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J Clin Invest. 1997 Nov 15;100(10):2580-7.

Smooth muscle cell expression of type I cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase is suppressed by continuous exposure to nitrovasodilators, theophylline, cyclic GMP, and cyclic AMP.

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Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


A key component of the nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway in smooth muscle cells (SMC) is the type I GMP-dependent protein kinase (PK-G I). Activation of PK-G I mediates the reduction of cytoplasmic calcium concentrations and vasorelaxation. In this manuscript, we demonstrate that continuous exposure of SMC in culture to the nitrovasodilators S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) or sodium nitroprusside (SNP) results in approximately 75% suppression of PK-G I mRNA by 48 h. PK-G I mRNA and protein were also suppressed by continuous exposure to cGMP analogues 8-bromo- and 8-(4-chlorophenylthio) guanosine-3,5-monophosphate or the cAMP analogue dibutyryl cAMP. These results suggest that activation of one or both of the cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinases mediates PK-G I mRNA suppression. Using isoform-specific cDNA probes, only the PK-G I alpha was detected in SMC, either at baseline or after suppression, while PK-G I beta was not detected, indicating that isoform switch was not contributing to the gene regulation. Using the transcription inhibitor actinomycin D, the PK-G I mRNA half-life in bovine SMC was observed to be 5 h. The half-life was not affected by the addition of SNAP to actinomycin D, indicating no effect on PK-G I mRNA stability. Nuclear runoff studies indicated a suppression of PK-G I gene transcription by SNAP. PK-G I suppression was also observed in vivo in rats given isosorbide dinitrate in the drinking water, with a dose-dependent suppression of PK-G I protein in the aorta. PK-G I antigen in whole rat lung extract was also suppressed by administration of isosorbide or theophylline in the drinking water. These data may contribute to our understanding of nitrovasodilator resistance, a phenomenon resulting from continuous exposure to nitroglycerin or other nitrovasodilators.

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