We previously reported that zinc thiolate signaling contributes to hypoxic contraction of small, nonmuscularized arteries of the lung. The present studies were designed to investigate mechanisms by which hypoxia-released zinc induces contraction in isolated pulmonary endothelial cells and to delineate the signaling pathways involved in zinc-mediated changes in the actin cytoskeleton. We used fluorescence-based imaging to show that hypoxia induced time-dependent increases in actin stress fibers that were reversed by the zinc chelator, N,N,N',N'-tetrakis-(2-pyridylmethyl)-ethylenediamine (TPEN). We further showed that hypoxia-induced phosphorylation of the contractile protein myosin light chain (MLC) and assembly of actin stress fibers were each TPEN sensitive. Hypoxia and zinc-induced inhibition of MLC phosphatase (MLCP) were independent of the regulatory subunit (MYPT1) of MLCP, and therefore hypoxia-released zinc likely inhibits MLCP at its catalytic (PP1) subunit. Inhibition of PKC by Ro-31-8220 and a dominant-negative construct of PKC-ε attenuated hypoxia-induced contraction of isolated pulmonary endothelial cells. Furthermore, zinc-induced phosphorylation of MLC (secondary to inhibition of MLCP) was PKC dependent, and hypoxia-released zinc promoted the phosphorylation of the PKC substrate, CPI-17. Collectively, these data suggest a link between hypoxia, elevations in labile zinc, and activation of PKC, which in turn acts through CPI-17 to inhibit MLCP activity and promote MLC phosphorylation, ultimately inducing stress fiber formation and endothelial cell contraction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The essential trace element zinc (Zn) is widely required in cellular functions, and abnormal Zn homeostasis causes a variety of health problems that include growth retardation, immunodeficiency, hypogonadism, and neuronal and sensory dysfunctions. Zn homeostasis is regulated through Zn transporters, permeable channels, and metallothioneins. Recent studies highlight Zn's dynamic activity and its role as a signaling mediator. Zn acts as an intracellular signaling molecule, capable of communicating between cells, converting extracellular stimuli to intracellular signals, and controlling intracellular events. We have proposed that intracellular Zn signaling falls into two classes, early and late Zn signaling. This review addresses recent findings regarding Zn signaling and its role in physiological processes and pathogenesis.
European Journal of Biochemistry 06/2011; 16(7):1123-34. DOI:10.1007/s00775-011-0797-4 · 2.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After iron, zinc is the most abundant essential trace metal. Intracellular zinc ([Zn](i)) is maintained across a wide range of cells and species in a tight quota (100 to 500 μM) by a dynamic process of transport, intracellular vesicular storage, and binding to a large number of proteins (estimated at 3-10% of human proteome). As such, zinc is an integral component of numerous metalloenzymes, structural proteins, and transcription factors. It is generally assumed that a vanishingly small component of [Zn](i,) referred to as free or labile zinc, and operationally defined as the pool sensitive to chelation (by agents such as N, N, N', N'-tetrakis [2-pyridylmethyl] ethylenediamine [TPEN]) and capable of detection by a variety of chemical and genetic sensors, participates in signal transduction pathways. Zinc deficiencies, per se, can arise from acquired (malnutrition, alcoholism) or genetic (mutations in molecules affecting zinc homeostasis, the informative and first example being acrodermatitis enteropathica) factors or as a component of various diseases (e.g., sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, sepsis). Hypozincemia has profound effects on developing humans, and all facets of physiological function (neuronal, endocrine, immunological) are affected, although considerably less is known regarding cardiovascular pathophysiology. In this review, we provide an update on current knowledge of molecular and cellular aspects of zinc homeostasis and then focus on implications of zinc signaling in pulmonary endothelium as it relates to programmed cell death, altered contractility, and septic and aseptic injury to this segment of the lung.
Hsiang-Kuang Tseng, Tseng-Yu Huang, Alice Ying-Jung Wu, Hsin-Hong Chen, Chang-Pan Liu, Ambrose Jong
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