Epigenetic control of natriuretic peptides: implications for health and disease


The natriuretic peptides (NPs) family, including a class of hormones and their receptors, is largely known for its beneficial effects within the cardiovascular system to preserve regular functions and health. The concentration level of each component of the family is of crucial importance to guarantee a proper control of both systemic and local cardiovascular functions. A fine equilibrium between gene expression, protein secretion and clearance is needed to achieve the final optimal level of NPs. To this aim, the regulation of gene expression and translation plays a key role. In this regard, we know the existence of fine regulatory mechanisms, the so-called epigenetic mechanisms, which target many genes at either the promoter or the 3′UTR region to inhibit or activate their expression. The gene encoding ANP (NPPA) is regulated by histone modifications, DNA methylation, distinct microRNAs and a natural antisense transcript (NPPA-AS1) with consequent implications for both health and disease conditions. Notably, ANP modulates microRNAs on its own. Histone modifications of BNP gene (NPPB) are associated with several cardiomyopathies. The proBNP processing is regulated by miR30-GALNT1/2 axis. Among other components of the NPs family, CORIN, NPRA, NPRC and NEP may undergo epigenetic regulation. A better understanding of the epigenetic control of the NPs family will allow to gain more insights on the pathological basis of common cardiovascular diseases and to identify novel therapeutic targets. The present review article aims to discuss the major achievements obtained so far with studies on the epigenetic modulation of the NPs family.

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This work was supported by a Grant from the Italian Ministry of Health.

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Correspondence to Speranza Rubattu.

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Rubattu, S., Stanzione, R., Cotugno, M. et al. Epigenetic control of natriuretic peptides: implications for health and disease. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-020-03573-0

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  • Natriuretic peptides
  • Epigenetic
  • DNA methylation
  • Histone acetylation
  • MicroRNAs
  • Stroke