Prolactin (gene name PRL) is a secreted neuroendocrine pituitary hormone that acts primarily on the mammary gland to promote lactation, but has pleiotropic effects in both males and females. Prolactin is synthesized as a prohormone. Following cleavage of the signal peptide, the length of the mature hormone is between 194 and 199 amino acids, depending on species. Hormone structure is stabilized by three intramolecular disulfide bonds. Excessive secretion of prolactin - hyperprolactinemia - is a relative common disorder in humans. This condition has numerous causes, including prolactin-secreting tumors and therapy with certain drugs. The prolactin receptor (gene name PRLR) is a transmembrane type I glycoprotein that belongs to the cytokine hematopoietic receptor family. Expression of the prolactin receptor is widespread. Each prolactin molecule is thought to bind two receptor molecules
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