endothelin receptors, member of the class A family of seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors
Endothelins are 21-amino acid peptides which able to activate a number of signal transduction processes including phospholipase A2, phospholipase C, and phospholipase D, as well as cytosolic protein kinase activation. They play an important role in the regulation of the cardiovascular system and are the most potent vasoconstrictors identified, stimulating cardiac contraction, regulating the release of vasoactive substances, and stimulating mitogenesis in blood vessels. Two endothelin receptor subtypes have been isolated and identified in vertebrates, endothelin A receptor (ET-A) and endothelin B receptor (ET-B), and are members of the seven transmembrane class A G-protein coupled receptor family which activate multiple effectors via different types of G protein. Some vertebrates contain a third subtype, endothelin A receptor (ET-C). ET-A receptors are mainly located on vascular smooth muscle cells, whereas ET-B receptors are present on endothelial cells lining the vessel wall. Endothelin receptors have also been found in the brain.