Adrenomedullin (ADM) is a 52-amino acid multifunctional peptide, which belongs to the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) superfamily of vasoactive peptide hormones. ADM exhibits a significant vasodilatory potential and plays a key role in various regulatory mechanisms, predominantly in the cardiovascular and lymphatic system. It exerts its effects by activation of the calcitonin receptor-like receptor associated with one of the receptor activity-modifying proteins 2 or 3. ADM was first isolated from human phaeochromocytoma in 1993. Numerous studies revealed a widespread distribution in various tissues and organs, which is reflected by its multiple physiological roles in health and disease. Because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and proliferative properties, ADM exhibits potent protective functions under diverse pathological conditions, but it is also critically involved in tumor progression. ADM has therefore raised great interest in therapeutic applications and several clinical trials already revealed promising results. However, because the receptor activation mode has not yet been fully elucidated, a rational design of potent and selective ligands is still challenging. Detailed information on the binding mode of ADM from a recently reported crystal structure as well as efforts to improve its plasma stability and bioavailability may help to overcome these limitations in the future. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Adrenomedullin belongs to the calcitonin gene-related peptide superfamily and plays an important role in various regulatory mechanisms. Although it is of great interest in therapeutic applications, the receptor activation mode is not fully understood, and thus, the rational design of potent and selective ligands is still challenging. Recent information on the binding mode of adrenomedullin and efforts to improve plasma stability and bioavailability may help to overcome these limitations.