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CD-NP (chimeric natriuretic peptide), also known as cenderitide, is a novel natriuretic peptide developed by the Mayo Clinic as a potential treatment for heart failure.[1][2][3] CD-NP is created by the fusion of the 15 amino acid C-terminus of DNP with the full CNP structure[2] both peptide which are endogenous to humans. This peptide chimera is a dual activator of the natriuretic peptide receptors NPR-A and NPR-B and therefore exhibits the natriuretic and diuretic properties of DNP, as well as the antiproliferative and antifibrotic properties of CNP.[1][3]

Molecular problem: fibrosis[edit]

When faced with pressure overload, the heart attempts to compensate with a number of structural alterations including hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes and increase of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins.[4][5] Rapid accumulation of ECM proteins causes excessive fibrosis resulting in decreased myocardial compliance and increased myocardial stiffness.[5][6] The exact mechanisms involved in excessive fibrosis are not fully understood but there is evidence that supports involvement from local growth factors FGF-2, TGF-beta and platelet-derived growth factor.[7][8][9] TGF-β1 plays an important role in cardiac remodelling through the stimulation of fibroblast proliferation, ECM deposition and myocyte hypertrophy.[10][11][12] The increase in TGF-beta 1 expression in a pressure-overloaded heart correlates with the degree of fibrosis, suggesting TGF-beta 1 involvement in the progression from a compensated hypertrophy to failure.[13][14] Through an autocrine mechanism, TGF-beta 1 acts on fibroblasts by binding TGF-beta 1 receptors 1 and 2. Upon receptor activation, the receptor-associated transcription factor Smad becomes phosphorylated and associates with Co-Smad.[15] This newly formed Smad-Co-Smad complex enters the nucleus where it acts as a transcription factor modulating gene expression.[15] Cardiac remodelling of the ECM is also regulated by the CNP/NPR-B pathway as demonstrated by the improved outcomes in transgenic mice with CNP over-expression subjected to myocardial infarction.[16][17] Binding of CNP to NPR-B catalyzes the synthesis of cGMP, which is responsible for mediating the anti-fibrotic effects of CNP.[18] Fibrotic heart tissue is associated with an increase risk of ventricular dysfunction which can ultimately lead to heart failure.[5][19] Thus, anti-fibrotic strategies are a promising approach in the prevention and treatment of heart failure.

Molecular mechanism[edit]

As CD-NP interacts with both NRP-A and NRP-B, this drug has antifibrotic potential.[1] Binding of CD-NP to NRP-B elicits an antifibrotic response by catalyzing formation of cGMP similar to the response seen with endogenous CNP. Additionally, in vitro study of human fibroblasts demonstrates that CD-NP reduces TGF-beta 1 induced collagen production.[1][20] These two proposed mechanisms illustrate therapeutic potential for the reduction of fibrotic remodelling in the hypertensive heart. Through combined effects of CNP and DNP, CD-NP treatment results in a reduction in stress on the heart (through natriuresis/diuresis) and inhibition of pro-fibrotic, remodelling pathways.[1]


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