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Melanocortin receptors are members of the rhodopsin family of 7-transmembrane, G-protein coupled receptors.

There are five members of the melanocortin receptor system[1] each with differing specificities for melanocortins:

These receptors are inhibited by endogenous antagonists agouti signaling protein and agouti-related protein[3] and activated by endogenous agonist melanocyte-stimulating hormone.[4]


  1. Melanocortins and the Melanocortin Receptor
  2. Farooqi IS, Keogh JM, Yeo GS, Lank EJ, Cheetham T, O'Rahilly S (2003). Clinical spectrum of obesity and mutations in the melanocortin 4 receptor gene. N. Engl. J. Med. 348 (12): 1085-95.
  3. Chai B, Pogozheva I, Lai Y, Li J, Neubig R, Mosberg H, Gantz I (2005). Receptor-antagonist interactions in the complexes of agouti and agouti-related protein with human melanocortin 1 and 4 receptors. Biochemistry 44 (9): 3418-31.
  4. Pogozheva I, Chai B, Lomize A, Fong T, Weinberg D, Nargund R, Mulholland M, Gantz I, Mosberg H (2005). Interactions of human melanocortin 4 receptor with nonpeptide and peptide agonists. Biochemistry 44 (34): 11329-41.

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