In vertebrates, adrenomedullin (AM) is a peptide hormone that shows. multiple physiological functions, such as bronchodilation,. neurotransmission, hormone regulation, antimicrobial activity or growth. regulation. Deregulation of AM has been shown in different human. pathologies such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension, heart failure, and. sepsis.. Research on molecules capable of modulating AM and its effects may lead to. the discovery of new pharmacological agents to treat these important human. diseases. Thus, the injection of a monoclonal antibody against AM produces. an antidiabetic effect, by reducting the glycemic level in diabetic. experimental animals, since AM has been shown to reduce insulin secretion.. Highly interesting is the role of AM in cancer. It has been proven that AM. acts as an autocrine/paracrine tumor cell survival factor and its elevated. expression in cancer cells can promote angiogenesis leading to tumor. progression.. While AM has been well characterized in other research models, little is. known about this molecule in C. elegans. We have found and characterized a. mutant in the AM homologue of C.elegans, here called wam-1
. 4D microscopy. analysis of wam-1
mutants shows defects in the migration of the. hermaphrodite gonad. There are also several defects in embryonic. development. Some embryos have cells that are excluded out of the worm. during development while fate specification, as well as proliferation are. normal. This suggests a function of wam-1
in cell adhesion.. To localize the expression of the worm AM homologue protein, we generated. transgenic lines expressing GFP under the control of the wam-1
promoter.. GFP expression is detected in the mouth of the worm although due to its. homology with secreted hormones, the protein could play a role far away. from the secretory cells.. At present, we are performing a detailed molecular and genetic. characterization, in order to understand the function of this molecule.