BackgroundArginase II activity contributes to reciprocal regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). We tested the hypotheses that arginase II activity participates in the regulation of Ca2+/Ca2+/calmodulin‐dependent kinase II/eNOS activation, and this process is dependent on mitochondrial p32.Methods and ResultsDownregulation of arginase II increased the concentration of cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]c) and decreased mitochondrial Ca2+ ([Ca2+]m) in microscopic and fluorescence‐activated cell sorting analyses, resulting in augmented eNOS Ser1177 phosphorylation and decreased eNOS Thr495 phosphorylation through Ca2+/Ca2+/calmodulin‐dependent kinase II. These changes were observed in human umbilical vein endothelial cells treated with small interfering RNA against p32 (sip32). Using matrix‐assisted laser desorption/ionization time‐of‐flight mass spectrometry, fluorescence immunoassay, and ion chromatography, inhibition of arginase II reduced the amount of spermine, a binding molecule, and the release of Ca2+ from p32. In addition, arginase II gene knockdown using small interfering RNA and knockout arginase II‐null mice resulted in reduced p32 protein level. In the aortas of wild‐type mice, small interfering RNA against p32 induced eNOS Ser1177 phosphorylation and enhanced NO‐dependent vasorelaxation. Arginase activity, p32 protein expression, spermine amount, and [Ca2+]m were increased in the aortas from apolipoprotein E (ApoE−/−) mice fed a high‐cholesterol diet, and intravenous administration of small interfering RNA against p32 restored Ca2+/Ca2+/calmodulin‐dependent kinase II‐dependent eNOS Ser1177 phosphorylation and improved endothelial dysfunction. The effects of arginase II downregulation were not associated with elevated NO production when tested in aortic endothelia from eNOS knockout mice.ConclusionsThese data demonstrate a novel function of arginase II in regulation of Ca2+‐dependent eNOS phosphorylation. This novel mechanism drives arginase activation, mitochondrial dysfunction, endothelial dysfunction, and atherogenesis.
Elevated endothelial arginase activity decreases nitric oxide (NO) production by competing with the substrate L-arginine, previously reported, and reciprocally regulating endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity. Thus, arginase inhibitors may help treat vascular diseases associated with endothelial dysfunction. A screening of metabolites from medicinal plants revealed that (2S)-5,29,59-trihydroxy-7,8-dimethoxy flavanone (TDF) was a noncompetitive inhibitor of arginase. We investigated whether TDF reciprocally regulated endothelial NO production and its possible mechanism. TDF noncompetitively inhibited arginase I and II activity in a dose-dependent manner. TDF incubation decreased arginase activity and increased NO production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells and isolated mouse aortic vessels and reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in the endothelium of the latter. These TDFmediated effects were associated with increased eNOS phosphorylation and dimerization but not with changes in protein content. Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxant responses to acetylcholine (Ach) were significantly increased in TDF-incubated aortic rings and attenuated by incubation with soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor. Phenylephrine-induced vasoconstrictor responses were markedly attenuated in TDF-treated vessels from wild-type mice. In atherogenic-prone ApoE 2/2 mice, TDF attenuated the high-cholesterol diet (HCD)-induced increase in arginase activity, which was accompanied by restoration of NO production and reduction of ROS generation. TDF incubation induced eNOS dimerization and phosphorylation at Ser1177. In addition, TDF improved Ach-dependent vasorelaxation responses and attenuated U46619-dependent contractile responses but did not change sodium nitroprusside-induced vasorelaxation or N-NAME-induced vasoconstriction. The findings suggest that TDF may help treat cardiovascular diseases by reducing pathophysiology derived from HCD-mediated endothelial dysfunction.
Elevated plasma concentration of native low-density lipoprotein (nLDL) is associated with vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) activation and cardiovascular disease. We investigated the mechanisms of superoxide generation and its contribution to pathophysiological cell proliferation in response to nLDL stimulation. Lucigenin-induced chemiluminescence was used to measure nLDL-induced superoxide production in human aortic smooth muscle cells (hAoSMCs). Superoxide production was increased by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and decreased by NADPH oxidase inhibitors in nLDL-stimulated hAoSMC and hAoSMC homogenates, as well as in prepared membrane fractions. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (Erk1/2), protein kinase C-θ (PKCθ) and protein kinase C-β (PKCβ) were phosphorylated and maximally activated within 3 min of nLDL stimulation. Phosphorylated Erk1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase, PKCθ and PKCβ stimulated interactions between p47phox and p22phox; these interactions were prevented by MEK and PKC inhibitors (PD98059 and calphostin C, respectively). These inhibitors decreased nLDL-dependent superoxide production and blocked translocation of p47phox to the membrane, as shown by epifluorescence imaging and cellular fractionation experiments. Proliferation assays showed that a small interfering RNA against p47phox, as well as superoxide scavenger and NADPH oxidase inhibitors, blocked nLDL-induced hAoSMC proliferation. The nLDL stimulation in deendothelialized aortic rings from C57BL/6J mice increased dihydroethidine fluorescence and induced p47phox translocation that was blocked by PD98059 or calphostin C. Isolated aortic SMCs from p47phox−/− mice (mAoSMCs) did not respond to nLDL stimulation. Furthermore, NADPH oxidase 1 (Nox1) was responsible for superoxide generation and cell proliferation in nLDL-stimulated hAoSMCs. These data demonstrated that NADPH oxidase activation contributed to cell proliferation in nLDL-stimulated hAoSMCs.
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