Cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript peptide (CART), is a recently discovered hypothalamic peptide with a potent appetite suppressing activity. In the rat the CART gene encodes a peptide of either 129 or 116 amino acid residues whereas only the short form exists in humans. The predicted signal sequence is 27 amino acid residues resulting in a prohormone of 102 or 89 residues. The C-terminal end of CART, consisting of 48 amino acid residues and 3 disulphide bonds, is thought to constitute a biologically active part of the molecule. In the central nervous system CART is highly expressed in many hypothalamic nuclei, some of which are involved in regulating feeding behaviour. The CART mRNA is regulated by leptin, and the expressed CART is a potent inhibitor of feeding that even overrides the feeding response induced by neuropeptide Y. The putative CART receptor is therefore a potential therapeutic target for an anti-obesity drug.