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J Biol Chem. 2001 May 25;276(21):17625-8. Epub 2001 Apr 5.

Coordinated control of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase phosphorylation by protein kinase C and the cAMP-dependent protein kinase.

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  • 1St. Vincent's Institute of Medical Research, St. Vincent's Hospital, 41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, Australia.


Endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (eNOS) is an important regulatory enzyme in the cardiovascular system catalyzing the production of NO from arginine. Multiple protein kinases including Akt/PKB, cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), and the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activate eNOS by phosphorylating Ser-1177 in response to various stimuli. During VEGF signaling in endothelial cells, there is a transient increase in Ser-1177 phosphorylation coupled with a decrease in Thr-495 phosphorylation that reverses over 10 min. PKC signaling in endothelial cells inhibits eNOS activity by phosphorylating Thr-495 and dephosphorylating Ser-1177 whereas PKA signaling acts in reverse by increasing phosphorylation of Ser-1177 and dephosphorylation of Thr-495 to activate eNOS. Both phosphatases PP1 and PP2A are associated with eNOS. PP1 is responsible for dephosphorylation of Thr-495 based on its specificity for this site in both eNOS and the corresponding synthetic phosphopeptide whereas PP2A is responsible for dephosphorylation of Ser-1177. Treatment of endothelial cells with calyculin selectively blocks PKA-mediated dephosphorylation of Thr-495 whereas okadaic acid selectively blocks PKC-mediated dephosphorylation of Ser-1177. These results show that regulation of eNOS activity involves coordinated signaling through Ser-1177 and Thr-495 by multiple protein kinases and phosphatases.

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