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J Biol Chem. 2001 May 11;276(19):16587-91. Epub 2001 Feb 28.

Reciprocal phosphorylation and regulation of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase in response to bradykinin stimulation.

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  • 1Vascular Biology Center, Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.


Endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (eNOS) is phosphorylated at Ser-1179 (bovine sequence) by Akt after growth factor or shear stress stimulation of endothelial cells, resulting in increased eNOS activity. Purified eNOS is also phosphorylated at Thr-497 by purified AMP-activated protein kinase, resulting in decreased eNOS activity. We investigated whether bradykinin (BK) stimulation of bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) regulates eNOS through Akt activation and Ser-1179 or Thr-497 phosphorylation. Akt is transiently activated in BK-stimulated BAECs. Activation is blocked completely by wortmannin and LY294002, inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, suggesting that Akt activation occurs downstream from phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. BK stimulates a transient phosphorylation of eNOS at Ser-1179 that is correlated temporally with a transient dephosphorylation of eNOS at Thr-497. Phosphorylation at Ser-1179, but not dephosphorylation at Thr-497, is blocked by wortmannin and LY294002. BK also stimulates a transient nitric oxide (NO) release from BAECs with a time-course similar to Ser-1179 phosphorylation and Thr-497 dephosphorylation. NO release is not altered by wortmannin. BK-stimulated dephosphorylation of Thr-497 and NO release are blocked by the calcineurin inhibitor, cyclosporin A. These data suggest that BK activation of eNOS in BAECs primarily involves deinhibition of the enzyme through calcineurin-mediated dephosphorylation at Thr-497.

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