[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The low voltage-activated T-type Ca(2+) channels play an important role in mediating the cellular responses to altered oxygen tension. Among three T-type channel isoforms, α1G, α1H, and α1I, only α1H was found to be unregulated under hypoxia. However, mechanisms underlying such hypoxia-dependent isoform-specific gene regulation remain incompletely understood. We therefore studied the hypoxia-dependent transcriptional regulation of α1G and α1H gene promoters with the aim to identify the functional hypoxia-response elements (HREs). In rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) and pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells after hypoxia (3% O2) exposure, we observed a prominent increase in α1H mRNA at 12 hr along with a significant rise in α1H-mediated T-type current at 24 and 48 hr. We then cloned two promoter fragments from the 5'-flanking regions of rat α1G and α1H gene, 2,000- and 3,076-bp, respectively, and inserted these fragments into a luciferase reporter vector. Transient transfection of PASMCs and PC12 cells with these recombinant constructs and subsequent luciferase assay revealed a significant increase in luciferase activity from the reporter containing the α1H, but not α1G, promoter fragment under hypoxia. Using serial deletion and point mutation analysis strategies, we identified a functional HRE at site -1,173CACGC-1,169 within the α1H promoter region. Further, an electrophoretic mobility shift assay using this site as a DNA probe demonstrated an increased binding activity to nuclear protein extracts from the cells after hypoxia exposure. Taken together, these findings indicate that hypoxia-induced α1H upregulation involves binding of hypoxia-inducible factor to an HRE within the α1H promoter region.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic hypoxia attenuates soluble guanylate cyclase-induced vasorelaxation in serotonin (5-HT) contracted ovine carotid arteries. Because PKG mediates many effects of soluble guanylate cyclase activation through phosphorylation of multiple kinase targets in vascular smooth muscle we tested the hypothesis that chronic hypoxia reduces the ability of PKG to phosphorylate its target proteins, which attenuates the ability of PKG to induce vasorelaxation. We also tested the hypothesis that hypoxia attenuates PKG expression and/or activity. Arteries from normoxic and chronically hypoxic (altitude of 3820m for 110 days) fetal and adult sheep were denuded of endothelium and equilibrated with 95% O2, 5% CO2 in the presence of L-NAME and L-NA to inhibit residual eNOS. Concentration-response relations for 5-HT were determined in the presence of prazosin to minimize activation of α-adrenergic receptors. The PKG activator 8-pCPT-cGMP reduced agonist binding affinity of the 5-HT receptor in a concentration-dependent manner that was attenuated by hypoxia. Expression and activity of PKG-I was not significantly affected by chronic hypoxia in either fetal or adult arteries, although PKG-I abundance was greater in fetal arteries. Pre-treatment with the BK channel inhibitor iberiotoxin attenuated the vasorelaxation induced by 8-pCPT-cGMP in normoxic but not chronically hypoxic arteries. These results support the hypothesis that hypoxia attenuates the vasorelaxant effects of PKG through suppression of PKG's ability to activate BK channels in arterial smooth muscle. The results also reveal that this hypoxic effect is greater in fetal than adult arteries and that chronic maternal hypoxia can profoundly affect fetal vascular function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Transient, repetitive occlusion stimulates coronary collateral growth (CCG) in normal animals. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) switch to synthetic phenotype early in CCG, then return to contractile phenotype. CCG is impaired in the metabolic syndrome. We determined whether impaired CCG was attributable to aberrant VSMC phenotypic modulation by miR-145-mediated mechanisms, and whether restoration of physiological miR-145 levels in metabolic syndrome (JCR rat) improved CCG.
Approach and results:
CCG was stimulated by transient, repetitive left anterior descending artery occlusion and evaluated after 9 days by coronary blood flow measurements (microspheres). miR-145 was delivered to JCR VSMCs via adenoviral vector (miR-145-Adv). In JCR rats, miR-145 was decreased late in CCG (≈ 2-fold day 6; ≈ 4-fold day 9 versus SD), which correlated with decreased expression of smooth muscle-specific contractile proteins (≈ 5-fold day 6; ≈ 10-fold day 9 versus SD), indicative of VSMCs' failure to return to the contractile phenotype late in CCG. miR-145 expression in JCR rats (miR-145-Adv) on days 6 to 9 of CCG completely restored VSMCs contractile phenotype and CCG (collateral/normal zone flow ratio was 0.93 ± 0.09 JCR+miR-145-Adv versus 0.12 ± 0.02 JCR versus 0.87 ± 0.02 SD).
Restoration of VSMC contractile phenotype through miR-145 delivery is a highly promising intervention for restoration of CCG in the metabolic syndrome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of the endothelium to produce nitric oxide (NO), which induces generation of cGMP that activates cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG-I), in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) is essential for the maintenance of vascular homeostasis. Yet, disturbance of this NO/cGMP/PKG-I pathway is proven to play an important role in many cardiovascular diseases. In the last two decades, in vitro and in vivo models of vascular injury have shown that PKG-I was suppressed following NO, cGMP, cytokine, and growth factor stimulation. The molecular basis for these changes in PKG-I expression are still poorly understood and are likely to be mediated by a number of processes, including changes in gene transcription, mRNA stability, protein synthesis, or protein degradation. Emerging studies have begun to define mechanisms responsible for changes in PKG-I expression and have identified cis- and trans-acting regulatory elements with a plausible role attributed to posttranslational control of PKG-I protein levels. This review will focus mainly on recent advances in the regulation of PKG-I expression in VSMC with an emphasis on the physiological and pathological significance of PKG-I downregulation in VSMC under certain circumstances.
Cardiovascular Research 11/2012; 97(2). DOI:10.1093/cvr/cvs327 · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcriptional activator β-catenin is a key mediator of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. β-catenin itself does not bind DNA but functions via interaction with T-cell factor (TCF)/lymphoid-enhancing factor (LEF) transcription factors. Thus, in the case of active Wnt signaling, β-catenin, in cooperation with TCF/LEF proteins family, activates the expression of a wide variety of genes. To date, the list of established β-catenin interacting targets is far from complete. In this study, we aimed to establish the interaction between β-catenin and transcription factors that might affect TCF activity. We took advantage of EMSA, using TCF as a probe, to screen oligonucleotides known to bind specific transcription factors that might dislodge or antagonize β-catenin/TCF binding. We found that Sox9 and KLF4 antagonize β-catenin/TCF binding in HEK293, A549, SW480, and T47D cells. This inhibition of TCF binding was concentration-dependent and correlated to the in vitro TCF-luciferase functional assays. Overexpression of Sox9 and KLF4 transcription factors in cancer cells shows a concentration-dependent reduction of TCF-luciferase as well as the TCF-binding activities. In addition, we demonstrated that both Sox9 and KLF4 interact with β-catenin in an immunoprecipitation assay and reduce its binding to TCF4. Together, these results demonstrate that Sox9 and KLF4 transcription factors antagonize β-catenin/TCF in cancer cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Degradation and resynthesis of the extracellular matrix (ECM) are essential during tissue remodeling. Expansion of the vascular intima in atherosclerosis and restenosis following injury is dependent upon smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and migration. The migration of SMC from media to intima critically depends on degradation of ECM protein by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). MMP inhibitors and eNOS gene transfer have been shown to inhibit SMC migration in vitro and neointima formation in vivo. Nitric oxide (NO) and cyclic-GMP have been implicated in the inhibition of VSMC migration. But, there are few studies addressing the role of NO signaling pathways on the expression of MMPs. Here we reported the involvement of cyclic-GMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) (an important mediator of NO and cGMP signaling pathway in VSMC) on MMP-2 expression in rat aortic SMC. The goal of the present study was to gain insight into the possible involvement of PKG on MMP-2 in rat aortic SMC. MMP-2 protein and mRNA level and activity were downregulated in PKG-expressing cells as compared to PKG-deficient cells. In addition, the secretion of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) was increased in PKG-expressing cells as compared to PKG-deficient cells. PKG-specific membrane permeable peptide inhibitor (DT-2) reverses the process. Interestingly, little or no changes of MMP-9 were observed throughout the study. Taken together our data suggest the possible role of PKG in the suppression of MMP-2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Persistent hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension, which is an emerging clinical problem around the world. We recently showed that hypoxia-induced activation of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (Glc-6-PD) in pulmonary artery smooth muscle links metabolic changes within smooth muscle cells to HPV and that inhibition of Glc-6PD reduces acute HPV. Here, we demonstrate that exposing pulmonary arterial rings to hypoxia (20-30 Torr) for 12 h in vitro significantly (P < 0.05) reduces (by 30-50%) SM22α and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain expression and evokes HPV. Glc-6-PD activity was also elevated in hypoxic pulmonary arteries. Inhibition of Glc-6-PD activity prevented the hypoxia-induced reduction in SM22α expression and inhibited HPV by 80-90% (P < 0.05). Furthermore, Glc-6-PD and protein kinase G (PKG) formed a complex in pulmonary artery, and Glc-6-PD inhibition increased PKG-mediated phosphorylation of VASP (p-VASP). In turn, increasing PKG activity upregulated SM22α expression and attenuated HPV evoked by Glc-6-PD inhibition. Increasing passive tension (from 0.8 to 3.0 g) in hypoxic arteries for 12 h reduced Glc-6-PD, increased p-VASP and SM22α levels, and inhibited HPV. The present findings indicate that increases in Glc-6-PD activity influence PKG activity and smooth muscle cell phenotype proteins, all of which affect pulmonary artery contractility and remodeling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously identified glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) as a regulator of vascular smooth muscle contraction. In this study, we tested our hypothesis that G6PD activated by KCl via a phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN)-protein kinase C (PKC) pathway increases vascular smooth muscle contraction and that inhibition of G6PD relaxes smooth muscle by decreasing intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) and Ca(2+) sensitivity to the myofilament. Here we show that G6PD is activated by membrane depolarization via PKC and PTEN pathway and that G6PD inhibition decreases intracellular free calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) in vascular smooth muscle cells and thus arterial contractility. In bovine coronary artery (CA), KCl (30 mmol/l) increased PKC activity and doubled G6PD V(max) without affecting K(m). KCl-induced PKC and G6PD activation was inhibited by bisperoxo(pyridine-2-carboxyl)oxovanadate (Bpv; 10 μmol/l), a PTEN inhibitor, which also inhibited (P < 0.05) KCl-induced CA contraction. The G6PD blockers 6-aminonicotinamide (6AN; 1 mmol/l) and epiandrosterone (EPI; 100 μmol/l) inhibited KCl-induced increases in G6PD activity, [Ca(2+)](i), Ca(2+)-dependent myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation, and contraction. Relaxation of precontracted CA by 6AN and EPI was not blocked by calnoxin (10 μmol/l), a plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPase inhibitor or by lowering extracellular Na(+), which inhibits the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX), but cyclopiazonic acid (200 μmol/l), a sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase inhibitor, reduced (P < 0.05) 6AN- and EPI-induced relaxation. 6AN also attenuated phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase target subunit 1 (MYPT1) at Ser855, a site phosphorylated by Rho kinase, inhibition of which reduced (P < 0.05) KCl-induced CA contraction and 6AN-induced relaxation. By contrast, 6AN increased (P < 0.05) vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) phosphorylation at Ser239, indicating that inhibition of G6PD increases PKA or PKG activity. Inhibition of PKG by RT-8-Br-PET-cGMPs (100 nmol/l) diminished 6AN-evoked VASP phosphorylation (P < 0.05), but RT-8-Br-PET-cGMPs increased 6AN-induced relaxation. These findings suggest G6PD inhibition relaxes CA by decreasing Ca(2+) influx, increasing Ca(2+) sequestration, and inhibiting Rho kinase but not by increasing Ca(2+) extrusion or activating PKG.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The type-I cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG-I) expression regulation is not yet completely understood. In this study, we examined the role of 3'-untranslated region (3'UTR)-PKG-I messenger RNA (mRNA) in the control of PKG-I expression in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Using a 3'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) for the amplification of complementary DNA (cDNA) ends, we generated and cloned a 1.2-kb-3'UTR mRNA PKG-I in pGL3 control vector downstream of the luciferase reporter gene. Serial deletions and functional studies revealed that among the deleted constructs, only the 1.2-kb-3'UTR PKG-I mRNA possesses the highest activity in transfected VSMC. Kinetic luciferase assays in the presence of actinomycin D showed that this construct stabilizes luciferase activity compared to the control vector. Sequence analysis of 3'UTR-PKG-I mRNA revealed the existence of four AU-rich regions (AU1 through AU4) in addition to a potential poly(A) site. Different riboprobes were generated either by 5'-end-labelling of designed ribonucleotides, containing individual AU-rich regions or by in vitro transcription assay using cloned 1.2-kb cDNA as a template. RNA-electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and ultra-violet cross-linking (UV-CL) assays showed that AU1, AU3, AU4 and 1.2-kb probes were able to retard cytosolic and nuclear proteins. Taken together, these data suggest that PKG-I expression is subjected to post-transcriptional regulation in VSMC through the 3'UTR of its mRNA.
Journal of Biochemistry 02/2011; 149(4):433-41. DOI:10.1093/jb/mvr003 · 2.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the regulation of smooth muscle cell (SMC) gene expression by cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) is now recognized, the mechanisms underlying these effects are not fully understood. In this study, we report that PKG-I stimulates myocardin/serum response factor (SRF)-dependent gene expression in vascular SMCs. The expression of PKG in PKG-deficient cells enhanced myocardin-induced SM22 promoter activity in a concentration-dependent fashion. However, neither SRF nor myocardin expression was affected. To investigate alternative mechanisms, we examined whether PKG affects the phosphorylation of E26-like protein-1 (Elk-1), a SRF/myocardin transcription antagonist. The activation of PKG caused an increase in a higher molecular mass form of phospho-Elk-1 that was determined to be small ubiquitin-related modifier (sumo)ylated Elk-1. PKG increased Elk-1 sumoylation twofold compared with the PKG-deficient cells, and Elk-1 sumoylation was reduced using dominant-negative sumo-conjugating enzyme, DN-Ubc9, confirming PKG-dependent sumoylation of phospho-Elk-1 in vascular SMCs. In addition, PKG stimulated Elk-1 sumoylation in COS-7 cells overexpressing Elk-1, sumo-1, and PKG-I. The increased expression of PKG in vascular SMCs inhibited Elk-1 binding to SMC-specific promoters, SM22 and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, as measured by EMSA and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, and PKG suppressed the Elk-1 inhibition of SM22 reporter gene expression. Taken together, these data suggest that PKG-I decreases Elk-1 activity by sumo modification of Elk-1, thereby increasing myocardin-SRF activity on SMC-specific gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetes is a major predictor of in-stent restenosis, which is associated with fibroproliferative remodeling of the vascular wall due to increased transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) action. It is well established that thrombospondin1 (TSP1) is a major regulator of TGF-beta activation in renal and cardiac complications of diabetes. However, the role of the TSP1-TGF-beta pathway in macrovascular diabetic complications, including restenosis, has not been addressed. In mesangial cells, high glucose concentrations depress protein kinase G (PKG) activity, but not PKG-I protein, thereby downregulating transcriptional repression of TSP1. Previously, we showed that high glucose downregulates PKG-I protein expression by vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) through altered NADPH oxidase signaling. In the present study, we investigated whether high glucose regulation of PKG protein and activity in VSMCs similarly regulates TSP1 expression and downstream TGF-beta activity. These studies showed that high glucose stimulates both TSP1 expression and TGF-beta bioactivity in primary murine aortic smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). TSP1 is responsible for the increased TGF-beta bioactivity under high glucose conditions, because treatment with anti-TSP1 antibody, small interfering RNA-TSP1, or an inhibitory peptide blocked glucose-mediated increases in TGF-beta activity and extracellular matrix protein (fibronectin) expression. Overexpression of constitutively active PKG, but not the PKG-I protein, inhibited glucose-induced TSP1 expression and TGF-beta bioactivity, suggesting that PKG protein expression is insufficient to regulate TSP1 expression. Together, these data establish that glucose-mediated downregulation of PKG levels stimulates TSP1 expression and enhances TGF-beta activity and matrix protein expression, which can contribute to vascular remodeling in diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A broad variety of evidence obtained largely in pulmonary vasculature suggests that chronic hypoxia modulates vasoreactivity to nitric oxide (NO). The present study explores the general hypothesis that chronic hypoxia also modulates cerebrovascular reactivity to NO, and does so by modulating the activity of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), the primary target for NO in vascular smooth muscle. Pregnant and nonpregnant ewes were maintained at either sea level or at 3,820 m for the final 110 days of gestation, at which time middle cerebral arteries from term fetal lambs and nonpregnant adults were harvested. In both fetal and adult arteries, NO-induced vasodilatation was attenuated by chronic hypoxia and completely inhibited by 10 μM 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[ 4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), a selective inhibitor of sGC. sGC abundance (in ng sGC/mg protein) measured via Western immunoblots was ∼10-fold greater in fetal (17.6 ± 1.6) than adult (1.7 ± 0.3) arteries but was not affected by chronic hypoxia. The specific activity of sGC (in pmol cGMP·μg sGC -1·min -1) was similar in fetal (255 ± 64) and adult (280 ± 75) arteries and was inhibited by chronic hypoxia in both fetal (120 ± 10) and adult (132 ± 26) arteries. Rates of cGMP degradation (in pmol cGMP·mg protein -1·min -1) were similar in fetal (159 ± 59) and adult (134 ± 36) arteries but were not significantly depressed by chronic hypoxia in either fetal (115 ± 25) or adult (108 ± 25) arteries. The cGMP analog 8-(p-chlorophenylthio)-cGMP was a more potent vasorelaxant in fetal (pD 2 = 4.7 ± 0.1) than adult (pD 2 = 4.3 ± 0.1) arteries, but its ability to promote vasodilatation was not affected by chronic hypoxia in either age group. Together, these results reveal that hypoxic inhibition of NO-induced vasodilatation is attributable largely to attenuation of the specific activity of sGC and does not involve significant changes in sGC abundance, cGMP-phosphodiesterase activity, or the vasorelaxant activity of protein kinase G.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type I cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG-I) mediates nitric oxide (NO) and hormone dependent smooth muscle relaxation and stimulates smooth muscle cell-specific gene expression. Expression of PKG-I in cultured smooth muscle cells depends on culture conditions and is inhibited by inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-I and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, which are known to stimulate Type II NO synthase (iNOS) expression. We report here that the suppression of PKG-I protein levels in smooth muscle cells is triggered by the ubiquitin/26S proteasome pathway. Incubation of vascular smooth muscle cells with phosphodiesterase-resistant cyclic GMP analogs (e.g., 8-bromo-cGMP) decreases PKG-I protein level in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. To study this process, we tested the effects of 8-Br-cGMP on PKG-I protein level in Cos7 cells, which do not express endogenous type I PKG mRNA. 8-Br-cGMP induced the ubiquitination and down-regulation of PKG-Ialpha, but not PKG-Ibeta. Treatment of cells with the 26S proteasome inhibitor, MG-132, increased ubiquitination of PKG. Blocking PKG-I catalytic activity using the cell-permeant specific PKG-I inhibitor, DT-2, inhibited cGMP-induced PKG-I ubiquitination and down-regulation, suggesting that PKG catalytic activity and autophosphorylation were required for suppression of PKG-I level. Mutation of the known autophosphorylation sites of PKG-Ialpha to alanine uncovered a specific role for autophosphorylation of serine-64 in cGMP-dependent ubiquitination and suppression of PKG-I level. The results suggest that chronic elevation of cGMP, as seen in inflammatory conditions, triggers ubiquitination and degradation of PKG-Ialpha in smooth muscle.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reduced levels of cGMP-dependent protein kinase I (PKG-I) in vasculature have been shown to contribute to diabetic vascular dysfunctions. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. In this report, using primary rat aortic smooth muscle cells (VSMC), we investigated the mechanisms of glucose-mediated regulation of PKG-I expression. Our data showed that high glucose (30 mM glucose) exposure significantly reduced PKG-I production (protein and mRNA levels) as well as PKG-I activity in cultured VSMC. Glucose-mediated decreases in PKG-I levels were inhibited by a superoxide scavenger (tempol) or NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitors (diphenylene iodonium or apocynin). High glucose exposure time-dependently increased superoxide production in VSMC, which was abolished by tempol or apocynin treatment, but not by other inhibitors of superoxide-producing enzymes (L-NAME, rotenone, or oxypurinol). Total protein levels and phosphorylated levels of p47phox (an NADPH oxidase subunit) were increased in VSMC after high glucose exposure. Transfection of cells with siRNA-p47phox abolished glucose-induced superoxide production and restored PKG-I protein levels in VSMC. Treatment of cells with PKC inhibitor prevented glucose-induced p47phox expression/phosphorylation and superoxide production and restored the PKG-I levels. Decreased PKG-I protein levels were also found in femoral arteries from diabetic mice, which were associated with the decreased DEA-NONOate-induced vasorelaxation. Taken together, the present results suggest that glucose-mediated down-regulation of PKG-I expression in VSMC occurs through PKC-dependent activation of NAD(P)H oxidase-derived superoxide production, contributing to diabetes-associated vessel dysfunctions.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 04/2007; 42(6):852-63. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2006.12.025 · 5.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This basic science review examines the role of cGMP and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) in the regulation of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotype. The first such studies suggested a role for nitric oxide (NO) and atrial natriuretic peptides (ANP), and the downstream second messenger cGMP, in the inhibition of VSMC proliferation. Subsequently, many laboratories confirmed the anti-proliferative effects of the cGMP pathway in cultured cells and the anti-atherosclerotic effects of the pathway in in vivo animal models. Other studies suggested that the cGMP target, PKG, mediated the anti-proliferative effects of cGMP although other laboratories have not consistently observed these effects. On the other hand, PKG mediates cGMP-dependent increases in smooth muscle-specific gene expression, and in vivo studies suggest that PKG expression itself reduces vascular lesions. The mechanisms by which PKG regulates gene expression are addressed, but it still unknown how the cGMP-PKG pathway is involved in smooth muscle-specific gene expression and phenotype.
Frontiers in Bioscience 02/2006; 11(1):356-67. DOI:10.2741/1803 · 3.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ischemic and pharmacological preconditioning can be triggered by an intracellular signaling pathway in which Gi-coupled surface receptors activate a cascade including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, guanylyl cyclase, and protein kinase G (PKG). Activated PKG opens mitochondrial KATP channels (mitoKATP) which increase production of reactive oxygen species. Steps between PKG and mitoKATP opening are unknown. We describe effects of adding purified PKG and cGMP on K+ transport in isolated mitochondria. Light scattering and respiration measurements indicate PKG induces opening of mitoKATP similar to KATP channel openers like diazoxide and cromakalim in heart, liver, and brain mitochondria. This effect was blocked by mitoKATP inhibitors 5-hydroxydecanoate, tetraphenylphosphonium, and glibenclamide, PKG-selective inhibitor KT5823, and protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors chelerythrine, Ro318220, and PKC-epsilon peptide antagonist epsilonV(1-2). MitoKATP are opened by the PKC activator 12-phorbol 13-myristate acetate. We conclude PKG is the terminal cytosolic component of the trigger pathway; it transmits the cardioprotective signal from cytosol to inner mitochondrial membrane by a pathway that includes PKC-epsilon.
Circulation Research 09/2005; 97(4):329-36. DOI:10.1161/01.RES.0000178451.08719.5b · 11.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase I plays a pivotal role in regulating smooth muscle cell relaxation, growth, and differentiation. Expression of the enzyme varies greatly in smooth muscle and in other tissues and cell types, yet little is known regarding the mechanisms regulating cGMP-dependent protein kinase gene expression. The present work was undertaken to characterize the mechanisms controlling kinase gene expression in vascular smooth muscle cells. A 2-kb human cGMP-dependent protein kinase I 5'-noncoding promoter sequence was characterized by serial deletion, and functional studies demonstrated that a 591-bp 5'-promoter construct possessed the highest activity compared with all other constructs generated from the larger promoter. Analysis of the sequence between -472 and -591 bp from the transcriptional start site revealed the existence of two E-like boxes known to bind upstream stimulatory factors. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and functional studies using luciferase reporter gene assays identified upstream stimulatory factors as the transcription factors bound to the E-boxes in the 591-bp promoter. Site-directed mutagenesis of the E-boxes abolished the binding of upstream stimulatory factor proteins and decreased the activity of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase I 591-bp promoter, thus confirming the involvement of these transcription factors in mediating gene expression. Cotransfection experiments demonstrated that overexpression of upstream stimulatory factors 1 and 2 increased cGMP-dependent protein kinase I promoter activity. Collectively, these data suggest that the human proximal cGMP-dependent protein kinase I promoter is regulated by tandem E-boxes that bind upstream stimulatory factors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that type I cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) can alter the phenotype of cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Although the expression of contractile proteins in VSMCs has been shown to be modulated with the induction of PKG, experiments in which PKG inhibition brings about reduced expression of contractile markers have not been performed. To more thoroughly examine the role of PKG in the expression of contractile proteins, recombinant adenovirus containing the PKG coding sequence (AD-PKG) was used to induce gene expression and morphologic changes in adult rat aortic VSMCs. Cells expressing PKG, but not control adenovirus-infected cells, began to express a specific marker protein for the contractile phenotype, smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (SMMHC), within 48 hours of PKG induction. The morphology of the AD-PKG-infected cells began to change from a fibroblastic phenotype to a spindle-shaped phenotype within 72 hours after PKG induction. The specific cell-permeable PKG inhibitory peptide DT-2, but not control peptides, reversed the biochemical and morphologic changes associated with PKG expression. These results suggest that PKG expression and activity in cultured VSMCs is capable of altering the VSMC phenotype. These data also verify the intracellular action of DT-2 and reveal uptake and dynamic properties of this PKG-inhibiting peptide.