Design, synthesis, and actions of an innovative bispecific designer peptide: NPA7

Laura M.G. Meems, Ingrid A. Andersen, Shuchong Pan, Gail Harty, Yang Chen, Ye Zheng, Gerald E. Harders, Tomoki Ichiki, Denise M. Heublein, Seethalakshmi R. Iyer, S. Jeson Sangaralingham, Daniel J. McCormick, John C. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Despite optimal current therapies, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause for death worldwide. Importantly, advances in peptide engineering have accelerated the development of innovative therapeutics for diverse human disease states. Additionally, the advancement of bispecific therapeutics targeting >1 signaling pathway represents a highly innovative strategy for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. We, therefore, engineered a novel, designer peptide, which simultaneously targets the pGC-A (particulate guanylyl cyclase A) receptor and the MasR (Mas receptor), potentially representing an attractive cardiorenoprotective therapeutic for cardiovascular disease. We engineered a novel, bispecific receptor activator, NPA7, that represents the fusion of a 22-amino acid sequence of BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide; an endogenous ligand of pGC-A) with Ang 1-7 (angiotensin 1-7)-the 7-amino acid endogenous activator of MasR. We assessed NPA7's dual receptor activating actions in vitro (second messenger production and receptor interaction). Further, we performed an intravenous peptide infusion comparison study in normal canines to study its biological actions in vivo, including in the presence of an MasR antagonist. Our in vivo and in vitro studies demonstrate the successful synthesis of NPA7 as a bispecific receptor activator targeting pGC-A and MasR. In normal canines, NPA7 possesses enhanced natriuretic, diuretic, systemic, and renal vasorelaxing and cardiac unloading properties. Importantly, NPA7's actions are superior to that of the individual native pGC-A or MasR ligands. These studies advance NPA7 as a novel, bispecific designer peptide with potential cardiorenal therapeutic benefit for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension and heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-909
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Angiotensin 1-7
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Designer peptide
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Mas receptor
  • Natriuretic peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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