Bradykinin: A nonapeptide messenger that is enzymatically produced from KALLIDIN in the blood where it is a potent but short-lived agent of arteriolar dilation and increased capillary permeability. Bradykinin is also released from MAST CELLS during asthma attacks, from gut walls as a gastrointestinal vasodilator, from damaged tissues as a pain signal, and may be a neurotransmitter.Receptors, Bradykinin: Cell surface receptors that bind BRADYKININ and related KININS with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. The identified receptor types (B-1 and B-2, or BK-1 and BK-2) recognize endogenous KALLIDIN; t-kinins; and certain bradykinin fragments as well as bradykinin itself.Receptor, Bradykinin B2: A constitutively expressed subtype of bradykinin receptor that may play a role in the acute phase of the inflammatory and pain response. It has high specificity for intact forms of BRADYKININ and KALLIDIN. The receptor is coupled to G-PROTEIN, GQ-G11 ALPHA FAMILY and G-PROTEIN, GI-GO ALPHA FAMILY signaling proteins.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.Receptor, Bradykinin B1: A subtype of BRADYKININ RECEPTOR that is induced in response to INFLAMMATION. It may play a role in chronic inflammation and has a high specificity for KININS lacking the C-terminal ARGININE such as des-Arg(10)-kallidin and des-Arg(9)-bradykinin. The receptor is coupled to G-PROTEIN, GQ-G11 ALPHA FAMILY and G-PROTEIN, GI-GO ALPHA FAMILY signaling proteins.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Peptide Library: A collection of cloned peptides, or chemically synthesized peptides, frequently consisting of all possible combinations of amino acids making up an n-amino acid peptide.Kallidin: A decapeptide bradykinin homolog cleaved from kininogen by kallikreins. It is a smooth-muscle stimulant and hypotensive agent that acts by vasodilatation.Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides: Small cationic peptides that are an important component, in most species, of early innate and induced defenses against invading microbes. In animals they are found on mucosal surfaces, within phagocytic granules, and on the surface of the body. They are also found in insects and plants. Among others, this group includes the DEFENSINS, protegrins, tachyplesins, and thionins. They displace DIVALENT CATIONS from phosphate groups of MEMBRANE LIPIDS leading to disruption of the membrane.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).Kinins: A generic term used to describe a group of polypeptides with related chemical structures and pharmacological properties that are widely distributed in nature. These peptides are AUTACOIDS that act locally to produce pain, vasodilatation, increased vascular permeability, and the synthesis of prostaglandins. Thus, they comprise a subset of the large number of mediators that contribute to the inflammatory response. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacologic Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p588)Oligopeptides: Peptides composed of between two and twelve amino acids.Peptide Mapping: Analysis of PEPTIDES that are generated from the digestion or fragmentation of a protein or mixture of PROTEINS, by ELECTROPHORESIS; CHROMATOGRAPHY; or MASS SPECTROMETRY. The resulting peptide fingerprints are analyzed for a variety of purposes including the identification of the proteins in a sample, GENETIC POLYMORPHISMS, patterns of gene expression, and patterns diagnostic for diseases.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.Kallikrein-Kinin System: A system of metabolic interactions by products produced in the distal nephron of the KIDNEY. These products include KALLIKREIN; KININS; KININASE I; KININASE II; and ENKEPHALINASE. This system participates in the control of renal functions. It interacts with the RENIN-ANGIOTENSIN-ALDOSTERONE SYSTEM to regulate BLOOD PRESSURE, generation of PROSTAGLANDINS, release of VASOPRESSINS, and WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide: Calcitonin gene-related peptide. A 37-amino acid peptide derived from the calcitonin gene. It occurs as a result of alternative processing of mRNA from the calcitonin gene. The neuropeptide is widely distributed in neural tissue of the brain, gut, perivascular nerves, and other tissue. The peptide produces multiple biological effects and has both circulatory and neurotransmitter modes of action. In particular, it is a potent endogenous vasodilator.Natriuretic Peptide, Brain: A PEPTIDE that is secreted by the BRAIN and the HEART ATRIA, stored mainly in cardiac ventricular MYOCARDIUM. It can cause NATRIURESIS; DIURESIS; VASODILATION; and inhibits secretion of RENIN and ALDOSTERONE. It improves heart function. It contains 32 AMINO ACIDS.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.Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide: A highly basic, 28 amino acid neuropeptide released from intestinal mucosa. It has a wide range of biological actions affecting the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems and is neuroprotective. It binds special receptors (RECEPTORS, VASOACTIVE INTESTINAL PEPTIDE).Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors: A class of drugs whose main indications are the treatment of hypertension and heart failure. They exert their hemodynamic effect mainly by inhibiting the renin-angiotensin system. They also modulate sympathetic nervous system activity and increase prostaglandin synthesis. They cause mainly vasodilation and mild natriuresis without affecting heart rate and contractility.Receptors, Neurotransmitter: Cell surface receptors that bind signalling molecules released by neurons and convert these signals into intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Neurotransmitter is used here in its most general sense, including not only messengers that act to regulate ion channels, but also those which act on second messenger systems and those which may act at a distance from their release sites. Included are receptors for neuromodulators, neuroregulators, neuromediators, and neurohumors, whether or not located at synapses.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Kininogens: Endogenous peptides present in most body fluids. Certain enzymes convert them to active KININS which are involved in inflammation, blood clotting, complement reactions, etc. Kininogens belong to the cystatin superfamily. They are cysteine proteinase inhibitors. HIGH-MOLECULAR-WEIGHT KININOGEN; (HMWK); is split by plasma kallikrein to produce BRADYKININ. LOW-MOLECULAR-WEIGHT KININOGEN; (LMWK); is split by tissue kallikrein to produce KALLIDIN.Cell-Penetrating Peptides: Peptides that have the ability to enter cells by crossing the plasma membrane directly, or through uptake by the endocytotic pathway.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.Indomethacin: A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent (NSAID) that inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase necessary for the formation of prostaglandins and other autacoids. It also inhibits the motility of polymorphonuclear leukocytes.Kallikreins: Proteolytic enzymes from the serine endopeptidase family found in normal blood and urine. Specifically, Kallikreins are potent vasodilators and hypotensives and increase vascular permeability and affect smooth muscle. They act as infertility agents in men. Three forms are recognized, PLASMA KALLIKREIN (EC 18.104.22.168), TISSUE KALLIKREIN (EC 22.214.171.124), and PROSTATE-SPECIFIC ANTIGEN (EC 126.96.36.199).Lysine Carboxypeptidase: A metallocarboxypeptidase that removes C-terminal basic amino acid from peptides and proteins, with preference shown for lysine over arginine. It is a plasma zinc enzyme that inactivates bradykinin and anaphylatoxins.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Peptide Biosynthesis: The production of PEPTIDES or PROTEINS by the constituents of a living organism. The biosynthesis of proteins on RIBOSOMES following an RNA template is termed translation (TRANSLATION, GENETIC). There are other, non-ribosomal peptide biosynthesis (PEPTIDE BIOSYNTHESIS, NUCLEIC ACID-INDEPENDENT) mechanisms carried out by PEPTIDE SYNTHASES and PEPTIDYLTRANSFERASES. Further modifications of peptide chains yield functional peptide and protein molecules.Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid: Liquid chromatographic techniques which feature high inlet pressures, high sensitivity, and high speed.Peptide YY: A 36-amino acid peptide produced by the L cells of the distal small intestine and colon. Peptide YY inhibits gastric and pancreatic secretion.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Peptide Nucleic Acids: DNA analogs containing neutral amide backbone linkages composed of aminoethyl glycine units instead of the usual phosphodiester linkage of deoxyribose groups. Peptide nucleic acids have high biological stability and higher affinity for complementary DNA or RNA sequences than analogous DNA oligomers.Protein Conformation: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type: A PEPTIDE of 22 amino acids, derived mainly from cells of VASCULAR ENDOTHELIUM. It is also found in the BRAIN, major endocrine glands, and other tissues. It shares structural homology with ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR. It has vasorelaxant activity thus is important in the regulation of vascular tone and blood flow. Several high molecular weight forms containing the 22 amino acids have been identified.Vasodilation: The physiological widening of BLOOD VESSELS by relaxing the underlying VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.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.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.Natriuretic Peptides: Peptides that regulate the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE in the body, also known as natriuretic peptide hormones. Several have been sequenced (ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR; BRAIN NATRIURETIC PEPTIDE; C-TYPE NATRIURETIC PEPTIDE).Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A: A peptidyl-dipeptidase that catalyzes the release of a C-terminal dipeptide, -Xaa-*-Xbb-Xcc, when neither Xaa nor Xbb is Pro. It is a Cl(-)-dependent, zinc glycoprotein that is generally membrane-bound and active at neutral pH. It may also have endopeptidase activity on some substrates. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 188.8.131.52.Captopril: A potent and specific inhibitor of PEPTIDYL-DIPEPTIDASE A. It blocks the conversion of ANGIOTENSIN I to ANGIOTENSIN II, a vasoconstrictor and important regulator of arterial blood pressure. Captopril acts to suppress the RENIN-ANGIOTENSIN SYSTEM and inhibits pressure responses to exogenous angiotensin.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Peptide Hydrolases: Hydrolases that specifically cleave the peptide bonds found in PROTEINS and PEPTIDES. Examples of sub-subclasses for this group include EXOPEPTIDASES and ENDOPEPTIDASES.Atrial Natriuretic Factor: A potent natriuretic and vasodilatory peptide or mixture of different-sized low molecular weight PEPTIDES derived from a common precursor and secreted mainly by the HEART ATRIUM. All these peptides share a sequence of about 20 AMINO ACIDS.Protein Structure, Secondary: The level of protein structure in which regular hydrogen-bond interactions within contiguous stretches of polypeptide chain give rise to alpha helices, beta strands (which align to form beta sheets) or other types of coils. This is the first folding level of protein conformation.Substance P: An eleven-amino acid neurotransmitter that appears in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is involved in transmission of PAIN, causes rapid contractions of the gastrointestinal smooth muscle, and modulates inflammatory and immune responses.Structure-Activity Relationship: The relationship between the chemical structure of a compound and its biological or pharmacological activity. Compounds are often classed together because they have structural characteristics in common including shape, size, stereochemical arrangement, and distribution of functional groups.Gastrin-Releasing Peptide: Neuropeptide and gut hormone that helps regulate GASTRIC ACID secretion and motor function. Once released from nerves in the antrum of the STOMACH, the neuropeptide stimulates release of GASTRIN from the GASTRIN-SECRETING CELLS.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Receptors, Formyl Peptide: A family of G-protein-coupled receptors that was originally identified by its ability to bind N-formyl peptides such as N-FORMYLMETHIONINE LEUCYL-PHENYLALANINE. Since N-formyl peptides are found in MITOCHONDRIA and BACTERIA, this class of receptors is believed to play a role in mediating cellular responses to cellular damage and bacterial invasion. However, non-formylated peptide ligands have also been found for this receptor class.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Peptide PHI: A 27-amino acid peptide with histidine at the N-terminal and isoleucine amide at the C-terminal. The exact amino acid composition of the peptide is species dependent. The peptide is secreted in the intestine, but is found in the nervous system, many organs, and in the majority of peripheral tissues. It has a wide range of biological actions, affecting the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Peptide Synthases: Ligases that catalyze the joining of adjacent AMINO ACIDS by the formation of carbon-nitrogen bonds between their carboxylic acid groups and amine groups.Histamine: An amine derived by enzymatic decarboxylation of HISTIDINE. It is a powerful stimulant of gastric secretion, a constrictor of bronchial smooth muscle, a vasodilator, and also a centrally acting neurotransmitter.Receptors, Peptide: Cell surface receptors that bind peptide messengers with high affinity and regulate intracellular signals which influence the behavior of cells.Mass Spectrometry: An analytical method used in determining the identity of a chemical based on its mass using mass analyzers/mass spectrometers.Epitopes: Sites on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.Vasodilator Agents: Drugs used to cause dilation of the blood vessels.Protein PrecursorsEnalaprilat: The active metabolite of ENALAPRIL and a potent intravenously administered angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. It is an effective agent for the treatment of essential hypertension and has beneficial hemodynamic effects in heart failure. The drug produces renal vasodilation with an increase in sodium excretion.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.Trypsin: A serine endopeptidase that is formed from TRYPSINOGEN in the pancreas. It is converted into its active form by ENTEROPEPTIDASE in the small intestine. It catalyzes hydrolysis of the carboxyl group of either arginine or lysine. EC 184.108.40.206.Amino Acids: Organic compounds that generally contain an amino (-NH2) and a carboxyl (-COOH) group. Twenty alpha-amino acids are the subunits which are polymerized to form proteins.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Angiotensin I: A decapeptide that is cleaved from precursor angiotensinogen by RENIN. Angiotensin I has limited biological activity. It is converted to angiotensin II, a potent vasoconstrictor, after the removal of two amino acids at the C-terminal by ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Guinea Pigs: A common name used for the genus Cavia. The most common species is Cavia porcellus which is the domesticated guinea pig used for pets and biomedical research.Ramipril: A long-acting angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. It is a prodrug that is transformed in the liver to its active metabolite ramiprilat.Substrate Specificity: A characteristic feature of enzyme activity in relation to the kind of substrate on which the enzyme or catalytic molecule reacts.Capillary Permeability: The property of blood capillary ENDOTHELIUM that allows for the selective exchange of substances between the blood and surrounding tissues and through membranous barriers such as the BLOOD-AIR BARRIER; BLOOD-AQUEOUS BARRIER; BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER; BLOOD-NERVE BARRIER; BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER; and BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER. Small lipid-soluble molecules such as carbon dioxide and oxygen move freely by diffusion. Water and water-soluble molecules cannot pass through the endothelial walls and are dependent on microscopic pores. These pores show narrow areas (TIGHT JUNCTIONS) which may limit large molecule movement.Hydrolysis: The process of cleaving a chemical compound by the addition of a molecule of water.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Angiotensin II: An octapeptide that is a potent but labile vasoconstrictor. It is produced from angiotensin I after the removal of two amino acids at the C-terminal by ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME. The amino acid in position 5 varies in different species. To block VASOCONSTRICTION and HYPERTENSION effect of angiotensin II, patients are often treated with ACE INHIBITORS or with ANGIOTENSIN II TYPE 1 RECEPTOR BLOCKERS.Enzyme Inhibitors: Compounds or agents that combine with an enzyme in such a manner as to prevent the normal substrate-enzyme combination and the catalytic reaction.Arginine: An essential amino acid that is physiologically active in the L-form.Rats, 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.Blood Pressure: PRESSURE of the BLOOD on the ARTERIES and other BLOOD VESSELS.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.Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)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.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Prostaglandins: A group of compounds derived from unsaturated 20-carbon fatty acids, primarily arachidonic acid, via the cyclooxygenase pathway. They are extremely potent mediators of a diverse group of physiological processes.Opioid Peptides: The endogenous peptides with opiate-like activity. The three major classes currently recognized are the ENKEPHALINS, the DYNORPHINS, and the ENDORPHINS. Each of these families derives from different precursors, proenkephalin, prodynorphin, and PRO-OPIOMELANOCORTIN, respectively. There are also at least three classes of OPIOID RECEPTORS, but the peptide families do not map to the receptors in a simple way.Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins: Proteins and peptides that are involved in SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION within the cell. Included here are peptides and proteins that regulate the activity of TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS and cellular processes in response to signals from CELL SURFACE RECEPTORS. Intracellular signaling peptide and proteins may be part of an enzymatic signaling cascade or act through binding to and modifying the action of other signaling factors.Peptide Hormones: Hormones synthesized from amino acids. They are distinguished from INTERCELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS in that their actions are systemic.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.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.NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester: A non-selective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase. It has been used experimentally to induce hypertension.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)Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Molecular Mimicry: The structure of one molecule that imitates or simulates the structure of a different molecule.Cyclic GMP: Guanosine cyclic 3',5'-(hydrogen phosphate). A guanine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to the sugar moiety in both the 3'- and 5'-positions. It is a cellular regulatory agent and has been described as a second messenger. Its levels increase in response to a variety of hormones, including acetylcholine, insulin, and oxytocin and it has been found to activate specific protein kinases. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Nitroprusside: A powerful vasodilator used in emergencies to lower blood pressure or to improve cardiac function. It is also an indicator for free sulfhydryl groups in proteins.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization: A mass spectrometric technique that is used for the analysis of large biomolecules. Analyte molecules are embedded in an excess matrix of small organic molecules that show a high resonant absorption at the laser wavelength used. The matrix absorbs the laser energy, thus inducing a soft disintegration of the sample-matrix mixture into free (gas phase) matrix and analyte molecules and molecular ions. In general, only molecular ions of the analyte molecules are produced, and almost no fragmentation occurs. This makes the method well suited for molecular weight determinations and mixture analysis.Thiorphan: A potent inhibitor of membrane metalloendopeptidase (ENKEPHALINASE). Thiorphan potentiates morphine-induced ANALGESIA and attenuates naloxone-precipitated withdrawal symptoms.Coronary Vessels: The veins and arteries of the HEART.Proteins: Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.Capsaicin: An alkylamide found in CAPSICUM that acts at TRPV CATION CHANNELS.Nitroarginine: An inhibitor of nitric oxide synthetase which has been shown to prevent glutamate toxicity. Nitroarginine has been experimentally tested for its ability to prevent ammonia toxicity and ammonia-induced alterations in brain energy and ammonia metabolites. (Neurochem Res 1995:200(4):451-6)Kininogen, High-Molecular-Weight: A plasma protein, molecular weight of 110 kD, that normally exists in plasma in a 1:1 complex with PREKALLIKREIN. HMWK is split by plasma kallikrein to produce BRADYKININ. The complex is a cofactor in the activation of coagulation factor XII. The product of this reaction, XIIa, in turn activates prekallikrein to KALLIKREINS. (From Stedman, 26th ed)Melitten: Basic polypeptide from the venom of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). It contains 26 amino acids, has cytolytic properties, causes contracture of muscle, releases histamine, and disrupts surface tension, probably due to lysis of cell and mitochondrial membranes.Biological Factors: Endogenously-synthesized compounds that influence biological processes not otherwise classified under ENZYMES; HORMONES or HORMONE ANTAGONISTS.Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.Edema: Abnormal fluid accumulation in TISSUES or body cavities. Most cases of edema are present under the SKIN in SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE.Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Spectroscopic method of measuring the magnetic moment of elementary particles such as atomic nuclei, protons or electrons. It is employed in clinical applications such as NMR Tomography (MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING).Protease Inhibitors: Compounds which inhibit or antagonize biosynthesis or actions of proteases (ENDOPEPTIDASES).Recombinant Fusion Proteins: Recombinant proteins produced by the GENETIC TRANSLATION of fused genes formed by the combination of NUCLEIC ACID REGULATORY SEQUENCES of one or more genes with the protein coding sequences of one or more genes.Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter found at neuromuscular junctions, autonomic ganglia, parasympathetic effector junctions, a subset of sympathetic effector junctions, and at many sites in the central nervous system.Bombesin: A tetradecapeptide originally obtained from the skins of toads Bombina bombina and B. variegata. It is also an endogenous neurotransmitter in many animals including mammals. Bombesin affects vascular and other smooth muscle, gastric secretion, and renal circulation and function.Epoprostenol: A prostaglandin that is a powerful vasodilator and inhibits platelet aggregation. It is biosynthesized enzymatically from PROSTAGLANDIN ENDOPEROXIDES in human vascular tissue. The sodium salt has been also used to treat primary pulmonary hypertension (HYPERTENSION, PULMONARY).Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors: Compounds or agents that combine with cyclooxygenase (PROSTAGLANDIN-ENDOPEROXIDE SYNTHASES) and thereby prevent its substrate-enzyme combination with arachidonic acid and the formation of eicosanoids, prostaglandins, and thromboxanes.Glucagon-Like Peptide 1: A peptide of 36 or 37 amino acids that is derived from PROGLUCAGON and mainly produced by the INTESTINAL L CELLS. GLP-1(1-37 or 1-36) is further N-terminally truncated resulting in GLP-1(7-37) or GLP-1-(7-36) which can be amidated. These GLP-1 peptides are known to enhance glucose-dependent INSULIN release, suppress GLUCAGON release and gastric emptying, lower BLOOD GLUCOSE, and reduce food intake.Escherichia coli: A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.Aptamers, Peptide: Peptide sequences, generated by iterative rounds of SELEX APTAMER TECHNIQUE, that bind to a target molecule specifically and with high affinity.Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.Inositol Phosphates: Phosphoric acid esters of inositol. They include mono- and polyphosphoric acid esters, with the exception of inositol hexaphosphate which is PHYTIC ACID.Nitric Oxide Synthase: An NADPH-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-ARGININE and OXYGEN to produce CITRULLINE and NITRIC OXIDE.Dinoprostone: The most common and most biologically active of the mammalian prostaglandins. It exhibits most biological activities characteristic of prostaglandins and has been used extensively as an oxytocic agent. The compound also displays a protective effect on the intestinal mucosa.Dipeptides: Peptides composed of two amino acid units.Receptors, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide: Cell surface proteins that bind VASOACTIVE INTESTINAL PEPTIDE; (VIP); with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells.Mice, Inbred C57BLTetrahydroisoquinolines: A group of ISOQUINOLINES in which the nitrogen containing ring is protonated. They derive from the non-enzymatic Pictet-Spengler condensation of CATECHOLAMINES with ALDEHYDES.Sequence Alignment: The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.Receptors, Atrial Natriuretic Factor: Cell surface proteins that bind ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. They contain intrinsic guanylyl cyclase activity.Amphibian Proteins: Proteins obtained from species in the class of AMPHIBIANS.Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte: Antigenic determinants recognized and bound by the T-cell receptor. Epitopes recognized by the T-cell receptor are often located in the inner, unexposed side of the antigen, and become accessible to the T-cell receptors after proteolytic processing of the antigen.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.Enzyme Activation: Conversion of an inactive form of an enzyme to one possessing metabolic activity. It includes 1, activation by ions (activators); 2, activation by cofactors (coenzymes); and 3, conversion of an enzyme precursor (proenzyme or zymogen) to an active enzyme.Salivary Proteins and Peptides: Proteins and peptides found in SALIVA and the SALIVARY GLANDS. Some salivary proteins such as ALPHA-AMYLASES are enzymes, but their composition varies in different individuals.Amyloid beta-Peptides: Peptides generated from AMYLOID BETA-PEPTIDES PRECURSOR. An amyloid fibrillar form of these peptides is the major component of amyloid plaques found in individuals with Alzheimer's disease and in aged individuals with trisomy 21 (DOWN SYNDROME). The peptide is found predominantly in the nervous system, but there have been reports of its presence in non-neural tissue.Aminopeptidases: A subclass of EXOPEPTIDASES that act on the free N terminus end of a polypeptide liberating a single amino acid residue. EC 3.4.11.Prostaglandins E: (11 alpha,13E,15S)-11,15-Dihydroxy-9-oxoprost-13-en-1-oic acid (PGE(1)); (5Z,11 alpha,13E,15S)-11,15-dihydroxy-9-oxoprosta-5,13-dien-1-oic acid (PGE(2)); and (5Z,11 alpha,13E,15S,17Z)-11,15-dihydroxy-9-oxoprosta-5,13,17-trien-1-oic acid (PGE(3)). Three of the six naturally occurring prostaglandins. They are considered primary in that no one is derived from another in living organisms. Originally isolated from sheep seminal fluid and vesicles, they are found in many organs and tissues and play a major role in mediating various physiological activities.Protein Processing, Post-Translational: Any of various enzymatically catalyzed post-translational modifications of PEPTIDES or PROTEINS in the cell of origin. These modifications include carboxylation; HYDROXYLATION; ACETYLATION; PHOSPHORYLATION; METHYLATION; GLYCOSYLATION; ubiquitination; oxidation; proteolysis; and crosslinking and result in changes in molecular weight and electrophoretic motility.Trachea: The cartilaginous and membranous tube descending from the larynx and branching into the right and left main bronchi.Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.Hydrogen-Ion Concentration: The normality of a solution with respect to HYDROGEN ions; H+. It is related to acidity measurements in most cases by pH = log 1/2[1/(H+)], where (H+) is the hydrogen ion concentration in gram equivalents per liter of solution. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Antigen Presentation: The process by which antigen is presented to lymphocytes in a form they can recognize. This is performed by antigen presenting cells (APCs). Some antigens require processing before they can be recognized. Antigen processing consists of ingestion and partial digestion of the antigen by the APC, followed by presentation of fragments on the cell surface. (From Rosen et al., Dictionary of Immunology, 1989)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)Protein Kinase C: An serine-threonine protein kinase that requires the presence of physiological concentrations of CALCIUM and membrane PHOSPHOLIPIDS. The additional presence of DIACYLGLYCEROLS markedly increases its sensitivity to both calcium and phospholipids. The sensitivity of the enzyme can also be increased by PHORBOL ESTERS and it is believed that protein kinase C is the receptor protein of tumor-promoting phorbol esters.Endopeptidases: A subclass of PEPTIDE HYDROLASES that catalyze the internal cleavage of PEPTIDES or PROTEINS.CHO Cells: CELL LINE derived from the ovary of the Chinese hamster, Cricetulus griseus (CRICETULUS). The species is a favorite for cytogenetic studies because of its small chromosome number. The cell line has provided model systems for the study of genetic alterations in cultured mammalian cells.Injections, Intra-Arterial: Delivery of drugs into an artery.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.Tissue Kallikreins: A family of trypsin-like SERINE ENDOPEPTIDASES that are expressed in a variety of cell types including human prostate epithelial cells. They are formed from tissue prokallikrein by action with TRYPSIN. They are highly similar to PROSTATE-SPECIFIC ANTIGEN.Epitope Mapping: Methods used for studying the interactions of antibodies with specific regions of protein antigens. Important applications of epitope mapping are found within the area of immunochemistry.Radioimmunoassay: Classic quantitative assay for detection of antigen-antibody reactions using a radioactively labeled substance (radioligand) either directly or indirectly to measure the binding of the unlabeled substance to a specific antibody or other receptor system. Non-immunogenic substances (e.g., haptens) can be measured if coupled to larger carrier proteins (e.g., bovine gamma-globulin or human serum albumin) capable of inducing antibody formation.Glucagon-Like Peptides: Peptides derived from proglucagon which is also the precursor of pancreatic GLUCAGON. Despite expression of proglucagon in multiple tissues, the major production site of glucagon-like peptides (GLPs) is the INTESTINAL L CELLS. GLPs include glucagon-like peptide 1, glucagon-like peptide 2, and the various truncated forms.Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions: The thermodynamic interaction between a substance and WATER.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Enkephalin, Leucine: One of the endogenous pentapeptides with morphine-like activity. It differs from MET-ENKEPHALIN in the LEUCINE at position 5. Its first four amino acid sequence is identical to the tetrapeptide sequence at the N-terminal of BETA-ENDORPHIN.Muscle Relaxation: That phase of a muscle twitch during which a muscle returns to a resting position.Neurons, Afferent: Neurons which conduct NERVE IMPULSES to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Defensins: Family of antimicrobial peptides that have been identified in humans, animals, and plants. They are thought to play a role in host defenses against infections, inflammation, wound repair, and acquired immunity.Cyanogen Bromide: Cyanogen bromide (CNBr). A compound used in molecular biology to digest some proteins and as a coupling reagent for phosphoroamidate or pyrophosphate internucleotide bonds in DNA duplexes.Magainins: A class of antimicrobial peptides discovered in the skin of XENOPUS LAEVIS. They kill bacteria by permeabilizing cell membranes without exhibiting significant toxicity against mammalian cells.T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic: Immunized T-lymphocytes which can directly destroy appropriate target cells. These cytotoxic lymphocytes may be generated in vitro in mixed lymphocyte cultures (MLC), in vivo during a graft-versus-host (GVH) reaction, or after immunization with an allograft, tumor cell or virally transformed or chemically modified target cell. The lytic phenomenon is sometimes referred to as cell-mediated lympholysis (CML). These CD8-positive cells are distinct from NATURAL KILLER CELLS and NATURAL KILLER T-CELLS. There are two effector phenotypes: TC1 and TC2.Bacterial Proteins: Proteins found in any species of bacterium.Phosphatidylinositols: Derivatives of phosphatidic acids in which the phosphoric acid is bound in ester linkage to the hexahydroxy alcohol, myo-inositol. Complete hydrolysis yields 1 mole of glycerol, phosphoric acid, myo-inositol, and 2 moles of fatty acids.Amino Acid Motifs: Commonly observed structural components of proteins formed by simple combinations of adjacent secondary structures. A commonly observed structure may be composed of a CONSERVED SEQUENCE which can be represented by a CONSENSUS SEQUENCE.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.HLA-A2 Antigen: A specific HLA-A surface antigen subtype. Members of this subtype contain alpha chains that are encoded by the HLA-A*02 allele family.Regional Blood Flow: The flow of BLOOD through or around an organ or region of the body.Carboxypeptidases: Enzymes that act at a free C-terminus of a polypeptide to liberate a single amino acid residue.Drug Synergism: The action of a drug in promoting or enhancing the effectiveness of another drug.Lipid Bilayers: Layers of lipid molecules which are two molecules thick. Bilayer systems are frequently studied as models of biological membranes.Receptors, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide: Cell surface proteins that bind CALCITONIN GENE-RELATED PEPTIDE with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. CGRP receptors are present in both the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM and the periphery. They are formed via the heterodimerization of the CALCITONIN RECEPTOR-LIKE PROTEIN and RECEPTOR ACTIVITY-MODIFYING PROTEIN 1.Calcimycin: An ionophorous, polyether antibiotic from Streptomyces chartreusensis. It binds and transports CALCIUM and other divalent cations across membranes and uncouples oxidative phosphorylation while inhibiting ATPase of rat liver mitochondria. The substance is used mostly as a biochemical tool to study the role of divalent cations in various biological systems.Arachidonic Acid: An unsaturated, essential fatty acid. It is found in animal and human fat as well as in the liver, brain, and glandular organs, and is a constituent of animal phosphatides. It is formed by the synthesis from dietary linoleic acid and is a precursor in the biosynthesis of prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes.Cathelicidins: Antimicrobial cationic peptides with a highly conserved amino terminal cathelin-like domain and a more variable carboxy terminal domain. They are initially synthesized as preproproteins and then cleaved. They are expressed in many tissues of humans and localized to EPITHELIAL CELLS. They kill nonviral pathogens by forming pores in membranes.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Carrier Proteins: Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.Cyclic AMP: An adenine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to both the 3'- and 5'-positions of the sugar moiety. It is a second messenger and a key intracellular regulator, functioning as a mediator of activity for a number of hormones, including epinephrine, glucagon, and ACTH.Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay: An immunoassay utilizing an antibody labeled with an enzyme marker such as horseradish peroxidase. While either the enzyme or the antibody is bound to an immunosorbent substrate, they both retain their biologic activity; the change in enzyme activity as a result of the enzyme-antibody-antigen reaction is proportional to the concentration of the antigen and can be measured spectrophotometrically or with the naked eye. Many variations of the method have been developed.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.Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.omega-N-Methylarginine: A competitive inhibitor of nitric oxide synthetase.Serine Endopeptidases: Any member of the group of ENDOPEPTIDASES containing at the active site a serine residue involved in catalysis.Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.Tandem Mass Spectrometry: A mass spectrometry technique using two (MS/MS) or more mass analyzers. With two in tandem, the precursor ions are mass-selected by a first mass analyzer, and focused into a collision region where they are then fragmented into product ions which are then characterized by a second mass analyzer. A variety of techniques are used to separate the compounds, ionize them, and introduce them to the first mass analyzer. For example, for in GC-MS/MS, GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY-MASS SPECTROMETRY is involved in separating relatively small compounds by GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY prior to injecting them into an ionization chamber for the mass selection.Lisinopril: One of the ANGIOTENSIN-CONVERTING ENZYME INHIBITORS (ACE inhibitors), orally active, that has been used in the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure.Nociceptors: Peripheral AFFERENT NEURONS which are sensitive to injuries or pain, usually caused by extreme thermal exposures, mechanical forces, or other noxious stimuli. Their cell bodies reside in the DORSAL ROOT GANGLIA. Their peripheral terminals (NERVE ENDINGS) innervate target tissues and transduce noxious stimuli via axons to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Stimulation, Chemical: The increase in a measurable parameter of a PHYSIOLOGICAL PROCESS, including cellular, microbial, and plant; immunological, cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive, urinary, digestive, neural, musculoskeletal, ocular, and skin physiological processes; or METABOLIC PROCESS, including enzymatic and other pharmacological processes, by a drug or other chemical.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Vasoconstrictor Agents: Drugs used to cause constriction of the blood vessels.