Available structures
PDBOrtholog search: PDBe RCSB
Aliases UCN, UI, UROC, urocortin
External IDs OMIM: 600945 MGI: 1276123 HomoloGene: 2515 GeneCards: UCN
Species Human Mouse









RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



Location (UCSC) Chr 2: 27.31 – 27.31 Mb Chr 5: 31.14 – 31.14 Mb
PubMed search [1] [2]
View/Edit HumanView/Edit Mouse

Urocortin is a protein that in humans is encoded by the UCN gene.[3][4][5]


This gene is a member of the sauvagine/corticotropin-releasing factor/urotensin I family. It is structurally related to the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) gene and the encoded product is an endogenous ligand for CRF type 2 receptors. In the brain, it may be responsible for the effects of stress on appetite. In spite of the gene family name similarity, the product of this gene has no sequence similarity to urotensin II.[5]

Urocortin is a potent anorexigenic peptide of 40 amino acids that induces fed-like motor activity when administered centrally or peripherally in fasted animals. Urocortin belongs to the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) family that includes CRF, urotensin I, sauvagine, urocortin II and urocortin III. Urocortin is also a potent and long-lasting hypotensive agent and increases coronary blood flow.


Urocortin has been shown to interact with Corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1.[6][7]


  1. "Human PubMed Reference:".
  2. "Mouse PubMed Reference:".
  3. Zhao L, Donaldson CJ, Smith GW, Vale WW (April 1999). "The structures of the mouse and human urocortin genes (Ucn and UCN)". Genomics. 50 (1): 23–33. doi:10.1006/geno.1998.5292. PMID 9628819.
  4. Tsarev OB (July 1977). "[Dynamics of matrix synthesis in molecular biophysics. II. Principle of insertability and the single-valued solution of feedback tasks]". Biofizika. 22 (2): 197–200. PMID 861256.
  5. 1 2 "Entrez Gene: UCN urocortin".
  6. Donaldson CJ, Sutton SW, Perrin MH, Corrigan AZ, Lewis KA, Rivier JE, Vaughan JM, Vale WW (May 1996). "Cloning and characterization of human urocortin". Endocrinology. 137 (5): 2167–70. doi:10.1210/en.137.5.2167. PMID 8612563.
  7. Gottowik J, Goetschy V, Henriot S, Kitas E, Fluhman B, Clerc RG, Moreau JL, Monsma FJ, Kilpatrick GJ (October 1997). "Labelling of CRF1 and CRF2 receptors using the novel radioligand, [3H]-urocortin". Neuropharmacology. 36 (10): 1439–46. doi:10.1016/S0028-3908(97)00098-1. PMID 9423932.

Further reading

  • Inui A, Asakawa A, Bowers CY, Mantovani G, Laviano A, Meguid MM, Fujimiya M (Mar 2004). "Ghrelin, appetite, and gastric motility: the emerging role of the stomach as an endocrine organ". FASEB J. 18 (3): 439–56. doi:10.1096/fj.03-0641rev. PMID 15003990. 
  • Huang Y, Yao XQ, Lau CW, Chan YC, Tsang SY, Chan FL (Mar 2004). "Urocortin and cardiovascular protection". Acta Pharmacol Sin. 25 (3): 257–65. 
  • Takahashi, Kazuhiro (2004). "Translational medicine in fish-derived peptides: From fish endocrinology to human physiology and diseases". Endocrine Journal (Kyoto, Japan). 51 (1): 1–17. doi:10.1507/endocrj.51.1. 
  • Adachi T, Schamel WW, Kim KM, Watanabe T, Becker B, Nielsen PJ, Reth M (1996). "The specificity of association of the IgD molecule with the accessory proteins BAP31/BAP29 lies in the IgD transmembrane sequence.". EMBO J. 15 (7): 1534–41. PMC 450061Freely accessible. PMID 8612576. 
  • Iino K, Sasano H, Oki Y, Andoh N, Shin RW, Kitamoto T, Totsune K, Takahashi K, Suzuki H, Nagura H, Yoshimi T (1997). "Urocortin expression in human pituitary gland and pituitary adenoma.". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 82 (11): 3842–50. doi:10.1210/jc.82.11.3842. PMID 9360550. 
  • Gottowik J, Goetschy V, Henriot S, Kitas E, Fluhman B, Clerc RG, Moreau JL, Monsma FJ, Kilpatrick GJ (1998). "Labelling of CRF1 and CRF2 receptors using the novel radioligand, [3H]-urocortin.". Neuropharmacology. 36 (10): 1439–46. doi:10.1016/S0028-3908(97)00098-1. PMID 9423932. 
  • Bamberger CM, Wald M, Bamberger AM, Ergün S, Beil FU, Schulte HM (1998). "Human lymphocytes produce urocortin, but not corticotropin-releasing hormone.". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 83 (2): 708–11. doi:10.1210/jc.83.2.708. PMID 9467598. 
  • Takahashi K, Totsune K, Sone M, Murakami O, Satoh F, Arihara Z, Sasano H, Iino K, Mouri T (1998). "Regional distribution of urocortin-like immunoreactivity and expression of urocortin mRNA in the human brain.". Peptides. 19 (4): 643–7. doi:10.1016/S0196-9781(98)00012-6. PMID 9622018. 
  • Iino K, Sasano H, Oki Y, Andoh N, Shin RW, Kitamoto T, Takahashi K, Suzuki H, Tezuka F, Yoshimi T, Nagura H (1999). "Urocortin expression in the human central nervous system.". Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf). 50 (1): 107–14. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2265.1999.00624.x. PMID 10341863. 
  • Watanabe F, Oki Y, Ozawa M, Masuzawa M, Iwabuchi M, Yoshimi T, Nishiguchi T, Iino K, Sasano H (1999). "Urocortin in human placenta and maternal plasma.". Peptides. 20 (2): 205–9. doi:10.1016/S0196-9781(98)00175-2. PMID 10422876. 
  • Slominski A, Roloff B, Curry J, Dahiya M, Szczesniewski A, Wortsman J (2000). "The skin produces urocortin.". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 85 (2): 815–23. doi:10.1210/jc.85.2.815. PMID 10690896. 
  • Muramatsu Y, Fukushima K, Iino K, Totsune K, Takahashi K, Suzuki T, Hirasawa G, Takeyama J, Ito M, Nose M, Tashiro A, Hongo M, Oki Y, Nagura H, Sasano H (2001). "Urocortin and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor expression in the human colonic mucosa.". Peptides. 21 (12): 1799–809. doi:10.1016/S0196-9781(00)00335-1. PMID 11150640. 
  • Muramatsu Y, Sugino N, Suzuki T, Totsune K, Takahashi K, Tashiro A, Hongo M, Oki Y, Sasano H (2001). "Urocortin and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor expression in normal cycling human ovaries.". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 86 (3): 1362–9. doi:10.1210/jc.86.3.1362. PMID 11238533. 
  • Hsu SY, Hsueh AJ (2001). "Human stresscopin and stresscopin-related peptide are selective ligands for the type 2 corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor.". Nat. Med. 7 (5): 605–11. doi:10.1038/87936. PMID 11329063. 
  • Lewis K, Li C, Perrin MH, Blount A, Kunitake K, Donaldson C, Vaughan J, Reyes TM, Gulyas J, Fischer W, Bilezikjian L, Rivier J, Sawchenko PE, Vale WW (2001). "Identification of urocortin III, an additional member of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) family with high affinity for the CRF2 receptor.". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 98 (13): 7570–5. doi:10.1073/pnas.121165198. PMC 34709Freely accessible. PMID 11416224. 
  • Kimura Y, Takahashi K, Totsune K, Muramatsu Y, Kaneko C, Darnel AD, Suzuki T, Ebina M, Nukiwa T, Sasano H (2002). "Expression of urocortin and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor subtypes in the human heart.". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 87 (1): 340–6. doi:10.1210/jc.87.1.340. PMID 11788672. 
  • Florio P, Arcuri F, Ciarmela P, Runci Y, Romagnoli R, Cintorino M, Di Blasio AM, Petraglia F (2002). "Identification of urocortin mRNA and peptide in the human endometrium.". J. Endocrinol. 173 (2): R9–14. doi:10.1677/joe.0.173R009. PMID 12010647. 
  • Arcuri F, Cintorino M, Florio P, Floccari F, Pergola L, Romagnoli R, Petraglia F, Tosi P, Teresa Del Vecchio M (2002). "Expression of urocortin mRNA and peptide in the human prostate and in prostatic adenocarcinoma.". Prostate. 52 (3): 167–72. doi:10.1002/pros.10094. PMID 12111693. 
  • Ikeda K, Tojo K, Oki Y, Nakao K (2002). "Urocortin has cell-proliferative effects on cardiac non-myocytes.". Life Sci. 71 (16): 1929–38. doi:10.1016/S0024-3205(02)01945-8. PMID 12175707. 

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