B-Type Natriuretic Peptide: From Posttranslational Processing to Clinical Measurement

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BACKGROUND:Plasma cardiac natriuretic peptides and peptide fragments from their molecular precursors are markers of heart disease. Clinical studies have defined the current diagnostic utility of these markers, whereas biochemical elucidation of peptide structure and posttranslational processing has revealed new plasma peptide forms of potential clinical use.CONTENT:Natriuretic propeptide structures undergo variable degrees of endo- and exoproteolytic cleavages as well as amino acid modifications, which leave the plasma phase of the peptides highly heterogeneous and dependent on cardiac pathophysiology and capacity. An ongoing characterization of the molecular heterogeneity may not only help us to appreciate the biosynthetic capacity of the endocrine heart but may also lead to the discovery of new and more disease-specific targets for future molecular diagnosis.SUMMARY:Peptides derived from pro-atrial natriuretic peptide and pro-B-type natriuretic peptide are useful plasma markers in heart failure. New data have defined cardiac myocytes as competent endocrine cells in posttranslational processing and cellular secretion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Chemistry (Washington, DC)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


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