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Endosomal proteolysis regulates calcitonin gene-related peptide responses in mesenteric arteries

McNeish, A., Roux, B. T., Aylett, S.-B., Van Den Brink, A. M. and Cottrell, G. S. ORCID: (2012) Endosomal proteolysis regulates calcitonin gene-related peptide responses in mesenteric arteries. British Journal of Pharmacology, 167 (8). pp. 1679-1690. ISSN 1476-5381

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.02129.x


Background and Purpose: Calcitonin gene‐related peptide (CGRP) is a potent vasodilator, implicated in the pathogenesis of migraine. CGRP activates a receptor complex comprising, calcitonin receptor‐like receptor (CLR) and receptor activity‐modifying protein 1 (RAMP1). In vitro studies indicate recycling of CLR•RAMP1 is regulated by degradation of CGRP in early endosomes by endothelin‐converting enzyme‐1 (ECE‐1). However, it is not known if ECE‐1 regulates the resensitization of CGRP‐induced responses in functional arterial tissue. Experimental Approach: CLR, ECE‐1a‐d and RAMP1 expression in rat mesenteric artery smooth muscle cells (RMA‐SMCs) and mesenteric arteries was analyzed by RT‐PCR and by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. CGRP‐induced signaling in cells was examined by measuring cAMP production and ERK activation. CGRP‐induced relaxation of arteries was measured by isometric wire myography. ECE‐1 was inhibited using the specific inhibitor, SM‐19712. Key Results: RMA‐SMCs and arteries contained mRNA for CLR, ECE‐1a‐d and RAMP1. ECE‐1 was present in early endosomes of RMA‐SMCs and in the smooth muscle layer of arteries. CGRP induced endothelium‐independent relaxation of arteries. ECE‐1 inhibition had no effect on initial CGRP‐induced responses but reduced cAMP generation in RMA‐SMCs and vasodilation in mesenteric arteries responses to subsequent CGRP challenges. Conclusions and Implications: ECE‐1 regulates the resensitization of responses to CGRP in RMA‐SMCs and mesenteric arteries. CGRP‐induced relaxation does not involve endothelium‐derived pathways. This is the first report of ECE‐1 regulating CGRP responses in SMCs and arteries. ECE‐1 inhibitors may attenuate an important vasodilatory pathway, implicated in primary headaches and may represent a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of migraine.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Division of Pharmacology
ID Code:28933
Publisher Statement:The definitive version is available at


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