Human relaxin-2: historical perspectives and role in cancer biology

Vinojini B Nair, Chrishan S Samuel, Frances Separovic, Mohammed Akhter Hossain, John D Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


One of the most recognised and studied family of peptide hormones is the insulin superfamily. Within this family is the relaxin subfamily which comprises seven members: relaxin-1, -2 and -3 and insulin-like peptides 3, 4, 5 and 6. Besides exhibiting sequence similarities, each member exists as an active A-B heterodimer linked by three disulfide bonds. This mini-review is divided into three broad themes: an overview of all insulin superfamily members (including structural similarities); roles of each superfamily member and finally, a focus on the pleiotropic peptide hormone, human relaxin-2. In addition to promoting vasodilatory effects leading to evaluation in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of acute heart failure, relaxin has recently been shown to be highly expressed by cancer cells, aiding in their proliferation, invasiveness and metastasis. These contrary effects of relaxin are discussed together with current efforts in the development of relaxin antagonists that may possess future therapeutic potential for the treatment of certain cancers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131 - 1140
Number of pages10
JournalAmino Acids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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