Angiotensin II (AngII) type I receptor (AT1R) recognizes AngII, a cardiovascular peptide hormone that acts as a terminal effector of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). AT1R belongs to the rhodopsin-like peptidergic family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and serves as a therapeutic target for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Classically, AT1R was considered to signal only through G proteins. However, recent studies have revealed that AT1R is capable of activating G protein-independent signaling that is mediated by β-arrestins. β-arrestin is a cytosolic scaffold that is recruited to the activated GPCRs. In vitro and ex vivo studies have demonstrated that the activation of the AT1R-β-arrestin pathway stimulates contractility and exerts prosurvival effects in cardiomyocytes. TRV027, a potent synthetic β-arrestin-biased ligand for AT1R, specifically activates AT1R-β-arrestin signaling without stimulating G proteins. In preclinical studies, TRV027 not only produced vasodilation by antagonizing the AT1R-Gαq pathway but also enhanced cardiac performance by activating AT1R-β-arrestin signaling. Because of this unique pharmacological profile, TRV027 is now being evaluated in a phase II clinical trial as a novel therapeutic for acute heart failure (AHF).
2015 by the International Heart Journal Association