International Union of Pharmacology. XXXII. The mammalian calcitonin gene-related peptides, adrenomedullin, amylin, and calcitonin receptors

Pharmacol Rev. 2002 Jun;54(2):233-46. doi: 10.1124/pr.54.2.233.


The calcitonin family of peptides comprises calcitonin, amylin, two calcitonin gene-related peptides (CGRPs), and adrenomedullin. The first calcitonin receptor was cloned in 1991. Its pharmacology is complicated by the existence of several splice variants. The receptors for the other members the family are made up of subunits. The calcitonin-like receptor (CL receptor) requires a single transmembrane domain protein, termed receptor activity modifying protein, RAMP1, to function as a CGRP receptor. RAMP2 and -3 enable the same CL receptor to behave as an adrenomedullin receptor. Although the calcitonin receptor does not require RAMP to bind and respond to calcitonin, it can associate with the RAMPs, resulting in a series of receptors that typically have high affinity for amylin and varied affinity for CGRP. This review aims to reconcile what is observed when the receptors are reconstituted in vitro with the properties they show in native cells and tissues. Experimental conditions must be rigorously controlled because different degrees of protein expression may markedly modify pharmacology in such a complex situation. Recommendations, which follow International Union of Pharmacology guidelines, are made for the nomenclature of these multimeric receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • International Agencies
  • Receptors, Adrenomedullin
  • Receptors, Calcitonin / classification*
  • Receptors, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / classification*
  • Receptors, Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
  • Receptors, Peptide / classification*
  • Terminology as Topic*


  • Receptors, Adrenomedullin
  • Receptors, Calcitonin
  • Receptors, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Receptors, Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
  • Receptors, Peptide