proadrenomedullin-derived peptides as autocrine-paracrine regulators of cell growth


  • Gastone G. Nussdorfer
  • A. S. Belloni
  • G. Albertin
  • M. L. Forneris


adrenomedullin, proadrenomedullin N-terminal 20 peptide, Cell proliferation, apoptosis, neoplastic growth, organogenesis


Proadrenomedullin (pADM)-derived peptides, adrenomedullin (ADM) and pADM N-terminal 20 peptide (PAMP), are hypotensive peptides, which are expressed, along with their receptors, in several tissues and organs, the function of which they regulate by acting in an autocrine-paracrine manner. Apart from their involvement in the regulation of blood pressure and fluid and electrolyte homeostasis, pADM-derived peptides appear to play a role in the modulation of cell and tissue growth. Evidence has been provided that ADM: 1) favors the remodeling of cardiovascular system under pathological conditions, by exerting an antiapoptotic effect on endothelial cells and an antiproliferogenic and antimigratory action on vascular smooth-muscle cells during neointimal hyperplasia, and by decreasing proliferation and protein synthesis of cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts. These last two effects are mediated by calcitonin gene-related peptide type 1 (CGRPl) receptors coupled to the adenylate cyclase (AC)/protein kinase (PK) A-dependent cascade; 2) inhibits proliferation and enhances apoptosis of kidney mesangial cells, through the modulation of mitogenactivated PK (MAPK) cascades; 3) stimulates proliferation of adrenal zona glomerulosa cells, acting via CGRPl receptor coupled to the tyrosine kinasedependent MAPK cascade, thereby possibly being involved in the maintenance and stimulation of adrenal growth; 4) enhances proliferation of skin and mucosa epithelia1 cells and fibroblasts, by activating CGRPl receptor coupled to the ACIPKA signaling pathway; and 5) enhances proliferation of several tumor-cell lines through the activation of the ACIPKA cascade, which suggests a potential role for ADM as promoter of neoplastic growth. The growth effects of PAMP have been far less investigated: findings indicate that this peptide, like ADM, enhances adrenal zona glomerulosacell proliferation, and, in contrast with ADM, depresses DNA synthesis in some cancer-cell lines. Both pADMderived peptides are thought to be involved in embryogenesis, such a contention being based on the demonstration of high pADM-gene expression during the crucial phases of organ growth and differentiation.