Erythropoietin is a glycoprotein hormone synthesised principally in the kidney. The peptide sequence consists of 166 amino acids and the structure is highly conserved between species. In addition to the peptide moiety, the mature molecule consists of approximately 30% carbohydrate.
Erythropoietin is synthesised and released in response to hypoxia and stimulates erythropoiesis. It occurs naturally in minute quantities, and this limited research until the techniques of molecular biology enabled recombinant human erthropoietin to be produced in significant quantities. The enhanced availability coupled with improved and simplified assay methods has increased the pace of research. This paper reviews the role of erythropoietin and some of the recent advances relating to its production, regulation and actions.
KeywordsErythropoietin Glycoprotein Haemopoiesis Hypoxia Kidney Liver
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