Adrenomedullin is a vascular tissue peptide and a member of the calcitonin family of peptides, which includes calcitonin, calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP) and amylin. Its many biological actions are mediated via CGRP type 1 (CGRP1) receptors and by specific adrenomedullin receptors. Although the pharmacology of these receptors is distinct, they are both represented in molecular terms by the type II family G-protein-coupled receptor, calcitonin-receptor-like receptor (CRLR). The specificity here is defined by co-expression of receptor-activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs). CGRP1 receptors are represented by CRLR and RAMP1, and specific adrenomedullin receptors by CRLR and RAMP2 or 3. Here we discuss how CRLR/RAMP2 relates to adrenomedullin binding, pharmacology and pathophysiology, and how chemical cross-linking of receptor-ligand complexes in tissue relates to that in CRLR/RAMP2-expressing cells. CRLR, like other type II family G-protein-coupled receptors, signals via Gs and adenylate cyclase activation. We demonstrated that adrenomedullin signalling in cell lines expressing specific adrenomedullin receptors followed this expected pattern.

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