Somatotropin, also known as growth hormone, is a protein produced by the pituitary gland. The protein structure of somatotropin varies from species to species. Somatotropin functions to promote growth in young animals, in part by promoting protein synthesis. In a lactating cow, it helps the cow to mobilize fat to use for energy, and diverts feed energy into milk production. The production of a recombinant form of bovine somatotropin (rbST) through techniques of biotechnology has made it possible to improve milk production in treated cows.
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Prepared Summer 1997 by Bernadene Magnuson, Ph.D.
University of Idaho, Dept. of Food Science and Toxicology - EXTOXNET FAQ Team.