Growth hormone/prolactin family

Yoko Yamaguchi, Tatsuya Sakamoto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL or PRL1), prolactin 2 (PRL2), somatolactin (SL), and a mammalian placental hormone, placental lactogen (PL), form a family that shares a common tertiary structure. They produce their biological effects by interacting with single transmembrane-domain receptors that belong to the class I cytokine receptor family. The binding of these hormones to their receptors causes receptor dimerization, and activates Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), a tyrosine kinase that initiates the JAK/STAT pathway. The principal biological role of GH, the control of postnatal growth, has remained quite consistent throughout vertebrate evolution and is largely mediated by insulin-like growth factors (IGFs). PRL1 has many diverse roles including control of water and salt balance, metabolism, and regulation of the immune system. The function of PRL2, a recently discovered molecule, is unknown. SL has a wide range of biological activities including body-color regulation, plasma ion metabolism, and acid-base regulation. PL modifies the metabolic state of the mother during pregnancy to facilitate the energy supply of the fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Hormones
Subtitle of host publicationComparative Endocrinology for Basic and Clinical Research
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9780128206492
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Body color
  • Class I cytokine receptor
  • Growth
  • JAK/STAT pathway
  • Metabolism
  • Pituitary
  • PRL1
  • PRL2
  • SL
  • Water and salt balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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