Cationic amino acid transporter gene expression in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells and in rats.
ABSTRACT Immunostimulants trigger vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) to express the inducible isoform of NO synthase (iNOS) and increased arginine transport activity. Although arginine transport in VSMC is considered to be mediated via the y+ system, we show here that rat VSMC in culture express the cat-1 gene transcript as well as an alternatively spliced transcript of the cat-2 gene. An RT-PCR cloning sequence strategy was used to identify a 141-base nucleotide sequence encoding the low-affinity domain of alternatively spliced CAT-2A and a 138-base nucleotide sequence encoding the high-affinity domain of CAT-2B in VSMC activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in combination with interferon-gamma (IFN). With this sequence as a probe, Northern analyses showed that CAT-1 mRNA and CAT-2B mRNA are constitutively present in VSMC, and the expression of both mRNAs was rapidly stimulated by treatment with LPS-IFN, peaked within 4 h, and decayed to basal levels within 6 h after LPS-IFN. CAT-2A mRNA was not detectable in unstimulated or stimulated VSMC. Arginine transporter activity significantly increased 4-10 h after LPS-IFN. iNOS activity was reduced to almost zero in the absence of extracellular arginine uptake via system y+. Induction of arginine transport seems to be a prerequisite to the enhanced synthesis of NO in VSMC. Moreover, this work demonstrates tissue expression of CAT mRNAs with use of a model of LPS injection in rats. RT-PCR shows that the expression of CAT-1 and CAT-2B mRNA in the lung, heart, and kidney is increased by LPS administration to rats, whereas CAT-2A mRNA is abundantly expressed in the liver independent of LPS treatment. These findings suggest that together CAT-1 and CAT-2B play an important role in providing substrate for high-output NO synthesis in vitro as well as in vivo and implicate a coordinated regulation of intracellular iNOS enzyme activity with membrane arginine transport.
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ABSTRACT: Atherosclerotic coronary heart disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in industrialized countries, and endothelial dysfunction is considered a precursor phenomenon. The nitric oxide produced by the endothelium under the action of endothelial nitric oxide synthase has important antiatherogenic functions. Its reduced bioavailabilty is the beginning of the atherosclerotic process. The addition of two methyl radicals to arginine, through the action of methyltransferase nuclear proteins, produces asymmetric dimethylarginine, which competes with L-arginine and promotes a reduction in nitric oxide formation in the vascular wall. The asymmetric dimethylarginine, which is itself considered a mediator of the vascular effects of the several risk factors for atherosclerosis, can be eliminated by renal excretion or by the enzymatic action of the dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolases. Several basic science and clinical research studies suggest that the increase in asymmetric dimethylarginine occurs in the context of chronic renal insufficiency, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and hyperhomocysteinemy, as well as with other conditions. Therapeutic measures to combat atherosclerosis may reverse these asymmetric dimethylarginine effects or at least reduce the concentration of this chemical in the blood. Such an effect can be achieved with competitor molecules or by increasing the expression or activity of its degradation enzyme. Studies are in development to establish the true role of asymmetric dimethylarginine as a marker and mediator of atherosclerosis, with possible therapeutic applications. The main aspects of the formation and degradation of asymmetric dimethylarginine and its implication in the atherogenic process will be addressed in this article.Clinics (São Paulo, Brazil) 11/2009; 64(5):471-8. · 1.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Upregulation of L-arginine transport by pro-inflammatory mediators is a widely reported phenomenon which accompanies the expression of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) enzyme in various cells. Both processes require de novo protein synthesis which may be regulated differentially through diverging signalling pathways. This is particularly defined by observations that the glucocorticoid dexamethasone, acting potentially through NF-κB, selectively blocks the expression of iNOS whilst having little or no effect on transport; suggesting that this ubiquitous transcription factor may not be required for induced transporter activity. This notion is however controversial as is the suggestion that dexamethasone may regulate iNOS expression exclusively through NF-κB. Thus, to further understand the mechanisms that control these processes, we have examined the level at which dexamethasone acts, investigating whether this involves NF-κB and whether the latter selectively regulates iNOS induction. Our current data directly demonstrate that induced L: -arginine transport is critically dependent on the activation of NF-κB, and further confirmed its role in the induction of iNOS in rat aortic smooth muscle cells. More importantly, dexamethasone enhanced both iNOS and CAT gene expression but repressed iNOS protein with no noticeable effects on transporter function or indeed NF-κB activation. These novel and unexpected findings reflect the complex nature of the regulation of iNOS by glucocorticoids and prove, contrary to previous assumptions, that dexamethasone can regulate CAT gene expression despite failing to alter transporter function. Moreover, the effects of dexamethasone occur through a non-NF-κB-mediated action even though NF-κB is required for both processes.Amino Acids 10/2011; 43(2):667-76. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The immunogenic mechanisms of the potent contact allergen nickel are not completely clear. Nitric oxide (NO) serves as a fundamental signalling and effector molecule in the immune system, but little is known about its possible role in immune reactions elicited by nickel. We investigated the effects of nickel on the L-arginine/inducible NO synthase (iNOS) system in a murine macrophage cell line, RAW 264.7. Both LPS-stimulated and non-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells were incubated in the presence of 0-100μM nickel sulphate for 24h. Subsequently, NO production, iNOS protein expression, L-arginine uptake and gene expression of iNOS and cationic amino acid transporter systems (CAT) were measured. We found that 100μM NiSO(4) increased LPS-induced nitrite production as well as the formation of [(3)H]-L-citrulline from [(3)H]-L-arginine in the RAW 264.7 cells. Correspondingly, the expression of iNOS gene and protein was also remarkably enhanced. Nevertheless, nickel had an inhibitory effect on L-arginine transport which disappeared gradually upon LPS-stimulation in parallel with an increase in NO output. LPS was found to significantly amplify CAT-3 as well as CAT-2 mRNA expression, mirroring the increase in L-arginine transport. In the range of 1-10μM, NiSO(4) did not have any additional effect on CAT mRNA expression, but at 100μM it was able to enhance CAT-1 and CAT-3 mRNA expression upon LPS stimulation. Our data indicate that nickel interferes with macrophages' L-arginine/NOS system on multiple levels. Considering the potent biological effects of NO, these influences may contribute to nickel toxicity.International immunopharmacology 02/2013; · 2.21 Impact Factor