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Circ Res. 1996 Nov;79(5):984-91.

Phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in response to fluid shear stress.

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1
Cardiology Division, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195, USA. mcorson@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Endothelial cells release nitric oxide (NO) more potently in response to increased shear stress than to agonists which elevate intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). To determine mechanistic differences in the regulation of endothelial constitutive NO synthase (ecNOS), we measured NO production by bovine aortic endothelial cells exposed to shear stress in a laminar flow chamber or treated with Ca2+ ionophores in static culture. The kinetics of cumulative NO production varied strikingly: shear stress (25 dyne/cm2) stimulated a biphasic increase over control that was 13-fold at 60 minutes, whereas raising [Ca2+]i caused a monophasic 6-fold increase. We hypothesized that activation of a protein kinase cascade mediates the early phase of flow-dependent NO production. Immunoprecipitation of ecNOS showed a 210% increase in phosphorylation 1 minute after flow initiation, whereas there was no significant increase after Ca2+ ionophore treatment. Although ecNOS was not tyrosine-phosphorylated, the early phase of flow-dependent NO production was blocked by genistein, an inhibitor of tyrosine kinases. To determine the Ca2+ requirement for flow-dependent NO production, we measured [Ca2+]i with a novel flow-step protocol. [Ca2+]i increased with the onset of shear stress, but not after a step increase. However, the step increase in shear stress was associated with a potent biphasic increase in NO production rate and ecNOS phosphorylation. These studies demonstrate that shear stress can increase NO production in the absence of increased [Ca2+]i, and they suggest that phosphorylation of ecNOS may importantly modulate its activity during the imposition of increased shear stress.

PMID:
8888690
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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