c-Jun N-terminal kinase 2 phosphorylates endothelial nitric oxide synthase at serine 116 and regulates nitric oxide production

Department of Molecular Medicine and Ewha Medical Research Institute, Ewha Womans University Medical School, Seoul, South Korea.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.28). 12/2011; 417(1):340-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.11.112
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) belonging to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) superfamily play important roles in foam-cell formation, hypercholesterolemia-mediated endothelial dysfunction, and the development of obesity. Although decreased nitric oxide (NO) production via decreased phosphorylation of endothelial NO synthase at serine 1179 (eNOS-Ser(1179)) was reported to be partly involved in JNK2-derived endothelial dysfunction, JNK2 seems likely to be indirectly involved in this signaling pathway. Here, using bovine aortic endothelial cells, we examined whether JNK2 directly phosphorylated eNOS-Ser(116), a putative substrate site for the MAPK superfamily, and this phosphorylation resulted in decreased NO release. JNK inhibitor SP60012 increased NO release in a time- and dose-dependent manner, which was accompanied by increased eNOS-Ser(116) phosphorylation. Purified JNK2 directly phosphorylated eNOS-Ser(116)in vitro. Ectopic expression of dominant negative JNK2 repressed eNOS-Ser(116) phosphorylation and increased NO production. Coimmunoprecipitation and confocal microscopy studies revealed a colocalization of eNOS and JNK2. However, all these observed effects were not manifested when JNK1 probes were used. Overall, this study indicates that JNK2 is a physiological kinase responsible for eNOS-Ser(116) phosphorylation and regulates NO production.

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