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Article
Nature 332, 411 - 415 (31 March 1988); doi:10.1038/332411a0

A novel potent vasoconstrictor peptide produced by vascular endothelial cells

Masashi Yanagisawa, Hiroki Kurihara, Sadao Kimura, Yoko Tomobe, Mieko Kobayashi*, Youji Mitsui*, Yoshio Yazaki, Katsutoshi Goto & Tomoh Masaki§

Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan
* Fermentation Research Institute, Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan
Third Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Tokyo 113, Japan
Present address: Third Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Tokyo 113, Japan.
§ To whom correspondence should be addressed.

An endothelium-derived 21-residue vasoconstrictor peptide, endothelin, has been isolated, and shown to be one of the most potent vasoconstrictors known. Cloning and sequencing of preproendothelin complementary DNA shows that mature endothelin is generated through an unusual proteolytic processing, and regional homologies to a group of neurotoxins suggest that endothelin is an endogenous modulator of voltage-dependent ion channels. Expression of the endothelin gene is regulated by several vasoactive agents, indicating the existence of a novel cardiovascular control system.

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