Endothelin (IPR020475)

Short name: Endothelin

Overlapping homologous superfamilies


Family relationships


Endothelins are small proteins that play an important role in the regulation of the cardiovascular system [PMID: 2690429, PMID: 2168326, PMID: 1916094]. They are the most potent vasoconstrictors known, they stimulate cardiac constriction, regulate release of vasoactive substances, and stimulate mitogenesis in blood vessels in primary culture. They also stimulate contraction in almost all other smooth muscles (e.g., uterus, bronchus, vas deferensa and stomach) and stimulate secretion in several tissues (e.g., kidney, liver and adrenals). Endothelin receptors have also been found in the brain, e.g. cerebral cortex, cerebellum and glial cells. Endothelins have been implicated in a variety of pathophysiological conditions associated with stress, including hypertension, myocardial infarction, subarachnoid haemorrhage and renal failure.

Endothelins are synthesised by proteolysis of large preproendothelins, which are cleaved to `big endothelins' before being processed to the mature peptide. Three distinct human endothelins encoded by separate genes have been identified: ET1, ET2 and ET3 are present in lung, kidney, adrenal gland, brain and other tissues. The sequences of the peptides contain 4 cysteine residues, which are involved in disulphide bond formation, and are highly similar to the SRTX family from snake venom.

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.