Pepcan-12 (RVD-hemopressin) is a CB2 receptor positive allosteric modulator constitutively secreted by adrenals and in liver upon tissue damage.

Petrucci, Vanessa; Chicca, Andrea; Glasmacher, Sandra Patricia; Paloczi, Janos; Cao, Zongxian; Pacher, Pal; Gertsch, Jürg (2017). Pepcan-12 (RVD-hemopressin) is a CB2 receptor positive allosteric modulator constitutively secreted by adrenals and in liver upon tissue damage. Scientific Reports, 7(1), p. 9560. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/s41598-017-09808-8

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Pepcan-12 (RVD-hemopressin; RVDPVNFKLLSH) is the major peptide of a family of endogenous peptide endocannabinoids (pepcans) shown to act as negative allosteric modulators (NAM) of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Noradrenergic neurons have been identified to be a specific site of pepcan production. However, it remains unknown whether pepcans occur in the periphery and interact with peripheral CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Here, it is shown that pepcan-12 acts as a potent (K i value ~50 nM) hCB2 receptor positive allosteric modulator (PAM). It significantly potentiated the effects of CB2 receptor agonists, including the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), for [35S]GTPγS binding and cAMP inhibition (5-10 fold). In mice, the putative precursor pepcan-23 (SALSDLHAHKLRVDPVNFKLLSH) was identified with pepcan-12 in brain, liver and kidney. Pepcan-12 was increased upon endotoxemia and ischemia reperfusion damage where CB2 receptors play a protective role. The adrenals are a major endocrine site of production/secretion of constitutive pepcan-12, as shown by its marked loss after adrenalectomy. However, upon I/R damage pepcan-12 was strongly increased in the liver (from ~100 pmol/g to ~500 pmol/g) independent of adrenals. The wide occurrence of this endogenous hormone-like CB2 receptor PAM, with unforeseen opposite allosteric effects on cannabinoid receptors, suggests its potential role in peripheral pathophysiological processes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Petrucci, Vanessa, Chicca, Andrea, Glasmacher, Sandra Patricia, Gertsch, Jürg


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Nature Publishing Group




Barbara Franziska Järmann-Bangerter

Date Deposited:

01 Mar 2018 14:01

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:10

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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