PROSITE documentation PDOC00442
Corticotropin-releasing factor family signature


Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) (corticoliberin) [1] is a hormone from the hypothalamus that regulates the release of corticotropin (ACTH) from the pituitary gland. CRF is evolutionary related to a number of other active peptides which are listed below.

  • Urocortin (Ucn) [2], a brain mammalian peptide with corticotropin-releasing factor activity.
  • Urotensin 1 from the urophysis of fish. Like CRF and Ucn, it acts in ACTH secretion.
  • Sauvagine from frog skin, a peptide with a potent hypotensive action that elicits a diuretic effect.
  • Diuretic hormone (DH) (or diuretic peptide (DP) from a variety of insects. DH is involved in the regulation of fluid secretion [3].

All these hormones are peptides of about 40 amino acid residues which are C-terminally amidated and processed from a larger precursor protein. We derived a signature pattern of conserved residues, running from position 4 to 19 in these peptides.

Last update:

July 1999 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

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

CRF, PS00511; Corticotropin-releasing factor family signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsLederis K.P. Okawara Y. Richter D. Morley S.D.
TitleEvolutionary aspects of corticotropin releasing hormones.
SourceProg. Clin. Biol. Res. 342:467-472(1990).
PubMed ID2200028

2AuthorsVaughan J. Donaldson C. Bittencourt J. Perrin M.H. Lewis K. Sutton S. Chan R. Turnbull A.V. Lovejoy D. Rivier C.
TitleUrocortin, a mammalian neuropeptide related to fish urotensin I and to corticotropin-releasing factor.
SourceNature 378:287-292(1995).
PubMed ID7477349

3AuthorsClottens F.L. Holman G.M. Coast G.M. Totty N.F. Hayes T.K. Kay I. Mallet A.I. Wright M.S. Chung J.S. Truong O.
TitleIsolation and characterization of a diuretic peptide common to the house fly and stable fly.
SourcePeptides 15:971-979(1994).
PubMed ID7991460

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