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- Angiotensin II impairs endothelial function via tyrosine phosphorylation of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (2009)
- Proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (PYK2) can be activated by angiotensin II (Ang II) and reactive oxygen species. We report that in endothelial cells, Ang II enhances the tyrosine phosphorylation of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) in an AT1-, H2O2-, and PYK2-dependent manner. Low concentrations (1–100 µmol/liter) of H2O2 stimulated the phosphorylation of eNOS Tyr657 without affecting that of Ser1177, and attenuated basal and agonist-induced NO production. In isolated mouse aortae, 30 µmol/liter H2O2 induced phosphorylation of eNOS on Tyr657 and impaired acetylcholine-induced relaxation. Endothelial overexpression of a dominant-negative PYK2 mutant protected against H2O2-induced endothelial dysfunction. Correspondingly, carotid arteries from eNOS–/– mice overexpressing the nonphosphorylatable eNOS Y657F mutant were also protected against H2O2. In vivo, 3 wk of treatment with Ang II considerably increased levels of Tyr657-phosphorylated eNOS in the aortae of wild-type but not Nox2y/– mice, and this was again associated with a clear impairment in endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in the wild-type but not in the Nox2y/– mice. Collectively, endothelial PYK2 activation by Ang II and H2O2 causes the phosphorylation of eNOS on Tyr657, attenuating NO production and endothelium-dependent vasodilatation. This mechanism may contribute to the endothelial dysfunction observed in cardiovascular diseases associated with increased activity of the renin–angiotensin system and elevated redox stress.
- Nitric oxide-induced activation of the AMP-activated protein kinase alpha2 subunit attenuates IKappaB kinase activity and inflammatory responses in endothelial cells (2011)
- Background: In endothelial cells, activation of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been linked with anti-inflammatory actions but the events downstream of kinase activation are not well understood. Here, we addressed the effects of AMPK activation/deletion on the activation of NFKappaB and determined whether the AMPK could contribute to the anti-inflammatory actions of nitric oxide (NO). Methodology/Principal Findings: Overexpression of a dominant negative AMPKalpha2 mutant in tumor necrosis factor-alpha-stimulated human endothelial cells resulted in increased NFKappaB activity, E-selectin expression and monocyte adhesion. In endothelial cells from AMPKalpha2-/- mice the interleukin (IL)-1beta induced expression of E-selectin was significantly increased. DETA-NO activated the AMPK and attenuated NFKappaB activation/E-selectin expression, effects not observed in human endothelial cells in the presence of the dominant negative AMPK, or in endothelial cells from AMPKalpha2-/- mice. Mechanistically, overexpression of constitutively active AMPK decreased the phosphorylation of IKappaB and p65, indicating a link between AMPK and the IKappaB kinase (IKK). Indeed, IKK (more specifically residues Ser177 and Ser181) was found to be a direct substrate of AMPKalpha2 in vitro. The hyper-phosphorylation of the IKK, which is known to result in its inhibition, was also apparent in endothelial cells from AMPKalpha2+/+ versus AMPKalpha2-/- mice. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that the IKK is a direct substrate of AMPKalpha2 and that its phosphorylation on Ser177 and Ser181 results in the inhibition of the kinase and decreased NFKappaB activation. Moreover, as NO potently activates AMPK in endothelial cells, a portion of the anti-inflammatory effects of NO are mediated by AMPK.
- Soluble epoxide hydrolase limits mechanical hyperalgesia during inflammation (2011)
- Background Cytochrome-P450 (CYP450) epoxygenases metabolise arachidonic acid (AA) into four different biologically active epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET) regioisomers. Three of the EETs (i.e., 8,9-, 11,12- and 14,15-EET) are rapidly hydrolysed by the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH). Here, we investigated the role of sEH in nociceptive processing during peripheral inflammation. Results In dorsal root ganglia (DRG), we found that sEH is expressed in medium and large diameter neurofilament 200-positive neurons. Isolated DRG-neurons from sEH-/- mice showed higher EET and lower DHET levels. Upon AA stimulation, the largest changes in EET levels occurred in culture media, indicating both that cell associated EET concentrations quickly reach saturation and EET-hydrolyzing activity mostly effects extracellular EET signaling. In vivo, DRGs from sEH-deficient mice exhibited elevated 8,9-, 11,12- and 14,15-EET-levels. Interestingly, EET levels did not increase at the site of zymosan-induced inflammation. Cellular imaging experiments revealed direct calcium flux responses to 8,9-EET in a subpopulation of nociceptors. In addition, 8,9-EET sensitized AITC-induced calcium increases in DRG neurons and AITC-induced calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) release from sciatic nerve axons, indicating that 8,9-EET sensitizes TRPA1-expressing neurons, which are known to contribute to mechanical hyperalgesia. Supporting this, sEH-/- mice showed increased nociceptive responses to mechanical stimulation during zymosan-induced inflammation and 8,9-EET injection reduced mechanical thresholds in naive mice. Conclusion Our results show that the sEH can regulate mechanical hyperalgesia during inflammation by inactivating 8,9-EET, which sensitizes TRPA1-expressing nociceptors. Therefore we suggest that influencing the CYP450 pathway, which is actually highly considered to treat cardiovascular diseases, may cause pain side effects.
- 11,12-EET stimulates the association of BK channel α and β(1) subunits in mitochondria to induce pulmonary vasoconstriction (2012)
- In the systemic circulation, 11,12-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (11,12-EET) elicits nitric oxide (NO)- and prostacyclin-independent vascular relaxation, partially through the activation of large conductance Ca2+-activated potassium (BK) channels. However, in the lung 11,12-EET contributes to hypoxia-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction. Since pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells also express BK channels, we assessed the consequences of BKβ1 subunit deletion on pulmonary responsiveness to 11,12-EET as well as to acute hypoxia. In buffer-perfused mouse lungs, hypoxia increased pulmonary artery pressure and this was significantly enhanced in the presence of NO synthase (NOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors. Under these conditions the elevation of tissue EET levels using an inhibitor of the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH-I), further increased the hypoxic contraction. Direct administration of 11,12-EET also increased pulmonary artery pressure, and both the sEH-I and 11,12-EET effects were prevented by iberiotoxin and absent in BKβ1−/− mice. In pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells treated with NOS and COX inhibitors and loaded with the potentiometric dye, di-8-ANEPPS, 11,12-EET induced depolarization while the BK channel opener NS1619 elicited hyperpolarization indicating there was no effect of the EET on classical plasma membrane BK channels. In pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells a subpopulation of BK channels is localized in mitochondria. In these cells, 11,12-EET elicited an iberiotoxin-sensitive loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (JC-1 fluorescence) leading to plasma membrane depolarization, an effect not observed in BKβ1−/− cells. Mechanistically, stimulation with 11,12-EET time-dependently induced the association of the BK α and β1 subunits. Our data indicate that in the absence of NO and prostacyclin 11,12-EET contributes to pulmonary vasoconstriction by stimulating the association of the α and β1 subunits of mitochondrial BK channels. The 11,12-EET-induced activation of BK channels results in loss of the mitochondrial membrane potential and depolarization of the pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells.
- Anaphylactic shock depends on endothelial Gq/G11 (2009)
- Anaphylactic shock is a severe allergic reaction involving multiple organs including the bronchial and cardiovascular system. Most anaphylactic mediators, like platelet-activating factor (PAF), histamine, and others, act through G protein – coupled receptors, which are linked to the heterotrimeric G proteins Gq /G 11 , G12/G13 , and Gi . The role of downstream signaling pathways activated by anaphylactic mediators in defi ned organs during anaphylactic reactions is largely unknown. Using genetic mouse models that allow for the conditional abrogation of G q /G 11 - and G 12 /G 13 -mediated signaling pathways by inducible Cre/loxP-mediated mutagenesis in endothelial cells (ECs), we show that Gq /G11 -mediated signaling in ECs is required for the opening of the endothelial barrier and the stimulation of nitric oxide formation by various infl ammatory mediators as well as by local anaphylaxis. The systemic effects of anaphylactic mediators like histamine and PAF, but not of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), are blunted in mice with endothelial G alpha q/G alpha 11 deficiency. Mice with endothelium-specific G alpha q /G alpha 11 deficiency, but not with G alpha 12/G alpha 13 deficiency, are protected against the fatal consequences of passive and active systemic anaphylaxis. This identifies endothelial Gq/G11 -mediated signaling as a critical mediator of fatal systemic anaphylaxis and, hence, as a potential new target to prevent or treat anaphylactic reactions.
- Methylglyoxal Induces Platelet Hyperaggregation and Reduces Thrombus Stability by Activating PKC and Inhibiting PI3K/Akt Pathway (2013)
- Diabetes is characterized by a dysregulation of glucose homeostasis and platelets from patients with diabetes are known to be hyper-reactive and contribute to the accelerated development of vascular diseases. Since many of the deleterious effects of glucose have been attributed to its metabolite methylgyloxal (MG) rather than to hyperglycemia itself, the aim of the present study was to characterize the effects of MG on platelet function. Washed human platelets were pre-incubated for 15 min with MG and platelet aggregation, adhesion on matrix-coated slides and signaling (Western blot) were assessed ex vivo. In vivo, the effect of MG on thrombus formation was determined using the FeCl3-induced carotid artery injury model. MG potentiated thrombin-induced platelet aggregation and dense granule release, but inhibited platelet spreading on fibronectin and collagen. In vivo, MG accelerated thrombus formation but decreased thrombus stability. At the molecular level, MG increased intracellular Ca2+ and activated classical PKCs at the same time as inhibiting PI3K/Akt and the β3-integrin outside-in signaling. In conclusion, these findings indicate that the enhanced MG concentration measured in diabetic patients can directly contribute to the platelet dysfunction associated with diabetes characterized by hyperaggregability and reduced thrombus stability.
- Mena/VASP and αII-Spectrin complexes regulate cytoplasmic actin networks in cardiomyocytes and protect from conduction abnormalities and dilated cardiomyopathy (2013)
- BACKGROUND: In the heart, cytoplasmic actin networks are thought to have important roles in mechanical support, myofibrillogenesis, and ion channel function. However, subcellular localization of cytoplasmic actin isoforms and proteins involved in the modulation of the cytoplasmic actin networks are elusive. Mena and VASP are important regulators of actin dynamics. Due to the lethal phenotype of mice with combined deficiency in Mena and VASP, however, distinct cardiac roles of the proteins remain speculative. In the present study, we analyzed the physiological functions of Mena and VASP in the heart and also investigated the role of the proteins in the organization of cytoplasmic actin networks. RESULTS: We generated a mouse model, which simultaneously lacks Mena and VASP in the heart. Mena/VASP double-deficiency induced dilated cardiomyopathy and conduction abnormalities. In wild-type mice, Mena and VASP specifically interacted with a distinct αII-Spectrin splice variant (SH3i), which is in cardiomyocytes exclusively localized at Z- and intercalated discs. At Z- and intercalated discs, Mena and β-actin localized to the edges of the sarcomeres, where the thin filaments are anchored. In Mena/VASP double-deficient mice, β-actin networks were disrupted and the integrity of Z- and intercalated discs was markedly impaired. CONCLUSIONS: Together, our data suggest that Mena, VASP, and αII-Spectrin assemble cardiac multi-protein complexes, which regulate cytoplasmic actin networks. Conversely, Mena/VASP deficiency results in disrupted β-actin assembly, Z- and intercalated disc malformation, and induces dilated cardiomyopathy and conduction abnormalities.