[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphorylation of the 20-kDa myosin regulatory light chains (LC(20)) plays a key role in the regulation of smooth muscle contraction. The level of LC(20) phosphorylation is governed by the relative activities of myosin light chain kinase and phosphatase pathways. The regulation of these two pathways differs in different smooth muscle types and in the actions of different vasoactive stimuli. Little is known concerning the regulation of LC(20) phosphorylation in the renal microcirculation. The available pharmacological probes are often nonspecific, and current techniques to directly measure LC(20) phosphorylation are not sensitive enough for quantification in small arterioles. We describe here a novel approach to address this important issue. Using SDS-PAGE with polyacrylamide-bound Mn(2+)-phosphate-binding tag and enhanced Western blot analysis, we were able to detect LC(20) phosphorylation using as little as 5 pg (250 amol) of isolated LC(20). Phosphorylated and unphosphorylated LC(20) were detected in single isolated afferent arterioles, and LC(20) phosphorylation levels could be accurately quantified in pooled samples of three arterioles (<300 cells). The phosphorylation level of LC(20) in the afferent arteriole was 6.8 +/- 1.7% under basal conditions and increased to 34.7 +/- 5.1% and 44.6 +/- 6.6% in response to 30 mM KCl and 10(-8) M angiotensin II, respectively. The application of this technique will enable investigations of the different determinants of LC(20) phosphorylation in afferent and efferent arterioles and provide insights into the signaling pathways that regulate LC(20) phosphorylation in the renal microvasculature under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.
Preview · Article · Jun 2008 · American journal of physiology. Renal physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms through which p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) is involved in smooth muscle contraction remain largely unresolved. We examined the role of p38 MAPK in prostaglandin F(2alpha) (PGF(2alpha))-induced vasoconstriction and in hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) of rat small intrapulmonary arteries (IPA). The p38 MAPK inhibitors SB-203580 and SB-202190 strongly inhibited PGF(2alpha)-induced vasoconstriction, with IC(50)s of 1.6 and 1.2 microM, whereas the inactive analog SB-202474 was approximately 30-fold less potent. Both transient and sustained phases of HPV were suppressed by SB-203580, but not by SB-202474 (both 2 microM). Western blot analysis revealed that PGF(2alpha) (20 microM) increased phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and of heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), and this was abolished by SB-203580 but not by SB-202474 (both 2 microM). Endothelial denudation or blockade of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase with N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) significantly suppressed the relaxation of PGF(2alpha)-constricted IPA by SB-203580, but not by SB-202474. Similarly, the inhibition of HPV by SB-203580 was prevented by prior treatment with L-NAME. SB-203580 (2 microM), but not SB-202474, enhanced relaxation-induced by the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) in endothelium-denuded IPA constricted with PGF(2alpha). In alpha-toxin-permeabilized IPA, SB-203580-induced relaxation occurred in the presence but not the absence of the NO donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP); SB-202474 was without effect even in the presence of SNP. In intact IPA, neither PGF(2alpha)- nor SNAP-mediated changes in cytosolic free Ca(2+) were affected by SB-203580. We conclude that p38 MAPK contributes to PGF(2alpha)- and hypoxia-induced constriction of rat IPA primarily by antagonizing the underlying Ca(2+)-desensitizing actions of NO.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of myosin II by phosphorylation of the 20 kDa regulatory light chains (LC20) has been implicated in numerous contractile and motile events, e.g., smooth muscle contraction, cytokinesis, and cell migration. The ability to analyze LC20 phosphorylation in minute samples is critical to determine the importance of LC20 phosphorylation in diverse physiological processes. We have developed a method for the separation and quantification of unphosphorylated, monophosphorylated, and diphosphorylated LC20 with a detection limit of 1 pg (50 amol). LC20 is initially isolated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and transblotted to a polyvinlyidene difluoride (PVDF) membrane. The region of the membrane containing the LC20 band (identified by electrophoresis of purified LC20 in a neighboring lane) is cut out and fluorescently labeled with Alexa Fluor 488 C5 maleimide. The labeled LC20 is eluted from the membrane with detergent and subjected to capillary isoelectric focusing (CIEF) to separate unphosphorylated, mono-, and diphosphorylated LC20, which are detected and quantified by laser-induced fluorescence (LIF). A linear relationship between log(peak area) and log(LC20 amount) is observed over the range of 50 amol-150 fmol. Quantification of LC20 phosphorylation by CIEF with LIF detection was compared with three commonly used methods with much lower levels of sensitivity: urea/glycerol-PAGE with Western blotting, phosphorylation by [gamma-32P]ATP with Cerenkov counting, and phosphorylation by [gamma-32P]ATP followed by SDS-PAGE, autoradiography, and scanning densitometry. All four methods gave very similar quantitative results, the major difference being that the new method exhibits 3000-fold enhanced sensitivity. This method is therefore applicable to quantitative analysis of phosphorylation of minute quantities of LC20.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The physiological role of smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform diversity is poorly understood. The expression of MHC-B, which contains an insert at the ATP binding pocket, has been linked to enhanced contractile kinetics. We recently reported that the renal afferent arteriole exhibits an unusually rapid myogenic response and that its kinetic features allow this vessel to modulate tone in response to alterations in systolic blood pressure. In the present study, we examined MHC expression patterns in renal afferent and efferent arterioles. These two vessels regulate glomerular inflow and outflow resistances and control the pressure within the intervening glomerular capillaries (PGC). Whereas the afferent arteriole must respond rapidly to increases in blood pressure, the efferent arteriole plays a distinctly different role, maintaining a tonic elevation in outflow resistance to preserve function when renal perfusion is compromised. Using RT-PCR, Western analysis, and immunofluorescence imaging of intact isolated arterioles, we found that the afferent arteriole predominantly expresses the MHC-B isoform, whereas the efferent arteriole expresses only the slower-cycling MHC-A isoform. We examined the kinetics of angiotensin II- and norepinephrine-induced vasoconstriction and found that the afferent arteriole responds approximately 3-fold faster than the efferent arteriole. Our findings thus point to the renal microcirculation as a unique and important example of smooth muscle adaptation in regard to MHC isoform expression and physiological function.