Natriuretic peptide drug leads from snake venom

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Natriuretic peptides are body fluid volume modulators, termed natriuretic peptides due to a role in natriuresis and diuresis. The three mammalian NPs, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), brain or b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and c-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), have been extensively investigated for their use as therapeutic agents for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Although effective, short half-lives and renal side effects limit their use. In approximately 30 years of research, NPs have been discovered in many vertebrates including mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish, with plants and, more recently, bacteria also being found to possess NPs. Reptiles have produced some of the more interesting NPs, with dendroaspis natriuretic peptide (DNP), which was isolated from the venom of the green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps), having greater potency and increased stability as compared to the mammalian family members, and taipan natriuretic peptide c (TNPc), which was isolated from the venom of the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) displaying similar activity to ANP and DNP at rat natriuretic peptide receptor A. Although promising, more research is required in this field to develop therapeutics that overcome receptor-mediated clearance, and potential toxicity issues. This review investigates the use of snake venom NPs as therapeutic drug leads.

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