Send to

Choose Destination
PeerJ. 2017 Apr 11;5:e3172. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3172. eCollection 2017.

Mechanism of endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation and activation by tentacle extract from the jellyfish Cyanea capillata.

Wang B#1,2, Liu D#2, Wang C#2, Wang Q1,2, Zhang H2, Liu G1,2, Tao X3, Zhang L1,2.

Author information

Marine Bio-pharmaceutical Institute, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Marine Biotechnology, Faculty of Naval Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Pharmacy, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.
Contributed equally


Our previous study demonstrated that tentacle extract (TE) from the jellyfish Cyanea capillata (C. capillata) could cause a weak relaxation response mediated by nitric oxide (NO) using isolated aorta rings. However, the intracellular mechanisms of TE-induced vasodilation remain unclear. Thus, this study was conducted to examine the role of TE on Akt/eNOS/NO and Ca2+ signaling pathways in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Our results showed that TE induced dose- and time-dependent increases of eNOS activity and NO production. And TE also induced Akt and eNOS phosphorylation in HUVECs. However, treatment with specific PI3-kinase inhibitor (Wortmannin) significantly inhibited the increases in NO production and Akt/eNOS phosphorylation. In addition, TE also stimulated an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), which was significantly attenuated by either IP3 receptor blocker (Heparin) or PKC inhibitor (PKC 412). In contrast, extracellular Ca2+-free, L-type calcium channel blocker (Nifedipine), or PKA inhibitor (H89) had no influence on the [Ca2+]i elevation. Since calcium ions also play a critical role in stimulating eNOS activity, we next explored the role of Ca2+ in TE-induced Akt/eNOS activation. In consistent with the attenuation of [Ca2+]i elevation, we found that Akt/eNOS phosphorylation was also dramatically decreased by Heparin or PKC 412, but not affected by Nifedipine or H89. However, the phosphorylation level could also be decreased by the removal of extracellular calcium. Taken together, our findings indicated that TE-induced eNOS phosphorylation and activation were mainly through PI3K/Akt-dependent, PKC/IP3R-sensitive and Ca2+-dependent pathways.


Endothelial cell; Hypertension; Jellyfish; Nitric oxide (NO); endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PeerJ, Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center