A major international review of a peptide originally found in fish that could be used in the battle against cardiovascular disease has been published.
Professor David Lambert from the University of Leicester's Department of Cardiovascular Sciences contributed to the review, which has been largely written by the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) subcommittee, to pull together the vast literature on Urotensin II (UII), a peptide first isolated from teleost fish.
UII activates a G protein-coupled receptor called UT to modulate a number of signalling pathways including intracellular Calcium. Interestingly, the peptide can constrict some blood vessels yet dilate others.
The review, which is published in the high impact journal Pharmacological Reviews, has shown that UII can modulate a vast array of biologic activities encompassing the cardiovascular system, kidneys and central nervous system.
Professor Lambert said: "We have been working on this exciting peptide for a number of years; it exhibits a very interesting pharmacological profile. Design and evaluation of small molecule drugs has potential for use in the treatment of several cardiovascular diseases."