Symbol POMC
Entrez 5443
HUGO 9201
OMIM 176830
RefSeq NM_000939
UniProt P01189
Other data
Locus Chr. 2 p23

Lipotropin is a hormone produced by the cleavage of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). The anterior pituitary gland produces the pro-hormone POMC, which is then cleaved again to form adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and β-lipotropin (β-LPH).


β-Lipotropin is a 90-amino acid polypeptide that is the carboxy-terminal fragment of POMC.

It stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin, and can also be cleaved into smaller peptides. In humans, γ-lipotropin, β-MSH, and β-endorphin, are all possible fragments of β-lipotropin.[1]

β-Lipotropin also performs lipid-mobilizing functions such as lipolysis and steroidogenesis. β-Lipotropin is the predominant opioid of the anterior human and rat pituitary gland. It is found in essentially equimolar concentrations to that of corticotropin. Evidence shows that β-Lipotropin is metabolized into endorphins that can greatly affect mood and behavior and is thus regarded as a prohormone.[2]


γ-lipotropin is the amino-terminal peptide fragment of β-lipotropin. In humans, it has 56 amino acids. Gamma lipotropin is identical to the first 56 amino acid sequences of β-lipotropin. It can be cleaved to β-melanocyte stimulating hormone.

Use in sport

Lipotropin has also, under its alternate name AOD-9604 (Anti-Obesity Drug-9604),[3] been connected with controversies in Australian Rules Football. Allegations have arisen around the use of the drug and its administration to players of the Essendon Football Club as a supplement, including weekly administration to players in the 2012 season. The matters are currently under investigation due to the relationship between Lipotropin and growth hormones, as noted by club medical staff.[4]


  1. Joachim Spiess; Charles D. Mount; Wendell E. Nicholson; David N. Orth (1982), "NH2-Terminal amino acid sequence and peptide mapping of purified human β-lipotropin: Comparison with previously proposed sequences", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 79 (16): 5071–5, Bibcode:1982PNAS...79.5071S, doi:10.1073/pnas.79.16.5071, PMC 346829Freely accessible, PMID 6956916
  2. Lazarus, L H; Ling, Guillemin (June 1, 1976). "beta-Lipotropin as a prohormone for the morphinomimetic peptides endorphins and enkephalins". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 73 (6): 2156–2159. doi:10.1073/pnas.73.6.2156.
  3. Peptides Direct information page, accessed 26 August 2013
  4. AFL Statement of Charges against James Hird and Essendon Football Club, accessed 26 August 2013

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