Biochemistry and physiology of the natriuretic peptide receptor guanylyl cyclases

  • Johanne Tremblay
  • Richard Desjardins
  • David Hum
  • Jolanta Gutkowska
  • Pavel Hamet
Part of the Developments in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry book series (DMCB, volume 36)


Guanylyl cyclases (GC) exist as soluble and particulate, membrane-associated enzymes which catalyse the conversion of GTP to cGMP, an intracellular signalling molecule. Several membrane forms of the enzyme have been identified up to now. Some of them serve as receptors for the natriuretic peptides, a family of peptides which includes atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), three peptides known to play important roles in renal and cardiovascular physiology. These are transmembrane proteins composed of a single transmembrane domain, a variable extracellular natriuretic peptide-binding domain, and a more conserved intracellular kinase homology domain (KHD) and catalytic domain. GC-A, the receptor for ANP and BNP, also named natriuretic peptide receptor-A or -1 (NPR-A or NPR-1), has been studied widely. Its mode of activation by peptide ligands and mechanisms of regulation serve as prototypes for understanding the function of other particulate GC. Activation of this enzyme by its ligand is a complex process requiring oligomerization, ligand binding, KHD phosphorylation and ATP binding. Gene knockout and genetic segregation studies have provided strong evidence for the importance of GC-A in the regulation of blood pressure and heart and renal functions. GC-B is the main receptor for CNP, the latter having a more paracrine role at the vascular and venous levels. The structure and regulation of GC-B is similar to that of GC-A. This chapter reviews the structure and roles of GC-A and GC-B in blood pressure regulation and cardiac and renal pathophysiology. (Mol Cell Biochem 230: 31–47, 2002)

Key words

guanylyl cyclases natriuretic peptides hypertension cardiomyopathy genetics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johanne Tremblay
    • 1
  • Richard Desjardins
    • 1
  • David Hum
    • 1
  • Jolanta Gutkowska
    • 1
  • Pavel Hamet
    • 1
  1. 1.Research CentreCentre hospitalier de l’Université de MontréalCHUM, Montreal, QuebecCanada

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