Natriuretic peptides are a family of structurally related but genetically distinct hormones/paracrine factors that regulate blood volume, blood pressure, ventricular hypertrophy, pulmonary hypertension, fat metabolism, and long bone growth. The mammalian members are atrial natriuretic peptide, B-type natriuretic peptide, C-type natriuretic peptide, and possibly osteocrin/musclin. Three single membrane-spanning natriuretic peptide receptors (NPRs) have been identified. Two, NPR-A/GC-A/NPR1 and NPR-B/GC-B/NPR2, are transmembrane guanylyl cyclases, enzymes that catalyze the synthesis ofcGMP.One, NPR-C/NPR3, lacks intrinsic enzymatic activity and controls the local concentrations of natriuretic peptides through constitutive receptor-mediated internalization and degradation. Single allele-inactivating mutations in the promoter of human NPR-A are associated with hypertension and heart failure, whereas homozygous inactivating mutations in human NPR-B cause a form of short-limbed dwarfism known as acromesomelic dysplasia type Maroteaux. The physiological effects of natriuretic peptides are elicited through three classes of cGMP binding proteins: cGMP-dependent protein kinases, cGMP-regulated phosphodiesterases, and cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels. In this comprehensive review, the structure, function, regulation, and biological consequences of natriuretic peptides and their associated signaling proteins are described.