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FEBS Lett. 1990 Jun 4;265(1-2):133-6.

Calcium-dependent nitric oxide synthesis in endothelial cytosol is mediated by calmodulin.

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Department of Applied Physiology, University of Freiburg, FRG.


We investigated whether calmodulin mediates the stimulating effect of Ca2+ on nitric oxide synthase in the cytosol of porcine aortic endothelial cells. Nitric oxide was quantified by activation of a purified soluble guanylate cyclase. The Ca2(+)-sensitivity of nitric oxide synthase was lost after anion exchange chromatography of the endothelial cytosol and could only be reconstituted by addition of calmodulin or heat-denatured endothelial cytosol. The Ca2(+)-dependent activation of nitric oxide synthase in the cytosol was inhibited by the calmodulin-binding peptides/proteins melittin, mastoparan, and calcineurin (IC50 450, 350 and 60 nM, respectively), but not by the calmodulin antagonist, calmidazolium. In contrast, Ca2(+)-calmodulin-reconstituted nitric oxide synthase was inhibited with similar potency by melittin and calmidazolium. The results suggest that the Ca2(+)-dependent activation of nitric oxide synthase in endothelial cells is mediated by calmodulin.

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