Molecular biology of the natriuretic peptides

Trends Cardiovasc Med. Jul-Aug 1994;4(4):159-65. doi: 10.1016/1050-1738(94)90052-3.


The natriuretic peptides (ANP, BNP, and CNP) are encoded by a family of genes with similar overall structure. They exert their effects through interaction with one or more of three NP receptors. Two of these receptors signal through activation of guanylate cyclase while a third appears to function predominantly in a clearance mode. ANP also belongs to a well-defined group of genes, termed the embryonic repertoire, which is activated early in the process of cardiac hypertrophy. Understanding the signaling mechanism that triggers ANP expression in this setting may provide important insights with regard to the molecular events that initiate and maintain the hypertrophic process.