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J Biol Chem. 2001 May 11;276(19):15761-7. Epub 2001 Feb 8.

3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors block calcium-dependent tyrosine kinase Pyk2 activation by angiotensin II in vascular endothelial cells. involvement of geranylgeranylation of small G protein Rap1.

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  • 1Departments of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.


We recently reported the calcium-dependent activation of tyrosine kinase Pyk2 by angiotensin II (Ang II) in pulmonary vein endothelial cells (PVEC). Since Pyk2 has no calcium binding domain, and neither Ca(2+) nor Ca(2+)/calmodulin directly activates Pyk2, it is not clear how Ca(2+) transduces the signal to activate Pyk2, a key tyrosine kinase, in the early events of Ang II signaling. In the present study, we investigated the mechanism of the calcium-dependent activation of Pyk2 in response to Ang II by using 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors and isoprenoid intermediates in PVEC. We have obtained substantial evidence indicating that Ang II activates Pyk2 through calcium-mediated activation of the geranylgeranylated small G protein Rap1 and the Rap1 association with Pyk2. Thus, the small G protein Rap1 is an intermediary signaling molecule linking Ang II-induced calcium signal to Pyk2 activation in PVEC. In addition, our results indicate that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors, a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, could interrupt Ang II signaling independent of cholesterol lowering in endothelial cells.

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