FunctionGhrelin is the ligand for growth hormone secretagogue receptor type 1 (GHSR). Induces the release of growth hormone from the pituitary. Has an appetite-stimulating effect, induces adiposity and stimulates gastric acid secretion. Involved in growth regulation. Obestatin may be the ligand for GPR39. May have an appetite-reducing effect resulting in decreased food intake. May reduce gastric emptying activity and jejunal motility.
Tissue specificityHighest level in stomach. All forms are found in serum as well. Other tissues compensate for the loss of ghrelin synthesis in the stomach following gastrectomy.
Sequence similaritiesBelongs to the motilin family.
Post-translational modificationsO-octanoylation or O-decanoylation is essential for ghrelin activity. The O-decanoylated forms Ghrelin-27-C10 and Ghrelin-28-C10 differ in the length of the carbon backbone of the carboxylic acid bound to Ser-26. A small fraction of ghrelin, ghrelin-28-C10:1, may be modified with a singly unsaturated carboxylic acid. Amidation of Leu-98 is essential for obestatin activity.