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J Cell Mol Med. 2015 Apr;19(4):815-25. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.12499. Epub 2015 Feb 9.

Interaction between connexin 43 and nitric oxide synthase in mice heart mitochondria.

Author information

1
Physiologisches Institut, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen, Germany; Institute for Pathophysiology, West German Heart and Vascular Center, University Schhool of Medicine Essen, Essen, Germany.

Abstract

Connexin 43 (Cx43), which is highly expressed in the heart and especially in cardiomyocytes, interferes with the expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms. Conversely, Cx43 gene expression is down-regulated by nitric oxide derived from the inducible NOS. Thus, a complex interplay between Cx43 and NOS expression appears to exist. As cardiac mitochondria are supposed to contain a NOS, we now investigated the expression of NOS isoforms and the nitric oxide production rate in isolated mitochondria of wild-type and Cx43-deficient (Cx43(Cre-ER(T)/fl) ) mice hearts. Mitochondria were isolated from hearts using differential centrifugation and purified via Percoll gradient ultracentrifugation. Isolated mitochondria were stained with an antibody against the mitochondrial marker protein adenine-nucleotide-translocator (ANT) in combination with either a neuronal NOS (nNOS) or an inducible NOS (iNOS) antibody and analysed using confocal laser scanning microscopy. The nitric oxide formation was quantified in purified mitochondria using the oxyhaemoglobin assay. Co-localization of predominantly nNOS (nNOS: 93 ± 4.1%; iNOS: 24.6 ± 7.5%) with ANT was detected in isolated mitochondria of wild-type mice. In contrast, iNOS expression was increased in Cx43(Cre-ER(T)/fl) mitochondria (iNOS: 90.7 ± 3.2%; nNOS: 53.8 ± 17.5%). The mitochondrial nitric oxide formation was reduced in Cx43(Cre-ER(T)/fl) mitochondria (0.14 ± 0.02 nmol/min./mg protein) in comparison to wild-type mitochondria (0.24 ± 0.02 nmol/min./mg). These are the first data demonstrating, that a reduced mitochondrial Cx43 content is associated with a switch of the mitochondrial NOS isoform and the respective mitochondrial rate of nitric oxide formation.

KEYWORDS:

connexin; heart; mitochondria; nitric oxide

PMID:
25678382
PMCID:
PMC4395196
DOI:
10.1111/jcmm.12499
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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