Melanotan 1 is very similar to naturally occuring alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone alpha-MSH (Melanotan 2). Alpha-MSH is primarily known for its influence on melanocytes, the cells in skin and hair responsible for pigmentation. This function is mediated via strong binding to melanocortin receptor 1. Alpha-MSH is non selective full agonist of melanocortin receptors 1, 3, 4, and 5. Melanotan 1 differs from alpha-MSH (Melanotan 2) by a single amino acid and was first developed as a sunless tanning agent. Research into melanocortin 1 did indeed cause pigmentation, it also increases sexual arousal, boosted appetite, and altered baseline metabolism. Subsequent study of melanotan 1 and other melanocortin-binding proteins helped scientist to better understand melanocortin signaling system.
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