Treatment of quiescent Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts with serum, or with the phosphatase inhibitors okadaic acid and vanadate, induced a 2-to 11-fold activation of the serine/ threonine RAC protein kinase (RAC-PK). Kinase activation was accompanied by decreased mobility of RAC-PK on SDS/ PAGE such that three electrophoretic species (a to c) of the kinase were detected by immunoblot analysis, indicative of differentially phosphorylated forms. Addition of vanadate to arrested cells increased the RAC-PK phosphorylation level 3-to 4-fold. Unstimulated RAC-PK was phosphorylated predominantly on serine, whereas the activated kinase was phosphorylated on both serine and threonine residues. Treatment of RAC-PK in vitro with protein phosphatase 2A led to kinase inactivation and an increase in electrophoretic mobility. Deletion of the N-terminal region containing the pleckstrin homology domain did not affect RAC-PK activation by okadaic acid, but it reduced vanadate-stimulated activity and also blocked the serum-induced activation. Deletion of the serine/ threonine rich C-terminal region impaired both RAC-PKa basal and vanadate-stimulated activity. Studies using a kinase-deficient mutant indicated that autophosphorylation is not involved in RAC-PKa activation. Stimulation of RAC-PK activity and electrophoretic mobility changes induced by serum were sensitive to wortmannin. Taken together the results suggest that RAC-PK is a component of a signaling pathway regulated by phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase, whose action is required for RAC-PK activation by phosphorylation.The RAC-PKs (for related to PKA and C protein kinases; also known as PKB/Akt) represent a subfamily of second messenger-regulated serine/threonine protein kinases (1). Two human genes have been identified, termed RACa and -Pf that are 90% homologous (2-4). Both genes appear to be widely expressed in human tissues, implying that they play an important role in cell signaling. Mouse RACa (c-akt) is the cellular homologue of the viral oncogene v-akt, generated by fusion of the Gag protein from the AKT8 retrovirus to the N terminus of mouse RAC-PKa, giving rise to a 105-kDa phosphoprotein that is myristilated at its N terminus (5, 6). The mouse protein is mainly cytosolic (90%), whereas the oncoprotein is apparently equally distributed between the plasma membrane, nucleus, and cytoplasm (6). Human RACf3 was found to be amplified in 10% of human ovarian carcinomas (4), suggesting the involvement of the RAC-PK subfamily members in regulation of cell growth. The Drosophila homologue (DRAC) shows 75% homology to the human isoforms and is ubiquitously expressed throughout the Drosophila life cycle (7,8).All characterized members of the RAC-PK subfamily have a similar domain structure: an N-terminal pleckstrin homologyThe publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.(PH) domain, a centrally located catalytic do...
Background-Arginase competes with endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) for the substrate L-arginine and decreases NO production. This study investigated regulatory mechanisms of arginase activity in endothelial cells and its role in atherosclerosis. Methods and Results-In human endothelial cells isolated from umbilical veins, thrombin concentration-and timedependently stimulated arginase enzymatic activity, reaching a 1.9-fold increase (PϽ0.001) at 1 U/mL for 24 hours. The effect of thrombin was prevented by C3 exoenzyme or the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor fluvastatin, which inhibit RhoA, or by the ROCK inhibitors Y-27632 and HA-1077. Adenoviral expression of constitutively active RhoA or ROCK mutants enhanced arginase activity (Ϸ3-fold, PϽ0.001), and the effect of active RhoA mutant was inhibited by the ROCK inhibitors. Neither thrombin nor the active RhoA/ROCK mutants affected arginase II protein level, the only isozyme detectable in the cells. Moreover, a significantly higher arginase II activity (1.5-fold, not the protein level) and RhoA protein level (4-fold) were observed in atherosclerotic aortas of apoE Ϫ/Ϫ compared with wild-type mice. Interestingly, L-arginine (1 mmol/L), despite a significantly higher eNOS expression in aortas of apoE Ϫ/Ϫ mice, evoked a more pronounced contraction, which was reverted to a greater vasodilation by the arginase inhibitor L-norvaline (20 mmol/L) compared with the wild-type animals (nϭ5, PϽ0.001). Conclusions-Thrombin
BackgroundMacrophage‐mediated chronic inflammation is mechanistically linked to insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. Although arginase I is considered antiinflammatory, the role of arginase II (Arg‐II) in macrophage function remains elusive. This study characterizes the role of Arg‐II in macrophage inflammatory responses and its impact on obesity‐linked type II diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis.Methods and ResultsIn human monocytes, silencing Arg‐II decreases the monocytes’ adhesion to endothelial cells and their production of proinflammatory mediators stimulated by oxidized low‐density lipoprotein or lipopolysaccharides, as evaluated by real‐time quantitative reverse transcription‐polymerase chain reaction and enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay. Macrophages differentiated from bone marrow cells of Arg‐II–deficient (Arg‐II−/−) mice express lower levels of lipopolysaccharide‐induced proinflammatory mediators than do macrophages of wild‐type mice. Importantly, reintroducing Arg‐II cDNA into Arg‐II−/− macrophages restores the inflammatory responses, with concomitant enhancement of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. Scavenging of reactive oxygen species by N‐acetylcysteine prevents the Arg‐II–mediated inflammatory responses. Moreover, high‐fat diet–induced infiltration of macrophages in various organs and expression of proinflammatory cytokines in adipose tissue are blunted in Arg‐II−/− mice. Accordingly, Arg‐II−/− mice reveal lower fasting blood glucose and improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, apolipoprotein E (ApoE)–deficient mice with Arg‐II deficiency (ApoE−/−Arg‐II−/−) display reduced lesion size with characteristics of stable plaques, such as decreased macrophage inflammation and necrotic core. In vivo adoptive transfer experiments reveal that fewer donor ApoE−/−Arg‐II−/− than ApoE−/−Arg‐II+/+ monocytes infiltrate into the plaque of ApoE−/−Arg‐II+/+ mice. Conversely, recipient ApoE−/−Arg‐II−/− mice accumulate fewer donor monocytes than do recipient ApoE−/−Arg‐II+/+ animals.ConclusionsArg‐II promotes macrophage proinflammatory responses through mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, contributing to insulin resistance and atherogenesis. Targeting Arg‐II represents a potential therapeutic strategy in type II diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. (J Am Heart Assoc. 2012;1:e000992 doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.000992.)
It has previously been argued that the repressor of protein synthesis initiation factor 4E, 4E-BP1, is a direct in vivo target of p42mapk. However
SummaryAugmented activities of both arginase and S6K1 are involved in endothelial dysfunction in aging. This study was to investigate whether or not there is a crosstalk between arginase and S6K1 in endothelial inflammation and aging in senescent human umbilical vein endothelial cells and in aging mouse models. We show increased arginase-II (Arg-II) expression ⁄ activity in senescent endothelial cells. Silencing Arg-II in senescent cells suppresses eNOSuncoupling, several senescence markers such as senescence-associated-b-galactosidase activity, p53-S15, p21, and expression of vascular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM1). Conversely, overexpressing Arg-II in nonsenescent cells promotes eNOS-uncoupling, endothelial senescence, and enhances VCAM1 ⁄ ICAM1 levels and monocyte adhesion, which are inhibited by co-expressing superoxide dismutase-1. Moreover, overexpressing S6K1 in nonsenescent cells increases, whereas silencing S6K1 in senescent cells decreases Arg-II gene expression ⁄ activity through regulation of Arg-II mRNA stability. Furthermore, S6K1 overexpression exerts the same effects as Arg-II on endothelial senescence and inflammation responses, which are prevented by silencing Arg-II, demonstrating a role of Arg-II as the mediator of S6K1-induced endothelial aging. Interestingly, mice that are deficient in Arg-II gene (Arg-II ) ⁄ ) ) are not only protected from age-associated increase in Arg-II, VCAM1 ⁄ ICAM1, aging markers, and eNOS-uncoupling in the aortas but also reveal a decrease in S6K1 activity. Similarly, silencing Arg-II in senescent cells decreases S6K1 activity, demonstrating that Arg-II also stimulates S6K1 in aging. Our study reveals a novel mechanism of mutual positive regulation between S6K1 and Arg-II in endothelial inflammation and aging. Targeting S6K1 and ⁄ or Arg-II may decelerate vascular aging and age-associated cardiovascular disease development.
The enzymes p70s6k and p85s6k are two isoforms of the same kinase and are important in mitogenesis. Both isoforms are activated by a complex phosphorylation event and lie on a common signalling pathway, distinct from that of the p42mapk/p44mapk kinases. Activation of p42mapk/p44mapk is triggered by sequential activation of the GDP-GTP exchange factor Sos, the GTP-binding protein p21ras, and protein kinases p74raf and p47mek (refs 7-10). As p21ras transformed cells have increased S6 phosphorylation, we tested whether the p70s6k/p85s6k signalling pathway bifurcates between p21ras and p42mapk/p44mapk. We found that mutants of p74raf and p21ras blocked activation of epitope-tagged p44mapk but not epitope-tagged p70s6k. Moreover, in cells expressing human platelet-derived growth factor receptors lacking the kinase-insert domain, the growth factor activates p21ras but not p70s6k/p85s6k. The critical autophosphorylation site for p70s6k/p85s6k activation within this domain is a tyrosine at residue 751. Our results show that the p70s6k/p85s6k signalling pathway is independent of p21ras, that it bifurcates from the p21ras pathway at the receptor, and that it is initiated by autophosphorylation at a specific site.
Background-The circadian clock regulates biological processes including cardiovascular function and metabolism. In the present study, we investigated the role of the circadian clock gene Period2 (Per2) in endothelial function in a mouse model. Methods and Results-Compared with the wild-type littermates, mice with Per2 mutation exhibited impaired endotheliumdependent relaxations to acetylcholine in aortic rings suspended in organ chambers. During transition from the inactive to active phase, this response was further increased in the wild-type mice but further decreased in the Per2 mutants. The endothelial dysfunction in the Per2 mutants was also observed with ionomycin, which was improved by the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin. No changes in the expression of endothelial acetylcholine-M 3 receptor or endothelial nitric oxide synthase protein but increased cyclooxygenase-1 (not cyclooxygenase-2) protein levels were observed in the aortas of the Per2 mutants. Compared with Per2 mutants, a greater endothelium-dependent relaxation to ATP was observed in the wild-type mice, which was reduced by indomethacin. In quiescent aortic rings, ATP caused greater endothelium-dependent contractions in the Per2 mutants than in the wild-type mice, contractions that were abolished by indomethacin. The endothelial dysfunction in the Per2 mutant mice is not associated with hypertension or dyslipidemia. Conclusions-Mutation in the Per2 gene in mice is associated with aortic endothelial dysfunction involving decreased production of NO and vasodilatory prostaglandin(s) and increased release of cyclooxygenase-1-derived vasoconstrictor(s). The results suggest an important role of the Per2 gene in maintenance of normal cardiovascular functions.
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