Biochemistry, therapeutics, and biomarker implications of neprilysin in cardiorenal disease

Yang Chen, John C. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Neprilysin (NEP) is a membranebound neutral endopeptidase that degrades a variety of bioactive peptides. The substrates include natriuretic peptides (NPs), which are important regulating mediators for cardiovascular and renal biology. Inhibition of NEP activity and exogenous NP administration thus have emerged as potential therapeutic strategies for treating cardiorenal diseases. More recently, B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) or N-terminal-proBNP (NT-proBNP), 3'-5' cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), and soluble NEP as biomarkers have also been investigated in heart failure (HF) trials and their predictive value are beginning to be recognized. CONTENT: The biological functions of NEP and NPs are discussed. Enhancing NPs through NEP inhibition combined with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) antagonism has proved to be successful in HF treatment, although future surveillance studies will be required. Direct NP enhancement through peptide delivery may have fewer potentially hazardous effects compared to NEP inhibition. Strategies of combined inhibition on NEP with other cardiorenal pathophysiological pathways are promising. Finally, monitoring BNP/NT-proBNP/cGMP concentrations during NEP inhibition treatment may provide supplemental benefits to conventional biomarkers, and the identification of soluble NEP as a novel biomarker for HF needs further investigation. SUMMARY: In this review, the biology of NEP is summarized, with a focus on NP regulation. The degradation of NPs by NEP provides the rationale for NEP inhibition as a strategy for cardiorenal disease treatment. We also describe the current therapeutic strategies of NEP inhibition and NP therapeutics in cardiorenal diseases. Moreover, the discovery of its circulating form, soluble NEP, as a biomarker is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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