Growth regulatory properties of endothelins

Peptides. Mar-Apr 1993;14(2):385-99. doi: 10.1016/0196-9781(93)90057-n.


Endothelins are produced by endothelial and epithelial cells, macrophages, fibroblasts, and many other types of cells. Their receptors are present in numerous cells, including smooth muscle cells, myocytes, and fibroblasts. Evidence now suggests that the three isoforms of endothelins (ET-1 and the other two related isopeptides, ET-2 and ET-3) regulate growth in several of these cells. Endothelin-1 influences DNA synthesis, the expression of protooncogenes, cell proliferation, and hypertrophy. The participation of ET in mitogenesis involves activation of multiple transduction pathways, such as the production of second messengers, the release of intracellular pools of calcium, and influx of extracellular calcium. Moreover, ET-1 acts in synergism with various factors, such as EGF, PDGF, bFGF, TGFs, insulin, etc., to potentiate cellular transformation or replication. Several of these factors may in turn stimulate the synthesis and/or the release of endothelins. The production and release of endothelins are also increased in acute and chronic pathological processes, e.g., atherosclerosis, postangioplastic restenosis, hypertension, and carcinogenesis. It is postulated that endothelins act in a paracrine/autocrine manner in growth regulation and play an important role mediating vascular remodeling in some cardiovascular diseases. The present review analyses the implication of endothelins (ET-1, -2, and -3) in physiopathology related to their growth regulatory properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Endothelins / pharmacology
  • Endothelins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Receptors, Endothelin / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Endothelins
  • Growth Substances
  • Receptors, Endothelin
  • DNA
  • Calcium