Proadrenomedullin N-Terminal 20 Peptides (PAMPs) Are Agonists of the Chemokine Scavenger Receptor ACKR3/CXCR7

ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci. 2021 Mar 22;4(2):813-823. doi: 10.1021/acsptsci.1c00006. eCollection 2021 Apr 9.


Adrenomedullin (ADM) and proadrenomedullin N-terminal 20 peptide (PAMP) are two peptides with vasodilative, bronchodilative, and angiogenic properties, originating from a common precursor, proADM. Previous studies proposed that the atypical chemokine receptor ACKR3 might act as a low-affinity scavenger for ADM, regulating its availability for its cognate receptor calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CLR) in complex with a receptor activity modifying protein (RAMP). In this study, we compared the activation of ACKR3 by ADM and PAMP, as well as other related members of the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) family. Irrespective of the presence of RAMPs, ADM was the only member of the CGRP family to show moderate activity toward ACKR3. Remarkably, PAMP, and especially further processed PAMP-12, had a stronger potency toward ACKR3 than ADM. Importantly, PAMP-12 induced β-arrestin recruitment and was efficiently internalized by ACKR3 without inducing G protein or ERK signaling in vitro. Our results further extend the panel of endogenous ACKR3 ligands and broaden ACKR3 functions to a regulator of PAMP-12 availability for its primary receptor Mas-related G-protein-coupled receptor member X2 (MrgX2).