Primary structure and functional expression of mouse pituitary and human brain corticotrophin releasing factor receptors

FEBS Lett. 1993 Nov 29;335(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(93)80427-v.


Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) is the principal hypothalamic factor governing the pituitary-adrenal axis, but the wide extra-pituitary distribution of CRF and its receptors suggest a major role for this neuropeptide in the integration of the overall physiological and behavioral responses of an organism to stress. We have cloned a CRF receptor complementary DNA (cDNA) by expression in COS-7 cells of a cDNA library from the AtT20 mouse pituitary tumour cell line. The cloned mouse cDNA was then as a probe to isolate a human CRF receptor cDNA from a human brain cDNA library. The mouse and human cDNAs both encode 415 amino acid proteins that are 97% identical, containing seven putative transmembrane domains characteristic of G protein-coupled receptors. The CRF receptor shows homology with the receptors for growth hormone-releasing factor, vasoactive intestinal peptide, secretin, parathyroid hormone, and calcitonin. COS-7 cells transfected with the mouse CRF receptor cDNA bind radiolabelled ovine CRF with high affinity and respond specifically to CRF by accumulation of intracellular cAMP. A 2.7 kb mRNA coding for the CRF receptor could be detected in AtT20 cells and human cortex tissue. PCR analysis also detected the receptor transcript in human pituitary, brainstem, and testis.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pituitary Gland / chemistry
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / genetics*
  • Transfection


  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Cyclic AMP

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X72304
  • GENBANK/X72305