alpha-Human atrial natriuretic peptide, a 28-amino-acid-residue peptide, was rapidly hydrolysed by pig kidney microvillar membranes in vitro, with a t1/2 of 8 min, comparable with the rate observed with angiotensins II and III. The products of hydrolysis were analysed by h.p.l.c., the pattern obtained with membranes being similar to that with purified endopeptidase-24.11 (EC No hydrolysis by peptidyl dipeptidase A (angiotensin I converting enzyme, EC was observed. The contribution of the various microvillar membrane peptidases was assessed by including specific inhibitors. Phosphoramidon, an inhibitor of endopeptidase-24.11, caused 80-100% suppression of the products. Captopril and amastatin (inhibitors of peptidyl dipeptidase A and aminopeptidases respectively) had no significant effect. Hydrolysis at an undefined site within the disulphide-linked ring occurred rapidly, followed by hydrolysis at other sites, including the Ser25--Phe26 bond.

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