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Endothelins: 21-Amino-acid peptides produced by vascular endothelial cells and functioning as potent vasoconstrictors. The endothelin family consists of three members, ENDOTHELIN-1; ENDOTHELIN-2; and ENDOTHELIN-3. All three peptides contain 21 amino acids, but vary in amino acid composition. The three peptides produce vasoconstrictor and pressor responses in various parts of the body. However, the quantitative profiles of the pharmacological activities are considerably different among the three isopeptides.Endothelin-2: A 21-amino acid peptide produced predominantly within the kidney and intestine, with smaller amounts produced in the myocardium, placenta, and uterus, but the cells of origin are not clear. Endothelin-2 has no unique physiologic functions, as compared with endothelin-1. (N Eng J Med 1995;333(6):356-63)Endothelin-3: A 21-amino acid peptide that circulates in the plasma, but its source is not known. Endothelin-3 has been found in high concentrations in the brain and may regulate important functions in neurons and astrocytes, such as proliferation and development. It also is found throughout the gastrointestinal tract and in the lung and kidney. (N Eng J Med 1995;333(6):356-63)Receptors, Endothelin: Cell surface proteins that bind ENDOTHELINS with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells.Receptor, Endothelin B: A subtype of endothelin receptor found predominantly in the KIDNEY. It may play a role in reducing systemic ENDOTHELIN levels.Endothelin-1: A 21-amino acid peptide produced in a variety of tissues including endothelial and vascular smooth-muscle cells, neurons and astrocytes in the central nervous system, and endometrial cells. It acts as a modulator of vasomotor tone, cell proliferation, and hormone production. (N Eng J Med 1995;333(6):356-63)Viper Venoms: Venoms from SNAKES of the viperid family. They tend to be less toxic than elapid or hydrophid venoms and act mainly on the vascular system, interfering with coagulation and capillary membrane integrity and are highly cytotoxic. They contain large amounts of several enzymes, other factors, and some toxins.Receptor, Endothelin A: A subtype of endothelin receptor found predominantly in the VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE. It has a high affinity for ENDOTHELIN-1 and ENDOTHELIN-2.Peptides, Cyclic: Peptides whose amino and carboxy ends are linked together with a peptide bond forming a circular chain. Some of them are ANTI-INFECTIVE AGENTS. Some of them are biosynthesized non-ribosomally (PEPTIDE BIOSYNTHESIS, NON-RIBOSOMAL).Tachyphylaxis: Rapidly decreasing response to a drug or physiologically active agent after administration of a few doses. In immunology, it is the rapid immunization against the effect of toxic doses of an extract or serum by previous injection of small doses. (Dorland, 28th ed)Neprilysin: Enzyme that is a major constituent of kidney brush-border membranes and is also present to a lesser degree in the brain and other tissues. It preferentially catalyzes cleavage at the amino group of hydrophobic residues of the B-chain of insulin as well as opioid peptides and other biologically active peptides. The enzyme is inhibited primarily by EDTA, phosphoramidon, and thiorphan and is reactivated by zinc. Neprilysin is identical to common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen (CALLA Antigen), an important marker in the diagnosis of human acute lymphocytic leukemia. There is no relationship with CALLA PLANT.Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases: A sub-subclass of endopeptidases that depend on an ASPARTIC ACID residue for their activity.Sulfonamides: A group of compounds that contain the structure SO2NH2.Adrenergic Agents: Drugs that act on adrenergic receptors or affect the life cycle of adrenergic transmitters. Included here are adrenergic agonists and antagonists and agents that affect the synthesis, storage, uptake, metabolism, or release of adrenergic transmitters.Metalloendopeptidases: ENDOPEPTIDASES which use a metal such as ZINC in the catalytic mechanism.Vasoconstrictor Agents: Drugs used to cause constriction of the blood vessels.PyrrolidinesPiperidines: A family of hexahydropyridines.Polymethacrylic Acids: Poly-2-methylpropenoic acids. Used in the manufacture of methacrylate resins and plastics in the form of pellets and granules, as absorbent for biological materials and as filters; also as biological membranes and as hydrogens. Synonyms: methylacrylate polymer; poly(methylacrylate); acrylic acid methyl ester polymer.Glycopeptides: Proteins which contain carbohydrate groups attached covalently to the polypeptide chain. The protein moiety is the predominant group with the carbohydrate making up only a small percentage of the total weight.Oligopeptides: Peptides composed of between two and twelve amino acids.Vasoconstriction: The physiological narrowing of BLOOD VESSELS by contraction of the VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE.Thermolysin: A thermostable extracellular metalloendopeptidase containing four calcium ions. (Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) 3.4.24.27.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Endothelium, Vascular: Single pavement layer of cells which line the luminal surface of the entire vascular system and regulate the transport of macromolecules and blood components.Protein PrecursorsRats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Muscle Contraction: A process leading to shortening and/or development of tension in muscle tissue. Muscle contraction occurs by a sliding filament mechanism whereby actin filaments slide inward among the myosin filaments.Muscle, Smooth: Unstriated and unstriped muscle, one of the muscles of the internal organs, blood vessels, hair follicles, etc. Contractile elements are elongated, usually spindle-shaped cells with centrally located nuclei. Smooth muscle fibers are bound together into sheets or bundles by reticular fibers and frequently elastic nets are also abundant. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Nitric Oxide: A free radical gas produced endogenously by a variety of mammalian cells, synthesized from ARGININE by NITRIC OXIDE SYNTHASE. Nitric oxide is one of the ENDOTHELIUM-DEPENDENT RELAXING FACTORS released by the vascular endothelium and mediates VASODILATION. It also inhibits platelet aggregation, induces disaggregation of aggregated platelets, and inhibits platelet adhesion to the vascular endothelium. Nitric oxide activates cytosolic GUANYLATE CYCLASE and thus elevates intracellular levels of CYCLIC GMP.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Peptides: Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Binding, Competitive: The interaction of two or more substrates or ligands with the same binding site. The displacement of one by the other is used in quantitative and selective affinity measurements.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid: Liquid chromatographic techniques which feature high inlet pressures, high sensitivity, and high speed.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Blood Pressure: PRESSURE of the BLOOD on the ARTERIES and other BLOOD VESSELS.