PROSITE documentation PDOC00237
Neurohypophysial hormones signature


Oxytocin (or ocytocin) and vasopressin [1] are small (nine amino acid residues), structurally and functionally related neurohypophysial peptide hormones. Oxytocin causes contraction of the smooth muscle of the uterus and of the mammary gland while vasopressin has a direct antidiuretic action on the kidney and also causes vasoconstriction of the peripheral vessels. Like the majority of active peptides, both hormones are synthesized as larger protein precursors that are enzymatically converted to their mature forms. Peptides belonging to this family are also found in birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians (mesotocin, isotocin, valitocin, glumitocin, aspargtocin, vasotocin, seritocin, asvatocin, phasvatocin), in worms (annetocin), octopi (cephalotocin), locust (locupressin or neuropeptide F1/F2) and in molluscs (conopressins G and S) [2].

The pattern developed to detect this category of peptides spans their entire sequence and includes four invariant amino acid residues.

Last update:

December 2004 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

NEUROHYPOPHYS_HORM, PS00264; Neurohypophysial hormones signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsAcher R. Chauvet J.
TitleStructure, processing and evolution of the neurohypophysial hormone-neurophysin precursors.
SourceBiochimie 70:1197-1207(1988).
PubMed ID3147712

2AuthorsChauvet J. Michel G. Ouedraogo Y. Chou J. Chait B.T. Acher R.
TitleA new neurohypophysial peptide, seritocin ([Ser5,Ile8]-oxytocin), identified in a dryness-resistant African toad, Bufo regularis.
SourceInt. J. Pept. Protein Res. 45:482-487(1995).
PubMed ID7591488

PROSITE is copyrighted by the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License, see prosite_license.html.


View entry in original PROSITE document format
View entry in raw text format (no links)