Melanocortin (MC) receptors are widely distributed throughout the body of chicken, like in mammals, and participate in a wide range of physiological functions. To clarify the pharmacological impact of ligands acting in the MC system, we expressed the chicken MC1, MC2, MC3, MC4 and MC5 (cMC1-5) receptors in eukaryotic cells and performed comprehensive pharmacological characterization of the potency of endogenous and synthetic melanocortin peptides. Remarkably, the cMC receptors displayed high affinity for ACTH-derived peptides and in general low affinity for α-MSH. It is evident that not only the cMC2 receptor but also the other cMC receptors interact with ACTH-derived peptide through an epitope beyond the sequence of α-MSH. The synthetic ligand MTII was found to be a potent agonist whereas HS024 was a potent antagonist at the cMC4 receptor, indicating that these ligands are suitable for physiological studies in chicken. We also show the presence of prohormone convertase 1 (PC1) and PC2 genes in chicken, and that these peptides are coexpressed with proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in various tissues.
- MC receptor subtypes
ASJC Scopus subject areas