VIP and PACAP receptors


Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) receptors are activated by the endogenous peptides VIP, PACAP-38, PACAP-27, peptide histidine isoleucineamide (PHI), peptide histidine methionineamide (PHM) and peptide histidine valine (PHV). VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptors display comparable affinity for the PACAP peptides, PACAP-27 and PACAP-38, and VIP, whereas PACAP-27 and PACAP-38 are >100 fold more potent than VIP as agonists of most isoforms of the PAC1 receptor. However, one splice variant of the human PAC1 receptor has been reported to respond to PACAP-38, PACAP-27 and VIP with comparable affinity [1]. PG 99-465 [2] has been used as a selective VPAC2 receptor antagonist in a number of physiological studies, but has been reported to have significant activity at VPAC1 and PAC1 receptors [3]. The selective PAC1 receptor agonist maxadilan, was extracted from the salivary glands of sand flies (Lutzomyia longipalpis) and has no sequence homology to VIP or the PACAP peptides [4]. Two deletion variants of maxadilan, M65 [5] and Max.d.4 [6] have been reported to be PAC1 receptor antagonists, but these peptides have not been extensively characterised.


  1. Dautzenberg FM, Mevenkamp G, Wille S, et al. N-terminal splice variants of the type I PACAP receptor: isolation, characterization and ligand binding/selectivity determinants. J Neuroendocrinol 1999;11:941-9.
  2. Moreno D, Gourlet P, De Neef P, et al. Development of selective agonists and antagonists for the human vasoactive intestinal polypeptide VPAC(2) receptor. Peptides 2000;21:1543-9.
  3. Dickson L, Aramori I, McCulloch J, et al. A systematic comparison of intracellular cyclic AMP and calcium signalling highlights complexities in human VPAC/PAC receptor pharmacology. Neuropharmacology 2006;51:1086-98.
  4. Moro O, Lerner EA. Maxadilan, the vasodilator from sand flies, is a specific pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide type I receptor agonist. J Biol Chem 1997;272:966-70.
  5. Uchida D, Tatsuno I, Tanaka T, et al. Maxadilan is a specific agonist and its deleted peptide (M65) is a specific antagonist for PACAP type 1 receptor. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1998;865:253-8.
  6. Moro O, Wakita K, Ohnuma M, et al. Functional characterization of structural alterations in the sequence of the vasodilatory peptide maxadilan yields a pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide type 1 receptor-specific antagonist. J Biol Chem 1999;274:23103-10.
Excerpt from IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology
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