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Endocrinology. 2005 Nov;146(11):4968-74. Epub 2005 Aug 18.

C-type natriuretic Peptide down-regulates expression of its cognate receptor in rat aortic smooth muscle cells.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Diabetes Center, 1109 HSW, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0540, USA.


The C-type natriuretic (CNP) peptide signals through the type B natriuretic peptide receptor (NPR-B) in vascular smooth muscle cells to activate the particulate guanylyl cyclase activity intrinsic to that receptor and raise cellular cyclic GMP levels. In the present study, we demonstrate that CNP down-regulates the expression of this receptor leading to a reduction in NPR-B activity. Pretreatment of rat aortic smooth muscle cells with CNP reduces NPR-B activity, NPR-B protein levels, NPR2 (NPR-B gene) mRNA levels, and NPR2 promoter activity. The decrease in NPR2 promoter activity is dependent on DNA sequence present between -441 and -134 relative to the transcription start site. The reduction in NPR2 gene expression appears to operate through generation of cyclic GMP. 8-Bromo cyclic GMP, a membrane-permeable cyclic GMP analog, reduced NPR2 mRNA levels and NPR2 promoter activity. Atrial natriuretic peptide, which signals through the type A natriuretic peptide receptor (NPR-A) to increase cyclic GMP levels in these cells, also reduced NPR-B mRNA levels and inhibited NPR-B promoter activity; however, this inhibition was not additive with that produced by CNP, implying that the two ligands traffic over a common signal transduction pathway. This report provides the first documentation that CNP is capable of autoregulating the expression of its cognate receptor.

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