A pivotal role for tryptophan 447 in enzymatic coupling of human endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS): effects on tetrahydrobiopterin-dependent catalysis and eNOS dimerization.
ABSTRACT: Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is a required cofactor for the synthesis of NO by NOS. Bioavailability of BH4 is a critical factor in regulating the balance between NO and superoxide production by endothelial NOS (eNOS coupling). Crystal structures of the mouse inducible NOS oxygenase domain reveal a homologous BH4-binding site located in the dimer interface and a conserved tryptophan residue that engages in hydrogen bonding or aromatic stacking interactions with the BH4 ring. The role of this residue in eNOS coupling remains unexplored. We overexpressed human eNOS W447A and W447F mutants in novel cell lines with tetracycline-regulated expression of human GTP cyclohydrolase I, the rate-limiting enzyme in BH4 synthesis, to determine the importance of BH4 and Trp-447 in eNOS uncoupling. NO production was abolished in eNOS-W447A cells and diminished in cells expressing W447F, despite high BH4 levels. eNOS-derived superoxide production was significantly elevated in W447A and W447F versus wild-type eNOS, and this was sufficient to oxidize BH4 to 7,8-dihydrobiopterin. In uncoupled, BH4-deficient cells, the deleterious effects of W447A mutation were greatly exacerbated, resulting in further attenuation of NO and greatly increased superoxide production. eNOS dimerization was attenuated in W447A eNOS cells and further reduced in BH4-deficient cells, as demonstrated using a novel split Renilla luciferase biosensor. Reduction of cellular BH4 levels resulted in a switch from an eNOS dimer to an eNOS monomer. These data reveal a key role for Trp-447 in determining NO versus superoxide production by eNOS, by effects on BH4-dependent catalysis, and by modulating eNOS dimer formation.
Project description:Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) uncoupling is a mechanism that leads to endothelial dysfunction. Previously, we reported that shear stress-induced release of nitric oxide in vessels of aged rats was significantly reduced and was accompanied by increased production of superoxide (18, 27). In the present study, we investigated the influence of aging on eNOS uncoupling. Mesenteric arteries were isolated from young (3 mo) and aged (24 mo) C57 BL/6J mice. The expression of eNOS protein in young vs. aged mice was not significantly different. However, the aged mice had remarkable increases in the ratio of eNOS monomers to dimers and N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester-inhibitable superoxide formation. The level of nitrotyrosine in the total protein and precipitated eNOS of aged vessels was increased compared with that in young vessels. HPLC analysis indicated a reduced level of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), an essential cofactor for eNOS, in the mesenteric arteries of aged mice. Quantitative PCR results implied that the diminished BH4 may result from the decreased expressions of GTP cyclohydrolase I and sepiapterin reductase, enzymes involved in BH4 biosynthesis. When isolated and cannulated second-order mesenteric arteries (approximately 150 microm) from aged mice were treated with sepiapterin, acetylcholine-induced, endothelium-dependent vasodilation improved significantly, which was accompanied by stabilization of the eNOS dimer. These data suggest that eNOS uncoupling and increased nitrosylation of eNOS, decreased expressions of GTP cyclohydrolase I and sepiapterin reductase, and subsequent reduced BH4 bioavailability may be important contributors of endothelial dysfunction in aged vessels.
Project description:Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is an essential cofactor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), and reduced BH4 availability leads to endothelial NOS (eNOS) uncoupling and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Questions remain regarding the functional state of eNOS and role of BH4 availability in the process of in vivo myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. Rats were subjected to 60min of in vivo left coronary artery occlusion and varying periods of reperfusion with or without pre-ischemic liposomal BH4 supplementation (1mg/kg, iv). Myocardial infarction was correlated with cardiac BH4 content, eNOS protein level, NOS enzyme activity, and ROS generation. In the vehicle group, 60-min ischemia drastically reduced myocardial BH4 content in the area at risk (AAR) compared to non-ischemic (NI) area and the level remained lower during early reperfusion followed by recovery after 24-h reperfusion. Total eNOS, activated eNOS protein level (eNOS Ser1177 phosphorylation) and NOS activity were also significantly reduced during ischemia and/or early reperfusion, but recovered after 24-h reperfusion. With liposomal BH4 treatment, BH4 levels were identical in the AAR and NI area during ischemia and/or early reperfusion, and were significantly higher than with vehicle. BH4 pre-treatment preserved eNOS Ser1177 phosphorylation and NOS activity in the AAR, and significantly reduced myocardial ROS generation and infarction compared to vehicle. These findings provide direct evidence that in vivo I/R induces eNOS dysfunction secondary to BH4 depletion, and that pre-ischemic liposomal BH4 administration preserves eNOS function conferring cardioprotection with reduced oxidative stress.
Project description:Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)-derived nitric oxide (NO) has important vasoprotective functions that are compromised in the vasodegenerative phase of retinopathy of prematurity, owing to hyperoxia-induced depletion of the essential NOS cofactor BH4. Because modulating eNOS function can be beneficial or detrimental, our aim was to investigate the effect of BH4 supplementation on eNOS function and vascular regression in hyperoxia.Endothelial-specific eNOS-green fluorescent protein (GFP) overexpressing mice at postnatal day 7 (P7) were exposed to hyperoxia for 48 hours in the presence or absence of supplemental BH4, achieved by administration of sepiapterin, a stable BH4 precursor. Tissue was collected either for retinal flat mounts that were stained with lectin to determine the extent of vessel coverage or for analysis of BH4 by high-performance liquid chromatography, nitrotyrosine (NT) marker by Western blotting, VEGF expression by ELISA, and NOS activity by arginine-to-citrulline conversion. Primary retinal microvascular endothelial cells (RMEC) were similarly treated, and hyperoxia-induced damage was determined.Sepiapterin effectively enhanced BH4 levels in hyperoxia-exposed retinas and brains, elevated NOS activity, and reduced NT-modified protein, leading to reversal of the exacerbated vasoregression observed in the presence of eNOS overexpression. In RMECs, hyperoxia-mediated depletion of BH4 dysregulated the redox balance by reducing nitrite and elevating superoxide and impaired proliferative ability. BH4 supplementation restored normal RMEC proliferation in vitro and also in vivo, providing a mechanistic link with the enhanced vascular coverage in eNOS-GFP retinas.These results demonstrate that BH4 supplementation corrects hyperoxia-induced RMEC dysfunction and preserves vascular integrity by enhancing eNOS function.
Project description:C-reactive protein (CRP), a cardiovascular risk marker, induces endothelial dysfunction. We have previously shown that CRP decreases endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression and bioactivity in human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs). In this study, we examined the mechanisms by which CRP decreases eNOS activity in HAECs. To this end, we explored different strategies such as availability of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4)-a critical cofactor for eNOS, superoxide (O(2)(-)) production resulting in uncoupling of eNOS and phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of eNOS. CRP treatment significantly decreased levels of BH4 thereby promoting eNOS uncoupling. Pretreatment with sepiapterin, a BH4 precursor, prevented CRP-mediated effects on BH(4) levels, superoxide production as well as eNOS activity. The gene expression and enzymatic activity of GTPCH1, the first enzyme in the de novo biosynthesis of BH(4), were significantly inhibited by CRP. Importantly, GTPCH1 is known to be regulated by cAMP-mediated pathway. In the present study, CRP-mediated inhibition of GTPCH1 activity was reversed by pretreatment with cAMP analogues. Furthermore, CRP-induced O(2)(-) production was reversed by pharmacologic inhibition and siRNAs to p47 phox and p22 phox. Additionally, CRP treatment significantly decreased the eNOS dimer: monomer ratio confirming CRP-mediated eNOS uncoupling. The pretreatment of cells with NO synthase inhibitor (N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester [l-NAME]) also prevented CRP-mediated O(2)(-) production further strengthening CRP-mediated eNOS uncoupling. Additionally, CRP decreased eNOS phosphorylation at Ser1177 as well as increased phosphorylation at Thr495. CRP appears to mediate these effects through the Fcgamma receptors, CD32 and CD64. To conclude, CRP uncouples eNOS resulting in increased superoxide production, decreased NO production and altered eNOS phosphorylation.
Project description:In ischemic retinopathies, the misdirection of reparative angiogenesis away from the hypoxic retina leads to pathologic neovascularization. Thus, therapeutic strategies that reverse this trend would be extremely beneficial. Nitric oxide (NO) produced by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is an important mediator of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) function facilitating vascular growth and maturation. However, in addition to NO, eNOS can also produce superoxide (O(2)(-)), exacerbating pathology. Here, our aim was to investigate the effect of eNOS overexpression on vascular closure and subsequent recovery of the ischemic retina.Mice overexpressing eNOS-GFP were subjected to oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) and changes in retinal vascularization quantified. Background angiogenic drive was assessed during vascular development and in aortic rings. NOS activity was measured by Griess assay or conversion of radiolabeled arginine to citrulline, nitrotyrosine (NT), and superoxide by immunolabeling and dihydroethidium fluorescence and VEGF by ELISA.In response to hyperoxia, enhanced eNOS expression led to increased NOS-derived superoxide and dysfunctional NO production, NT accumulation, and exacerbated vessel closure associated with tetrahydrobiopterin (BH?) insufficiency. Despite worse vaso-obliteration, eNOS overexpression resulted in elevated hypoxia-induced angiogenic drive, independent of VEGF production. This correlated with increased vascular branching similar to that observed in isolated aortas and during development. Enhanced recovery was also associated with neovascular tuft formation, which showed defective NO production and increased eNOS-derived superoxide and NT levels.In hyperoxia, reduced BH? bioavailability causes overexpressed eNOS to become dysfunctional, exacerbating vaso-obliteration. In the proliferative phase, however, eNOS has important prorepair functions enhancing angiogenic growth potential and recovery in ischemia.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Vascular oxidative stress generated by endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) was observed in experimental and clinical cardiovascular disease, but its relative importance for vascular pathologies is unclear. We investigated the impact of eNOS-dependent vascular oxidative stress on endothelial function and on neointimal hyperplasia.<h4>Results</h4>A dimer-destabilized mutant of bovine eNOS where cysteine 101 was replaced by alanine was cloned and introduced into an eNOS-deficient mouse strain (eNOS-KO) in an endothelial-specific manner. Destabilization of mutant eNOS in cells and eNOS-KO was confirmed by the reduced dimer/monomer ratio. Purified mutant eNOS and transfected cells generated less citrulline and NO, respectively, while superoxide generation was enhanced. In eNOS-KO, introduction of mutant eNOS caused a 2.3-3.7-fold increase in superoxide and peroxynitrite formation in the aorta and myocardium. This was completely blunted by an NOS inhibitor. Nevertheless, expression of mutant eNOS in eNOS-KO completely restored maximal aortic endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine. Neointimal hyperplasia induced by carotid binding was much larger in eNOS-KO than in mutant eNOS-KO and C57BL/6, while the latter strains showed comparable hyperplasia. Likewise, vascular remodeling was blunted in eNOS-KO only.<h4>Innovation</h4>Our results provide the first in vivo evidence that eNOS-dependent oxidative stress is unlikely to be an initial cause of impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and/or a pathologic factor promoting intimal hyperplasia. These findings highlight the importance of other sources of vascular oxidative stress in cardiovascular disease.<h4>Conclusion</h4>eNOS-dependent oxidative stress is unlikely to induce functional vascular damage as long as concomitant generation of NO is preserved. This underlines the importance of current and new therapeutic strategies in improving endothelial NO generation.
Project description:GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (GTPCH1) is the rate-limiting enzyme in de novo synthesis of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), an essential cofactor for endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) dictating, at least partly, the balance of NO and superoxide produced by this enzyme. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of acute inhibition of GTPCH1 on BH4, eNOS function, and blood pressure (BP) in vivo. Exposure of bovine or mouse aortic endothelial cells to GTPCH1 inhibitors (2,4-diamino-6-hydroxypyrimidine or N-acetyl-serotonin) or GTPCH1 small-interference RNA (siRNA) significantly reduced BH4 and NO levels but increased superoxide levels. This increase was abolished by sepiapterin (BH4 precursor) or N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (nonselective NOS inhibitor). Incubation of isolated murine aortas with 2,4-diamino-6-hydroxypyrimidine or N-acetyl-serotonin impaired acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation but not endothelium-independent relaxation. Aortas from GTPCH1 siRNA-injected mice, but not their control-siRNA injected counterparts, also exhibited impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation. BH4 reduction induced by GTPCH1 siRNA injection was associated with increased aortic levels of superoxide, 3-nitrotyrosine, and adhesion molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1), as well as a significantly elevated systolic, diastolic, and mean BP in C57BL6 mice. GTPCH1 siRNA was unable to elicit these effects in eNOS(-/-) mice. Sepiapterin supplementation, which had no effect on high BP in eNOS(-/-) mice, partially reversed GTPCH1 siRNA-induced elevation of BP in wild-type mice. In conclusion, GTPCH1 via BH4 maintains normal BP and endothelial function in vivo by preserving NO synthesis by eNOS.
Project description:Tetrahyrobiopterin (BH4) is a required cofactor for the synthesis of nitric oxide by endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (eNOS), and BH4 bioavailability within the endothelium is a critical factor in regulating the balance between NO and superoxide production by eNOS (eNOS coupling). BH4 levels are determined by the activity of GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH), the rate-limiting enzyme in de novo BH4 biosynthesis. However, BH4 levels may also be influenced by oxidation, forming 7,8-dihydrobiopterin (BH2), which promotes eNOS uncoupling. Conversely, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) can regenerate BH4 from BH2, but the functional importance of DHFR in maintaining eNOS coupling remains unclear. We investigated the role of DHFR in regulating BH4 versus BH2 levels in endothelial cells and in cell lines expressing eNOS combined with tet-regulated GTPCH expression in order to compare the effects of low or high levels of de novo BH4 biosynthesis. Pharmacological inhibition of DHFR activity by methotrexate or genetic knockdown of DHFR protein by RNA interference reduced intracellular BH4 and increased BH2 levels resulting in enzymatic uncoupling of eNOS, as indicated by increased eNOS-dependent superoxide but reduced NO production. In contrast to the decreased BH4:BH2 ratio induced by DHFR knockdown, GTPCH knockdown greatly reduced total biopterin levels but with no change in BH4:BH2 ratio. In cells expressing eNOS with low biopterin levels, DHFR inhibition or knockdown further diminished the BH4:BH2 ratio and exacerbated eNOS uncoupling. Taken together, these data reveal a key role for DHFR in eNOS coupling by maintaining the BH4:BH2 ratio, particularly in conditions of low total biopterin availability.
Project description:The mechanism of vascular endothelial dysfunction (VED) and cardiovascular disease in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is unknown. We performed a comprehensive evaluation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) function directly in the microcirculatory endothelial tissue of OSA patients who have very low cardiovascular risk status. Nineteen OSA patients underwent gluteal biopsies before, and after effective treatment of OSA. We measured superoxide (O2(•-)) and nitric oxide (NO) in the microcirculatory endothelium using confocal microscopy. We evaluated the effect of the NOS inhibitor l-Nitroarginine-Methyl-Ester (l-NAME) and the NOS cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) on endothelial O2(•-) and NO in patient endothelial tissue before and after treatment. We found that eNOS is dysfunctional in OSA patients pre-treatment, and is a source of endothelial O2(•-) overproduction. eNOS dysfunction was reversible with the addition of BH4. These findings provide a new mechanism of endothelial dysfunction in OSA patients and a potentially targetable pathway for treatment of cardiovascular risk in OSA.
Project description:Downregulation of CR6 interacting factor 1 (CRIF1) has been reported to induce mitochondrial dysfunction, resulting in reduced activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and NO production in endothelial cells. Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is an important cofactor in regulating the balance between NO (eNOS coupling) and superoxide production (eNOS uncoupling). However, whether the decreased eNOS and NO production in CRIF1-deficient cells is associated with relative BH4 deficiency-induced eNOS uncoupling remains completely unknown. Our results showed that CRIF1 deficiency increased eNOS uncoupling and depleted levels of total biopterin and BH4 by reducing the enzymes of BH4 biosynthesis (GCH-1, PTS, SPR, and DHFR) in vivo and vitro, respectively. Supplementation of CRIF1-deficient cells with BH4 significantly increased the recovery of Akt and eNOS phosphorylation and NO synthesis. In addition, scavenging ROS with MitoTEMPO treatment replenished BH4 levels by elevating levels of GCH-1, PTS, and SPR, but with no effect on the level of DHFR. Downregulation of DHFR synthesis regulators p16 or p21 in CRIF1-deficient cells partially recovered the DHFR expression. In summary, CRIF1 deficiency inhibited BH4 biosynthesis and exacerbated eNOS uncoupling. This resulted in reduced NO production and increased oxidative stress, which contributes to endothelial dysfunction and is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases.