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      Natriuretic Peptides and Nitric Oxide Stimulate cGMP Synthesis in Different Cellular Compartments

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          Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels are a family of ion channels activated by the binding of cyclic nucleotides. Endogenous channels have been used to measure cyclic nucleotide signals in photoreceptor outer segments and olfactory cilia for decades. Here we have investigated the subcellular localization of cGMP signals by monitoring CNG channel activity in response to agonists that activate either particulate or soluble guanylyl cyclase. CNG channels were heterologously expressed in either human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293 cells that stably overexpress a particulate guanylyl cyclase (HEK-NPRA cells), or cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) was used to activate the particulate guanylyl cyclase and the nitric oxide donor S-nitroso-n-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) was used to activate the soluble guanylyl cyclase. CNG channel activity was monitored by measuring Ca 2+ or Mn 2+ influx through the channels using the fluorescent dye, fura-2. We found that in HEK-NPRA cells, ANP-induced increases in cGMP levels activated CNG channels in a dose-dependent manner (0.05–10 nM), whereas SNAP (0.01–100 μM) induced increases in cGMP levels triggered little or no activation of CNG channels (P < 0.01). After pretreatment with 100 μM 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), a nonspecific phosphodiesterase inhibitor, ANP-induced Mn 2+ influx through CNG channels was significantly enhanced, while SNAP-induced Mn 2+ influx remained small. In contrast, we found that in the presence of IBMX, both 1 nM ANP and 100 μM SNAP triggered similar increases in total cGMP levels. We next sought to determine if cGMP signals are compartmentalized in VSMCs, which endogenously express particulate and soluble guanylyl cyclase. We found that 10 nM ANP induced activation of CNG channels more readily than 100 μM SNAP; whereas 100 μM SNAP triggered higher levels of total cellular cGMP accumulation. These results suggest that cGMP signals are spatially segregated within cells, and that the functional compartmentalization of cGMP signals may underlie the unique actions of ANP and nitric oxide.

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          Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases: functional implications of multiple isoforms.

           J Beavo (1995)
          In the last few years there has been a veritable explosion of knowledge about cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases. In particular, the accumulating data showing that there are a large number of different phosphodiesterase isozymes have triggered an equally large increase in interest about these enzymes. At least seven different gene families of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase are currently known to exist in mammalian tissues. Most families contain several distinct genes, and many of these genes are expressed in different tissues as functionally unique alternative splice variants. This article reviews many of the more important aspects about the structure, cellular localization, and regulation of each family of phosphodiesterases. Particular emphasis is placed on new information obtained in the last few years about how differential expression and regulation of individual phosphodiesterase isozymes relate to their function(s) in the body. A substantial discussion of the currently accepted nomenclature is also included. Finally, a brief discussion is included about how the differences among distinct phosphodiesterase isozymes are beginning to be used as the basis for developing therapeutic agents.
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            Detecting cAMP-induced Epac activation by fluorescence resonance energy transfer: Epac as a novel cAMP indicator.

            Epac1 is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rap1 that is activated by direct binding of cAMP. In vitro studies suggest that cAMP relieves the interaction between the regulatory and catalytic domains of Epac. Here, we monitor Epac1 activation in vivo by using a CFP-Epac-YFP fusion construct. When expressed in mammalian cells, CFP-Epac-YFP shows significant fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). FRET rapidly decreases in response to the cAMP-raising agents, whereas it fully recovers after addition of cAMP-lowering agonists. Thus, by undergoing a cAMP-induced conformational change, CFP-Epac-YFP serves as a highly sensitive cAMP indicator in vivo. When compared with a protein kinase A (PKA)-based sensor, Epac-based cAMP probes show an extended dynamic range and a better signal-to-noise ratio; furthermore, as a single polypeptide, CFP-Epac-YFP does not suffer from the technical problems encountered with multisubunit PKA-based sensors. These properties make Epac-based FRET probes the preferred indicators for monitoring cAMP levels in vivo.
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              Endothelium-derived relaxing and contracting factors.

              Endothelium-dependent relaxation of blood vessels is produced by a large number of agents (e.g., acetylcholine, ATP and ADP, substance P, bradykinin, histamine, thrombin, serotonin). With some agents, relaxation may be limited to certain species and/or blood vessels. Relaxation results from release of a very labile non-prostanoid endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) or factors. EDRF stimulates guanylate cyclase of the vascular smooth muscle, with the resulting increase in cyclic GMP activating relaxation. EDRF is rapidly inactivated by hemoglobin and superoxide. There is strong evidence that EDRF from many blood vessels and from cultured endothelial cells is nitric oxide (NO) and that its precursor is L-arginine. There is evidence for other relaxing factors, including an endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor in some vessels. Flow-induced shear stress also stimulates EDRF release. Endothelium-dependent relaxation occurs in resistance vessels as well as in larger arteries, and is generally more pronounced in arteries than veins. EDRF also inhibits platelet aggregation and adhesion to the blood vessel wall. Endothelium-derived contracting factors appear to be responsible for endothelium-dependent contractions produced by arachidonic acid and hypoxia in isolated systemic vessels and by certain agents and by rapid stretch in isolated cerebral vessels. In all such experiments, the endothelium-derived contracting factor appears to be some product or by-product of cyclooxygenase activity. Recently, endothelial cells in culture have been found to synthesize a peptide, endothelin, which is an extremely potent vasoconstrictor. The possible physiological roles and pathophysiological significance of endothelium-derived relaxing and contracting factors are briefly discussed.

                Author and article information

                J Gen Physiol
                The Journal of General Physiology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                July 2006
                : 128
                : 1
                : 3-14
                [1 ]Program in Cell and Regulatory Biology, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, Houston, TX 77225
                [2 ]Department of Pediatrics and the Heart Research Center, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239
                [3 ]Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030
                Author notes

                Correspondence to Thomas C. Rich: trich@ 123456jaguar1.usouthal.edu

                Copyright © 2006, The Rockefeller University Press

                Anatomy & Physiology


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