Response to stress in mammals requires an intact hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The proximal part of the response is mediated by secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) by the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. CRH is a 41 amino acid peptide derived by enzymatic cleavage from a 191 amino acid preprohormone. CRH is produced not only in the hypothalamus but also in peripheral tissues, such as T lymphocytes; it is highly expressed in human placenta. Glucocorticoids stimulate placental CRH synthesis and secretion in primary cultures of human placenta. This stimulation is in contrast to the glucocorticoid suppression of CRH expression in hypothalamus. The gene which encodes CRH maps to human chromosome 8q13. Human plasma contains a CRH-binding protein, CRH-BP (also designated CRF-BP) which inactivates CRH and which may prevent inappropriate pituitary-adrenal stimulation in pregnancy. The gene which encodes CRF-BP maps to human chromosome 5q11.2-q13.3.
corticotropin releasing factor binding protein; corticotropin releasing hormone-binding protein; Corticotropin-releasing factor-binding protein; Corticotropin-releasing hormone-binding protein; CRF-binding protein; CRF-BP; CRH-BP