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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jan 15;267(2):1015-9.

Direct evidence for cross-activation of cGMP-dependent protein kinase by cAMP in pig coronary arteries.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-0615.


Elevation of either cAMP or cGMP causes smooth muscle relaxation. Whether these effects are mediated through cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAK), cGMP-dependent protein kinase (cGK), or both is unknown. Pig coronary arteries were treated with sodium nitroprusside (SNP) or atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), relaxants which elevate cGMP, and with isoproterenol or forskolin, relaxants which elevate cAMP. Incubation of the arteries with 10 microM SNP produced a 3.3-fold increase in cGMP without altering cAMP; the cGK activity ratio (-cGMP/+cGMP) in these extracts was increased by 2.6-fold as determined by a newly developed assay, while the cAK activity ratio (-cAMP/+cAMP) was unchanged. The increase in cGK activity ratio by SNP was concentration-dependent and was nearly maximal at 30 s. Treatment of the tissue with 10 nM ANF also increased the cGK activity ratio (2.3-fold), but not that of cAK. 100 microM isoproterenol caused a 2.9-fold elevation of cAMP with no change in cGMP, but both cAK and cGK activity ratios were increased (2.3- and 1.6-fold, respectively). The increase in the cGK activity ratio could be mimicked by cAMP addition to control tissue extracts at the concentration measured in extracts of the isoproterenol-treated tissue. Forskolin (1 and 10 microM) also increased the cGK activity ratio (1.9- and 4.9-fold). The increases in cGK activity observed in extracts suggest that moderate elevation of either cGMP or cAMP causes intracellular cGK activation, thus producing relaxation of vascular smooth muscle.

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