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J Biol Chem. 1996 Nov 1;271(44):27237-40.

Endothelial nitric oxide synthase is regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation and interacts with caveolin-1.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and the Molecular Cardiobiology Program, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06536, USA.


The regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) by phosphorylation is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that eNOS is tyrosine-phosphorylated in bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC) using 32P metabolic labeling followed by phosphoamino acid analysis and by phosphotyrosine specific Western blotting. Treatment of BAEC with hydrogen peroxide and the protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor, sodium orthovanadate, increases eNOS tyrosine phosphorylation. Utilizing a novel immunoNOS assay, the increase in tyrosine phosphorylation is associated with a 50% decrease in the specific activity of the enzyme. Because eNOS is localized in plasmalemma caveolae, we examined if tyrosine phosphorylated eNOS interacts with caveolin-1, the coat protein of caveolae. Immunoprecipitation of eNOS from bovine lung microvascular endothelial cells resulted in the co-precipitation of caveolin-1. Conversely, immunoprecipitation of caveolin-1 resulted in the co-precipitation of tyrosine-phosphorylated eNOS. Thus, tyrosine phosphorylation is a novel regulatory mechanism for eNOS and caveolin-1 is the first eNOS-associated protein. Collectively, these observations provide a novel regulatory mechanism for eNOS and suggest that tyrosine phosphorylation may influence its activity, subcellular trafficking, and interaction with other caveolin-interacting proteins in caveolae.

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