Proadrenomedullin N-Terminal 20 Peptide: Minimal Active Region to Regulate Nicotinic Receptors

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Proadrenomedullin N-terminal 20 peptide (PAMP-[1-20]; ARLDVASEFRKKWNKWALSR-amide) is a potent hypotensive and catecholamine release-inhibitory peptide released from chromaffin cells. We studied the mechanism of PAMP action and how its function is linked to structure. We tested human PAMP-[1-20] on catecholamine secretion in PC12 pheochromocytoma cells and found it to be a potent, dose-dependent (IC50 [almost equal to]350 nmol/L) secretory inhibitor. Inhibition was specific for nicotinic cholinergic stimulation since PAMP-[1-20] failed to inhibit release by agents that bypass the nicotinic receptor. Nicotinic cationic (22) Na+,45 Ca2+) signal transduction was disrupted by this peptide, and potencies for inhibition of22 Na+ uptake and catecholamine secretion were comparable. Even high-dose nicotine failed to overcome the inhibition, suggesting noncompetitive nicotinic antagonism. N- and C-terminal PAMP truncation peptides indicated a role for the C-terminal amide and refined the minimal active region to the C-terminal 8 amino acids (WNKWALSR-amide), a region likely to be alpha-helical. PAMP also blocked (EC50 [almost equal to]270 nmol/L) nicotinic cholinergic agonist desensitization of catecholamine release, as well as desensitization of nicotinic signal transduction (22) Na+ uptake). Thus, PAMP may exert both inhibitory and facilitatory effects on nicotinic signaling, depending on the prior state of nicotinic stimulation. PAMP may therefore contribute to a novel, autocrine, homeostatic (negative-feedback) mechanism controlling catecholamine release. (Hypertension. 1998;32:907-916.)

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