Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide
- Rodger A Liddle, MD
Rodger A Liddle, MD
- Professor of Medicine
- Duke University Medical School
Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is a neuropeptide that functions as a neuromodulator and neurotransmitter. It is a potent vasodilator, regulates smooth muscle activity, epithelial cell secretion, and blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract [1-3]. As a chemical messenger, it functions as a neurohormone and paracrine mediator, being released from nerve terminals and acting locally on receptor-bearing cells.
The VIP receptor is a member of a unique class of G protein-coupled receptors. These receptors share a significant degree of sequence homology (>50 percent), which distinguishes them from members of the rhodopsin/beta-adrenergic family (class I) . (See "Peptide hormone signal transduction and regulation".)
Like other gastrointestinal peptides, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is synthesized as a precursor molecule with a signal peptide containing 22 amino acids, which is then cleaved to the active peptide of 28 amino acids [5,6]. The gene encoding this peptide resides on chromosome 6 . Some studies have demonstrated local control of VIP gene expression as VIP mRNA does not always parallel the peptide product . These data suggest regulation at the post-transcriptional stage may be essential for normal VIP secretion .
The VIP peptide is remarkably well conserved across species and is identical in human, cow, pig, rat, dog, and goat species . Even across species, amino acid substitutions are conservative and usually do not result in changes in bioactivity.
Alternative peptides derived from the VIP gene include peptide histidine isoleucine (PHI) , peptide histidine methionine [10,11], and peptide histidine valine . Although the functional significance of these peptides is unclear, PHI is known to stimulate intestinal fluid secretion .To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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