Cardiac natriuretic peptides: hormones with anticancer effects that localize to nucleus, cytoplasm, endothelium, and fibroblasts of human cancers

Histol Histopathol. 2006 Jul;21(7):775-83. doi: 10.14670/HH-21.775.


Four cardiac peptide hormones, i.e., vessel dilator, long acting natriuretic peptide (LANP), kaliuretic peptide, and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) synthesized by the same gene decrease within 24 hours up to 97% the number of human breast, colon, pancreatic, and prostate adenocarcinoma cells as well as human small-cell and squamous carcinomas of the lung cells. These peptide hormones completely inhibit the growth of human pancreatic adenocarcinomas growing in athymic mice. Immunocytochemical investigations have revealed that LANP, vessel dilator, kaliuretic peptide and ANP localize to the nucleus and cytoplasm of human pancreatic adenocarcinomas, which is consistent with their ability to decrease DNA synthesis in the nucleus of this cancer mediated by the intracellular messenger cyclic GMP. These peptide hormones also localize to the endothelium of capillaries and fibroblasts within these cancers. These are the first growth-inhibiting peptide hormones ever demonstrated to localize to the nucleus. Their ability to decrease the activation of growth promoting substances such as Extracellular Receptor Kinase (ERK)-1/2 and Nuclear Factor Kappa Beta (NFkappaB) suggests that in addition to inhibiting DNA synthesis their ability to decrease the activation of growth promoting substances helps to mediate their ability to inhibit the growth of human cancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma* / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / classification
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism*
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / classification
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / metabolism*
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / therapeutic use
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor
  • DNA