JOURNAL ARTICLE

Adrenomedullin and CGRP interact with endogenous calcitonin-receptor-like receptor in endothelial cells and induce its desensitisation by different mechanisms

Leonid L Nikitenko, Nicola Blucher, Stephen B Fox, Roy Bicknell, David M Smith, Margaret C P Rees
Journal of Cell Science 2006 March 1, 119: 910-22
16495482
Adrenomedullin (AM) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are related peptides with distinct pharmacological profiles. Calcitonin-receptor-like receptor (CRLR, now known as CL) can function as either an AM receptor or a CGRP receptor, when cotransfected with receptor-activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs) that define ligand-binding specificity. The aim of the present study was to determine the role of endogenously expressed CL (EndoCL) in generating endogenous AM and CGRP receptors. We raised anti-human CL antibody and identified microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs) as a major CL-expressing cell type in tissues by immunohistochemistry. Cultured MVECs continue to express EndoCL as well as fully active endogenous AM- and CGRP-sensitive receptors in vitro, as demonstrated by the ability of both peptides to induce migration and Akt phosphorylation. We therefore tested the hypothesis that endothelial EndoCL can interact with both AM and CGRP by examining receptor internalisation and desensitisation (loss of the ability to induce Akt phosphorylation). We found that agonist-mediated internalisation of EndoCL occurs in response to AM but not CGRP in MVECs. However, AM-induced EndoCL internalisation was blocked by antagonists of both AM and CGRP receptors: AM(22-52) and CGRP(8-37), respectively. Furthermore, AM-induced EndoCL internalisation resulted in desensitisation not only of AM but also of CGRP receptors. Finally, CGRP also induced desensitisation of both endogenous AM and CGRP receptors, but did not mediate EndoCL internalisation despite interaction with this receptor. Thus, EndoCL interacts with both AM and CGRP, and simultaneously acts as a receptor for both peptides (i.e acting as an endogenous AM/CGRP receptor) in endothelial cells. Interaction with either ligand is sufficient to induce EndoCL desensitisation to both AM and CGRP, but differential mechanisms are involved since only AM induces EndoCL internalisation. These novel findings regarding regulation of EndoCL function in endothelial cells are likely to be of importance in conditions where AM or CGRP levels are elevated, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and inflammation.

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