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CASE FILES: BIOCHEMISTRY
B IO C H E M IS T R Y PE A R L S
Growth hormone (somatotropin) is a polypeptide synthesized and
secreted by somatotrophs in the anterior pituitary.
Mutations in growth hormone or its receptor lead to dwarfism.
Excessive GH secretion leads to giantism, if expressed before the
growth plates have closed, or acromegaly, if overproduction is
initiated in the adult.
The most common cause of growth hormone overproduction in the
adult is a noncancerous pituitary tumor.
REFERENCES
Litwack G, Schmidt TJ. Biochemistry of hormones I: polypeptide hormones. In:
Devlin TM, ed. Textbook of Biochemistry with Clinical Correlations, 5th ed.
New York: Wiley-Liss, 2002.
Pathophysiology of the endocrine system. An online textbook from Colorado State
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