TMEM16A Contributes to Endothelial Dysfunction by Facilitating Nox2 NADPH Oxidase–Derived Reactive Oxygen Species Generation in Hypertension

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Ca2+-activated Cl− channels play a crucial role in various physiological processes. However, the role of TMEM16A in vascular endothelial dysfunction during hypertension is unclear. In this study, we investigated the specific involvement of TMEM16A in regulating endothelial function and blood pressure and the underlying mechanism. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, coimmunoprecipitation, confocal imaging, patch-clamp recordings, and TMEM16A endothelial-specific transgenic and knockout mice were used. We found that TMEM16A was expressed abundantly and functioned as a Ca2+-activated Cl− channel in endothelial cells. Angiotensin II induced endothelial dysfunction with an increase in TMEM16A expression. The knockout of endothelial-specific TMEM16A significantly lowered the blood pressure and ameliorated endothelial dysfunction in angiotensin II–induced hypertension, whereas the overexpression of endothelial-specific TMEM16A resulted in the opposite effects. These results were related to the increased reactive oxygen species production, Nox2-containing NADPH oxidase activation, and Nox2 and p22phox protein expression that were facilitated by TMEM16A on angiotensin II–induced hypertensive challenge. Moreover, TMEM16A directly bound with Nox2 and reduced the degradation of Nox2 through the proteasome-dependent degradation pathway. Therefore, TMEM16A is a positive regulator of endothelial reactive oxygen species generation via Nox2-containing NADPH oxidase, which induces endothelial dysfunction and hypertension. Modification of TMEM16A may be a novel therapeutic strategy for endothelial dysfunction–associated diseases.

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