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      Phorbol ester-induced contractions of swine carotid artery are supported by slowly cycling crossbridges which are not dependent on calcium or myosin light chain phosphorylation.

      Journal of Vascular Research

      Animals, Calcium, pharmacology, Carotid Arteries, drug effects, physiology, Kinetics, Muscle Contraction, Muscle, Smooth, Vascular, Myosins, metabolism, Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate, Phosphorylation, Swine, Potassium Chloride

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          Abstract

          This study determined if phorbol ester-induced contraction of vascular smooth muscle requires calcium-dependent myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation and, if not, whether the mechanical characteristics of the contraction in terms of stiffness and crossbridge cycling are similar to those during a calcium- and MLC phosphorylation-dependent contraction. Carotid arterial strips were exposed to 1.0 microM phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) in the presence of normal physiological salt solution (PSS) or after calcium depletion in calcium-free PSS and compared with contraction elicited by calcium-containing 110 mM KCl-PSS. PDBu induced maximal stress in both the presence and absence of calcium. While there was a temporal correlation between MLC phosphorylation and shortening velocity during KCl depolarization, shortening velocity was dissociated from MLC phosphorylation during PDBu stimulation. The stress-stiffness relationship was not different during KCl and PDBu stimulation, suggesting similar crossbridge interactions even though MLC phosphorylation levels were significantly different. These results demonstrate that PDBu-induced contraction of the swine carotid artery is not dependent on calcium or MLC phosphorylation. We suggest the possibility that activation of a calcium-independent PKC isoform may result in the expression of an inherent level of actin-activated myosin ATPase activity resulting in the slow development of stress.

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