Particulate guanylyl cyclase A/cGMP signaling pathway in the kidney: Physiologic and therapeutic indications

Yang Chen, John C. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The particulate guanylyl cyclase A (pGC-A)/cGMP pathway plays important roles in regulating renal physiological function and as well as in counteracting pathophysiological conditions. Naturally occurring peptide pGC-A activators consist of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), b-type NP (BNP), and urodilatin (URO). These activators bind and activate pGC-A, generating the second messenger cyclic 3′,5′ guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Cyclic GMP binds to downstream pathway effector molecules including protein kinase G (PKG), cGMP-gated ion channels, and phosphodiesterases (PDEs). These mediators result in a variety of physiological actions in the kidney, including diuresis, natriuresis, increased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and organ protection, thus, opposing renal cellular injury and remodeling. Downstream proteins regulated by PKG include collagen 1 (Col-1), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) and apoptosis-related proteins. In addition to their physiological regulatory effects, pGC-A/cGMP signaling is critical for preserving renal homeostasis in different renal diseases such as acute kidney injury (AKI). Regarding therapeutic options, native pGC-A activators have short half-lives and their activity can be further enhanced by advances in innovative peptide engineering. Thus, novel designer peptide pGC-A activators with enhanced renal activity are under development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1006
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Acute kidney injury
  • CGMP
  • Natriuretic peptide
  • Particulate guanylyl cyclase A
  • Protein kinase G
  • Renal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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