protein Precursors