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      Improvement of right heart structure and function by BAY 41-8543 in pulmonary artery banded mice

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          Background Receptors for the natriuretic peptides (NPs) ANP, BNP and CNP are highly expressed in lung, suggesting that this organ is an important physiological target for NP signalling. By stimulating vaso- and bronchodilation and inhibiting cell proliferation and fibrotic processes, NPs may have therapeutic potential in various lung diseases. Mechanisms responsible for the relatively short half-life (few min) of NPs and the control of their local concentrations include (i) receptor-mediated internalization by the so called clearance receptor (NPR-C) and (ii) degradation by a membrane metalloprotease, called neutral endopeptidase (NEP) or neprilysin [1]. The velocity of peptide degradation/inactivation differs between ANP, BNP and CNP. Interestingly, cleavage of NPs by insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) [2] may have a particular role in NP signalling by generating peptide fragments that are hyperactive in receptor stimulation [3]. The physiological significance of NEP was supported by several studies in rodents showing that NEP inhibition leads to increased NP concentrations and activity. Moreover, we found that NEP inhibition is necessary and sufficient for detection of GC-A and GC-B by affinity labelling experiments with radioactive ANP or CNP in mouse and rat lung membrane preparations. Analogous assays, however, failed to label these receptors in human lung membranes, suggesting potent NP-degrading activity of NEP inhibitor-insensitive proteases. Methods and results ANP degradation by lung membranes in either the absence or presence of NEP inhibitors was analyzed by thin-layer-chromatography and mass spectrometry [2]. We found that NEP inhibition strongly reduces ANP degradation by rat and mouse but not human membranes. ANP-degrading activity in human lung membranes under conditions of NEP inhibition was very potent and even detectable with 1 ng of membrane protein. Like ANP, CNP was rapidly hydrolyzed. In both peptides, initial cleavage occurred at the same position within the conserved peptide ring structure being essential for biological activity. A second cleavage each was localized to the amino-terminus (behind Arg-4 or Lys-4, respectively). The cleavage sites are unrelated to those by NEP and IDE and indicate trypsin-like enzyme activity. Unlike ANP and CNP, BNP is a poor substrate and shows a completely different and complex cleavage pattern after prolonged incubation. The NEP inhibitor-insensitive protease was also detectable, albeit at much lower levels, in membranes from human aorta and mesenteric arteries, but not at all in placenta. Studies with various protease inhibitors revealed that leupeptin exposure potently inhibits NP degradation by this activity. Conclusion A novel trypsin-like enzyme activity, but not NEP, is the major natriuretic peptide-degrading membrane protease in human lung. The accumulated expression of this enzyme in human pulmonary tissue favours potential therapeutic interventions in lung diseases. Leupeptin may act as a beneficial agent in this regard.

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          Natriuretic peptides, their receptors, and cyclic guanosine monophosphate-dependent signaling functions.

          Natriuretic peptides are a family of structurally related but genetically distinct hormones/paracrine factors that regulate blood volume, blood pressure, ventricular hypertrophy, pulmonary hypertension, fat metabolism, and long bone growth. The mammalian members are atrial natriuretic peptide, B-type natriuretic peptide, C-type natriuretic peptide, and possibly osteocrin/musclin. Three single membrane-spanning natriuretic peptide receptors (NPRs) have been identified. Two, NPR-A/GC-A/NPR1 and NPR-B/GC-B/NPR2, are transmembrane guanylyl cyclases, enzymes that catalyze the synthesis of cGMP. One, NPR-C/NPR3, lacks intrinsic enzymatic activity and controls the local concentrations of natriuretic peptides through constitutive receptor-mediated internalization and degradation. Single allele-inactivating mutations in the promoter of human NPR-A are associated with hypertension and heart failure, whereas homozygous inactivating mutations in human NPR-B cause a form of short-limbed dwarfism known as acromesomelic dysplasia type Maroteaux. The physiological effects of natriuretic peptides are elicited through three classes of cGMP binding proteins: cGMP-dependent protein kinases, cGMP-regulated phosphodiesterases, and cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels. In this comprehensive review, the structure, function, regulation, and biological consequences of natriuretic peptides and their associated signaling proteins are described.
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            Insulin-degrading enzyme modulates the natriuretic peptide-mediated signaling response.

            Natriuretic peptides (NPs) are cyclic vasoactive peptide hormones with high therapeutic potential. Three distinct NPs (ANP, BNP, and CNP) can selectively activate natriuretic peptide receptors, NPR-A and NPR-B, raising the cyclic GMP (cGMP) levels. Insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) was found to rapidly cleave ANP, but the functional consequences of such cleavages in the cellular environment and the molecular mechanism of recognition and cleavage remain unknown. Here, we show that reducing expression levels of IDE profoundly alters the response of NPR-A and NPR-B to the stimulation of ANP, BNP, and CNP in cultured cells. IDE rapidly cleaves ANP and CNP, thus inactivating their ability to raise intracellular cGMP. Conversely, reduced IDE expression enhances the stimulation of NPR-A and NPR-B by ANP and CNP, respectively. Instead of proteolytic inactivation, IDE cleavage can lead to hyperactivation of BNP toward NPR-A. Conversely, decreasing IDE expression reduces BNP-mediated signaling. Additionally, the cleavages of ANP and BNP by IDE render them active with NPR-B and a reduction of IDE expression diminishes the ability of ANP and BNP to stimulate NPR-B. Our kinetic and crystallographic analyses offer the molecular basis for the selective degradation of NPs and their variants by IDE. Furthermore, our studies reveal how IDE utilizes its catalytic chamber and exosite to engulf and bind up to two NPs leading to biased stochastic, non-sequential cleavages and the ability of IDE to switch its substrate selectivity. Thus, the evolutionarily conserved IDE may play a key role in modulating and reshaping the strength and duration of NP-mediated signaling.
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              Rat insulin-degrading enzyme: cleavage pattern of the natriuretic peptide hormones ANP, BNP, and CNP revealed by HPLC and mass spectrometry.

              The degradation of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) by insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) has been investigated. As revealed by high-performance liquid chromatography, all three peptides are sequentially cleaved at a limited number of sites, the latter of which were identified by mass spectrometric analyses. The studies revealed that ANP is preferred as substrate over BNP and CNP. ANP degradation is rapidly initiated by hydrolysis at the Ser25-Phe26 bond. Three additional cleavage sites were identified in ANP after prolonged incubation with IDE; in contrast, three and two bonds were hydrolyzed in BNP and CNP, respectively. Analysis of the nine cleavage sites shows a preference for basic or hydrophobic amino acid residues on the carboxyl side of a cleaved peptide bond. In contrast to most of the peptide fragments generated by IDE activity, the initial ANP cleavage product, F-R-Y, is rapidly degraded further by cleavage of the R-Y bond. Cross-linking studies with 125I-ANP in the presence of sulfhydryl-modifying agent indicate that IDE activity is inhibited at the level of initial substrate binding whereas metal-ion chelating agents only prevent hydrolysis. On the basis of its structural and enzymatic properties, IDE exhibits striking similarity to a number of recently-described endopeptidases.

                Author and article information

                [1]Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim, Germany
                [2]University of Giessen Lung Centre (UGLC), Giessen, Germany
                [3]Bayer Pharma AG, Cardiology Research, Wuppertal, Germany
                BMC Pharmacol
                BMC Pharmacol
                BMC Pharmacology
                BioMed Central
                1 August 2011
                : 11
                : Suppl 1
                : P79
                Copyright ©2011 Janssen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                5th International Conference on cGMP: Generators, Effectors and Therapeutic Implications
                Halle, Germany
                24-26 June 2011
                Oral Presentation

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine


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