Adrenomedullin: A Tumor Progression Factor via Angiogenic Control
Adrenomedullin (ADM) is a 52-amino acid peptide with structural homology to calcitonin generelated peptide (CGRP) initially isolated from human pheochromocytoma. ADM is synthesized and is secreted from many mammalian tissues, including the adrenal medulla, endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells, as well as the myocardium and central nervous system. ADM has been implicated as a mediator of several diseases such as cardiovascular and renal disorders, sepsis, inflammation, diabetes and cancer. ADM is also expressed in a variety of tumors, including breast, endometrial and prostate cancer. ADM has been shown to be a mitogenic factor capable of stimulating growth of several cancer cell types. In addition, ADM is a survival factor for certain cancer cells and an indirect suppressor of the immune response. ADM plays an important role in environments subjected to low oxygen tension, which is a typical feature of solid tumors. Under these conditions, ADM is up regulated and acts as a potent angiogenic factor promoting neovascularization. The major focus of this review will be on the role of ADM in cancer, with emphasis on its utility in diagnostic and prognostic terms, along with its relevance as a therapeutic target.
Keywords: Adrenomedullin, tumor, progression, angiogenesis, hypoxia
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