A team of researchers found that the atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), a hormone secreted by the heart muscle, could open up new options in the treatment of high blood pressure.
By using a rat model, Danish researchers discovered that the effects of the atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) hormone on blood pressure seems to depend on a sugar molecule within the peptide. The author of the study, Professor Katrine Schjoldager, commented on the findings: "If this particular sugar is localized in the peptide, it regulates the fluid balance and blood pressure differently than in cases where the sugar is not contained".
The new study is an applied example of glycoproteome research that will help to find out how cells can use sugar molecules to "recognize" different sites on proteins.
In their investigations, Professor Schjoldager's research team carried out a "summarising glycoproteome analysis" using techniques such as mass spectrometry and adapted software. Schjoldager remarked: "Using our animal models, we recognized that peptides with and without sugar behaved differently."
The researchers believe that their findings could provide completely new insights into the regulation of blood pressure. Professor Jens Gøtze, the lead author of the study, suspects that this could mean a modern treatment for hypertension without side effects. He added that the study was the first to demonstrate how ANP can benefit blood pressure.
The researchers are currently working on a more comprehensive study of how the heart controls sugar and where it binds to ANP. Then they want to find out how the function differs in people with and without heart disease. Gøtze says: "These discoveries were only possible because we worked in an interdisciplinary way and linked theoretical research with practical research".
Hansen LH et al., Discovery of O-glycans on atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) that affect both its proteolytic degradation and potency at its cognate receptor. JBC 2019; doi: 10,1074/jbc.RA119.008102