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Circ Res. 2012 Jan 20;110(2):295-303. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.111.259242. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Pressure-overload-induced subcellular relocalization/oxidation of soluble guanylyl cyclase in the heart modulates enzyme stimulation.

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Division of Cardiology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 720 Rutland Ave, Ross 858, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.



Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) generates cyclic guanosine monophophate (cGMP) upon activation by nitric oxide (NO). Cardiac NO-sGC-cGMP signaling blunts cardiac stress responses, including pressure-overload-induced hypertrophy. The latter itself depresses signaling through this pathway by reducing NO generation and enhancing cGMP hydrolysis.


We tested the hypothesis that the sGC response to NO also declines with pressure-overload stress and assessed the role of heme-oxidation and altered intracellular compartmentation of sGC as potential mechanisms.


C57BL/6 mice subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC) developed cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction. NO-stimulated sGC activity was markedly depressed, whereas NO- and heme-independent sGC activation by BAY 60-2770 was preserved. Total sGCα(1) and β(1) expression were unchanged by TAC; however, sGCβ(1) subunits shifted out of caveolin-enriched microdomains. NO-stimulated sGC activity was 2- to 3-fold greater in Cav3-containing lipid raft versus nonlipid raft domains in control and 6-fold greater after TAC. In contrast, BAY 60-2770 responses were >10 fold higher in non-Cav3 domains with and without TAC, declining about 60% after TAC within each compartment. Mice genetically lacking Cav3 had reduced NO- and BAY-stimulated sGC activity in microdomains containing Cav3 for controls but no change within non-Cav3-enriched domains.


Pressure overload depresses NO/heme-dependent sGC activation in the heart, consistent with enhanced oxidation. The data reveal a novel additional mechanism for reduced NO-coupled sGC activity related to dynamic shifts in membrane microdomain localization, with Cav3-microdomains protecting sGC from heme-oxidation and facilitating NO responsiveness. Translocation of sGC out of this domain favors sGC oxidation and contributes to depressed NO-stimulated sGC activity.

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