Ca2+-Independent Activation of the Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase in Response to Tyrosine Phosphatase Inhibitors and Fluid Shear Stress

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Fluid shear stress enhances NO formation via a Ca (2+-independent) tyrosine kinase inhibitor-sensitive pathway. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor phenylarsine oxide and of fluid shear stress on endothelial NO production as well as on the membrane association and phosphorylation of the NO synthase (NOS) III. Phenylarsine oxide (10 [micro sign]mol/L) induced an immediate and maintained NO-mediated relaxation of isolated rabbit carotid arteries, which was insensitive to the removal of extracellular Ca2+ and the calmodulin antagonist calmidazolium. This phenylarsine oxide-induced vasodilatation was unaffected by genistein but abrogated by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor erbstatin A. Incubation of native or cultured endothelial cells with phenylarsine oxide resulted in a time-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of mainly Triton X-100-insoluble (cytoskeletal) proteins, along with a parallel change in the detergent solubility of NOS III, such that the enzyme was recovered in the cytoskeletal fraction. A similar, though slightly delayed, phenomenon was also observed after the application of fluid shear stress but not in response to any receptor-dependent agonist. Although Ca2+-independent NO formation was sensitive to erbstatin A, phenylarsine oxide treatment was associated with the tyrosine dephosphorylation of NOS III rather than its hyperphosphorylation. Proteins that also underwent redistribution in response to the tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor included paxillin, phospholipase C-gamma1, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and the tyrosine kinases Src and Fyn. We envisage that fluid shear stress and tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors may alter the conformation and/or protein coupling of NOS III, facilitating its interaction with specific phospholipids, proteins, and/or protein kinases that enhance/maintain its Ca2+-independent activation. (Circ Res. 1998;82:686-695.)

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