3DChem.com - Chemistry, Structures & 3D Molecules a visual and interactive website showcasing the beautiful world of chemistry

Human Growth Hormone (Molecule of the Month for October 2006)

Somatotropin, somatotrophin, HGH, GH, rhGH



Human growth hormone is a polypeptide hormone synthesised and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland which stimulates growth and cell reproduction in humans and other vertebrate animals. In 1985, biosynthetic human growth hormone replaced pituitary-derived human growth hormone for therapeutic use in the U.S. and elsewhere. Biosynthetic human growth hormone, also referred to as recombinant human growth hormone, is also called somatropin and abbreviated as rhGH.

Effects of growth hormone on the tissues of the body can generally be described as anabolic (building up). Like most other protein hormones GH acts by interacting with a specific receptor on the surface of cells. Although height growth is the best known effect of GH, it serves many other metabolic functions as well. GH increases calcium retention, and strengthens and increases the mineralization of bone. It increases muscle mass through the creation of new muscle cells (which differs from hypertrophy), and it also promotes lipolysis, which results in the reduction of adipose tissue (body fat). As well, it increases protein synthesis and stimulates the growth of all internal organs excluding the brain

Deficiency of GH produces significantly different problems at various ages. In children, growth failure and short stature are the major manifestations of GH deficiency. In adults the effects of deficiency are more subtle, and may include deficiencies of strength, energy, and bone mass, as well as increased cardiovascular risk.

Picture of Human Growth Hormone 3D model

click on the picture of  Human Growth Hormone above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Human Growth Hormone structure
(this will open a new browser window)

Picture of Human Growth Hormone

191 polypeptide



Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for October 2006 )

Stacks Image 34 All the images on this web site are are made available with a Creative Commons Attribution license and so can be used as long as the attribution
© Karl Harrison 3DChem.com is written with the image. High resolution images and illustrations are available on request.