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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structural and functional evolution of the natriuretic peptide system in vertebrates.

The natriuretic peptide (NP) system consists of three types of hormones [atrial NP (ANP), brain or B-type NP (BNP), and C-type NP ( CNP)] and three types of receptors [NP receptor (R)-A, NPR-B, and NPR-C]. ANP and BNP are circulating hormones secreted from the heart, whereas CNP is basically a neuropeptide. NPR-A and NPR-B are membrane-bound guanylyl cyclases, whereas NPR-C is assumed to function as a clearance-type receptor. ANP, BNP, and CNP occur commonly in all tetrapods, but ventricular NP replaces BNP in teleost fish. In elasmobranchs, only CNP is found, even in the heart, suggesting that CNP is an ancestral form. A new guanylyl cyclase-uncoupled receptor named NPR-D has been identified in the eel in addition to NPR-A, -B, and -C. The NP system plays pivotal roles in cardiovascular and body fluid homeostasis. ANP is secreted in response to an increase in blood volume and acts on various organs to decrease both water and Na+, resulting in restoration of blood volume. In the eel, however, ANP is secreted in response to an increase in plasma osmolality and decreases Na+ specifically, thereby promoting seawater adaptation. Therefore, it seems that the family of NPs were originally Na(+)-extruding hormones in fishes; however, they evolved to be volume-depleting hormones promoting the excretion of both Na+ and water in tetrapods in which both are always regulated in the same direction. Vertebrates expanded their habitats from fresh water to the sea or to land during evolution. The structure and function of osmoregulatory hormones have also undergone evolution during this ecological evolution. Thus, a comparative approach to the study of the NP family affords new insights into the essential function of this osmoregulatory hormone.[1]


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