Call for Papers  

Article Details

Review Article

Guanylate Cyclase C: A Current Hot Target, from Physiology to Pathology

[ Vol. 25 , Issue. 16 ]


Jose Antonio Uranga, Marta Castro and Raquel Abalo*   Pages 1879 - 1908 ( 30 )


Background: Guanylate cyclase C (GC-C) receptor is a transmembrane receptor, predominantly expressed in intestinal epithelial cells, which is considered to play a main role in homeostasis and function of the digestive tract. The endogenous ligands for this receptor are the paracrine hormones uroguanylin and guanylin. Upon ligand binding, GC-C receptors increase cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) levels, regulating a variety of key cell-type specific processes such as chloride and bicarbonate secretion, epithelial cell growth, regulation of intestinal barrier integrity and visceral sensitivity. It has been suggested that GC-C acts as an intestinal tumor suppressor with the potential to prevent the initiation and progression of colorectal cancer. In fact, loss of ligand expression is a universal step in sporadic colorectal carcinogenesis. Interestingly, the role of GC-C is not limited to the digestive tract but it has been extended to several other systems such as the cardiovascular system, kidney, and the central nervous system, where it has been involved in a gut-hypothalamus endocrine axis regulating appetite.

Objetive: In this review we summarize the physiology of the GC-C receptor and its ligands, focusing on newly developed drugs like linaclotide, and their suggested role to reverse/prevent the diseases in which the receptor is involved.

Conclusion: Available data points toward a relationship between uroguanylin and guanylin and their receptor and pathological processes like gastrointestinal and renal disorders, colorectal cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome and mental disorders among others. Recent pharmacological developments in the regulation of GC-receptor may involve further improvements in the treatment of relevant diseases.


Guanylate cyclase C, heat-stable enterotoxin, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, colorectal cancer, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease.


Depto. de Ciencias Basicas de la Salud, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Depto. de Farmacologia y Fisiologia, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud y del Deporte, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Depto. de Ciencias Basicas de la Salud, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid

Read Full-Text article