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      Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate-Induced, Protein Kinase C-Mediated Contraction of Rabbit Bladder Smooth Muscle

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          Contraction of bladder smooth muscle is predominantly initiated by M 3 muscarinic receptor-mediated activation of the G q/11-phospholipase C β-protein kinase C (PKC) and the G 12/13-RhoGEF-Rho kinase (ROCK) pathways. However, these pathways and their downstream effectors are not well understood in bladder smooth muscle. We used phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu), and 1,2-dioctanoyl-sn-glycerol (DOG), activators of PKC, in this investigation. We were interested in dissecting the role(s) of PKC and to clarify the signaling pathways in bladder smooth muscle contraction, especially the potential cross-talk with ROCK and their downstream effectors in regulating myosin light chain phosphatase activity and force. To achieve this goal, the study was performed in the presence or absence of the PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide-1 (Bis) or the ROCK inhibitor H-1152. Phosphorylation levels of Thr 38-CPI-17 and Thr 696/Thr 850 myosin phosphatase target subunit (MYPT1) were measured during PDBu or DOG stimulation using site specific antibodies. PDBu-induced contraction in bladder smooth muscle involved both activation of PKC and PKC-dependent activation of ROCK. CPI-17 as a major downstream effector, is phosphorylated by PKC and ROCK during PDBu and DOG stimulation. Our results suggest that Thr 696 and Thr 850-MYPT1 phosphorylation are not involved in the regulation of a PDBu-induced contraction. The results also demonstrate that bladder smooth muscle contains a constitutively active isoform of ROCK that may play an important role in the regulation of bladder smooth muscle basal tone. Together with the results from our previous study, we developed a working model to describe the complex signaling pathways that regulate contraction of bladder smooth muscle.

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          Specificity and mechanism of action of some commonly used protein kinase inhibitors.

          The specificities of 28 commercially available compounds reported to be relatively selective inhibitors of particular serine/threonine-specific protein kinases have been examined against a large panel of protein kinases. The compounds KT 5720, Rottlerin and quercetin were found to inhibit many protein kinases, sometimes much more potently than their presumed targets, and conclusions drawn from their use in cell-based experiments are likely to be erroneous. Ro 318220 and related bisindoylmaleimides, as well as H89, HA1077 and Y 27632, were more selective inhibitors, but still inhibited two or more protein kinases with similar potency. LY 294002 was found to inhibit casein kinase-2 with similar potency to phosphoinositide (phosphatidylinositol) 3-kinase. The compounds with the most impressive selectivity profiles were KN62, PD 98059, U0126, PD 184352, rapamycin, wortmannin, SB 203580 and SB 202190. U0126 and PD 184352, like PD 98059, were found to block the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade in cell-based assays by preventing the activation of MAPK kinase (MKK1), and not by inhibiting MKK1 activity directly. Apart from rapamycin and PD 184352, even the most selective inhibitors affected at least one additional protein kinase. Our results demonstrate that the specificities of protein kinase inhibitors cannot be assessed simply by studying their effect on kinases that are closely related in primary structure. We propose guidelines for the use of protein kinase inhibitors in cell-based assays.
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            Ca2+ sensitivity of smooth muscle and nonmuscle myosin II: modulated by G proteins, kinases, and myosin phosphatase.

            Ca2+ sensitivity of smooth muscle and nonmuscle myosin II reflects the ratio of activities of myosin light-chain kinase (MLCK) to myosin light-chain phosphatase (MLCP) and is a major, regulated determinant of numerous cellular processes. We conclude that the majority of phenotypes attributed to the monomeric G protein RhoA and mediated by its effector, Rho-kinase (ROK), reflect Ca2+ sensitization: inhibition of myosin II dephosphorylation in the presence of basal (Ca2+ dependent or independent) or increased MLCK activity. We outline the pathway from receptors through trimeric G proteins (Galphaq, Galpha12, Galpha13) to activation, by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), from GDP. RhoA. GDI to GTP. RhoA and hence to ROK through a mechanism involving association of GEF, RhoA, and ROK in multimolecular complexes at the lipid cell membrane. Specific domains of GEFs interact with trimeric G proteins, and some GEFs are activated by Tyr kinases whose inhibition can inhibit Rho signaling. Inhibition of MLCP, directly by ROK or by phosphorylation of the phosphatase inhibitor CPI-17, increases phosphorylation of the myosin II regulatory light chain and thus the activity of smooth muscle and nonmuscle actomyosin ATPase and motility. We summarize relevant effects of p21-activated kinase, LIM-kinase, and focal adhesion kinase. Mechanisms of Ca2+ desensitization are outlined with emphasis on the antagonism between cGMP-activated kinase and the RhoA/ROK pathway. We suggest that the RhoA/ROK pathway is constitutively active in a number of organs under physiological conditions; its aberrations play major roles in several disease states, particularly impacting on Ca2+ sensitization of smooth muscle in hypertension and possibly asthma and on cancer neoangiogenesis and cancer progression. It is a potentially important therapeutic target and a subject for translational research.
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              Signal transduction and regulation in smooth muscle.

               A P Somlyo (1994)
              Smooth muscle cells in the walls of many organs are vital for most bodily functions, and their abnormalities contribute to a range of diseases. Although based on a sliding-filament mechanism similar to that of striated muscles, contraction of smooth muscle is regulated by pharmacomechanical as well as by electromechanical coupling mechanisms. Recent studies have revealed previously unrecognized contractile regulatory processes, such as G-protein-coupled inhibition of myosin light-chain phosphatase, regulation of myosin light-chain kinase by other kinases, and the functional effects of smooth muscle myosin isoforms. Abnormalities of these regulatory mechanisms and isoform variations may contribute to diseases of smooth muscle, and the G-protein-coupled inhibition of protein phosphatase is also likely to be important in regulating non-muscle cell functions mediated by cytoplasmic myosin II.

                Author and article information

                Front Pharmacol
                Front. Pharmacol.
                Frontiers in Pharmacology
                Frontiers Research Foundation
                02 January 2012
                : 2
                1simpleDepartments of Pharmacology and Physiology, Drexel University College of Medicine Philadelphia, PA, USA
                2simplePathology and Laboratory Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine Philadelphia, PA, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Issy Laher, University of British Columbia, Canada

                Reviewed by: Hamid Akbarali, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA; Chun Y. Seow, University of British Columbia, Canada

                *Correspondence: Robert S. Moreland, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Drexel University College of Medicine, 245 N 15th Street, MS #488, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA. e-mail: robert.moreland@

                Tanchun Wang and Derek M. Kendig have contributed equally to this work.

                This article was submitted to Frontiers in Cardiovascular and Smooth Muscle Pharmacology, a specialty of Frontiers in Pharmacology.

                Copyright © 2012 Wang, Kendig, Trappanese, Smolock and Moreland.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 43, Pages: 12, Words: 9992
                Original Research


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