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      Arginase Inhibition Restores Peroxynitrite-Induced Endothelial Dysfunction via L-Arginine-Dependent Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Phosphorylation

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          Peroxynitrite plays a critical role in vascular pathophysiology by increasing arginase activity and decreasing endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity. Therefore, the aims of this study were to investigate whether arginase inhibition and L-arginine supplement could restore peroxynitrite-induced endothelial dysfunction and determine the involved mechanism.

          Materials and Methods

          Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with SIN-1, a peroxynitrite generator, and arginase activity, nitrite/nitrate production, and expression levels of proteins were measured. eNOS activation was evaluated via Western blot and dimer blot analysis. We also tested nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and performed a vascular tension assay.


          SIN-1 treatment increased arginase activity in a time- and dose-dependent manner and reciprocally decreased nitrite/nitrate production that was prevented by peroxynitrite scavenger in HUVECs. Furthermore, SIN-1 induced an increase in the expression level of arginase I and II, though not in eNOS protein. The decreased eNOS phosphorylation at Ser1177 and the increased at Thr495 by SIN-1 were restored with arginase inhibitor and L-arginine. The changed eNOS phosphorylation was consistent in the stability of eNOS dimers. SIN-1 decreased NO production and increased ROS generation in the aortic endothelium, all of which was reversed by arginase inhibitor or L-arginine. N G-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) prevented SIN-1-induced ROS generation. In the vascular tension assay, SIN-1 enhanced vasoconstrictor responses to U46619 and attenuated vasorelaxant responses to acetylcholine that were reversed by arginase inhibition.


          These findings may explain the beneficial effect of arginase inhibition and L-arginine supplement on endothelial dysfunction under redox imbalance-dependent pathophysiological conditions.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Nitric oxide, superoxide, and peroxynitrite: the good, the bad, and ugly.

          Nitric oxide contrasts with most intercellular messengers because it diffuses rapidly and isotropically through most tissues with little reaction but cannot be transported through the vasculature due to rapid destruction by oxyhemoglobin. The rapid diffusion of nitric oxide between cells allows it to locally integrate the responses of blood vessels to turbulence, modulate synaptic plasticity in neurons, and control the oscillatory behavior of neuronal networks. Nitric oxide is not necessarily short lived and is intrinsically no more reactive than oxygen. The reactivity of nitric oxide per se has been greatly overestimated in vitro because no drain is provided to remove nitric oxide. Nitric oxide persists in solution for several minutes in micromolar concentrations before it reacts with oxygen to form much stronger oxidants like nitrogen dioxide. Nitric oxide is removed within seconds in vivo by diffusion over 100 microns through tissues to enter red blood cells and react with oxyhemoglobin. The direct toxicity of nitric oxide is modest but is greatly enhanced by reacting with superoxide to form peroxynitrite (ONOO-). Nitric oxide is the only biological molecule produced in high enough concentrations to out-compete superoxide dismutase for superoxide. Peroxynitrite reacts relatively slowly with most biological molecules, making peroxynitrite a selective oxidant. Peroxynitrite modifies tyrosine in proteins to create nitrotyrosines, leaving a footprint detectable in vivo. Nitration of structural proteins, including neurofilaments and actin, can disrupt filament assembly with major pathological consequences. Antibodies to nitrotyrosine have revealed nitration in human atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia, septic and distressed lung, inflammatory bowel disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
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            Diabetes-induced coronary vascular dysfunction involves increased arginase activity.

            Increases in arginase activity have been reported in a variety of disease conditions characterized by vascular dysfunction. Arginase competes with NO synthase for their common substrate arginine, suggesting a cause and effect relationship. We tested this concept by experiments with streptozotocin diabetic rats and high glucose (HG)-treated bovine coronary endothelial cells (BCECs). Our studies showed that diabetes-induced impairment of vasorelaxation to acetylcholine was correlated with increases in reactive oxygen species and arginase activity and arginase I expression in aorta and liver. Treatment of diabetic rats with simvastatin (5 mg/kg per day, subcutaneously) or L-citrulline (50 mg/kg per day, orally) blunted these effects. Acute treatment of diabetic coronary arteries with arginase inhibitors also reversed the impaired vasodilation to acetylcholine. Treatment of BCECs with HG (25 mmol/L, 24 hours) also increased arginase activity. This effect was blocked by treatment with simvastatin (0.1 micromol/L), the Rho kinase inhibitor Y-27632 (10 micromol/L), or L-citrulline (1 mmol/L). Superoxide and active RhoA levels also were elevated in HG-treated BCECs. Furthermore, HG significantly diminished NO production in BCECs. Transfection of BCECs with arginase I small interfering RNA prevented the rise in arginase activity in HG-treated cells and normalized NO production, suggesting a role for arginase I in reduced NO production with HG. These results indicate that increased arginase activity in diabetes contributes to vascular endothelial dysfunction by decreasing L-arginine availability to NO synthase.
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              Arginase reciprocally regulates nitric oxide synthase activity and contributes to endothelial dysfunction in aging blood vessels.

              Although abnormal L-arginine NO signaling contributes to endothelial dysfunction in the aging cardiovascular system, the biochemical mechanisms remain controversial. L-arginine, the NO synthase (NOS) precursor, is also a substrate for arginase. We tested the hypotheses that arginase reciprocally regulates NOS by modulating L-arginine bioavailability and that arginase is upregulated in aging vasculature, contributing to depressed endothelial function. Inhibition of arginase with (S)-(2-boronoethyl)-L-cysteine, HCl (BEC) produced vasodilation in aortic rings from young (Y) adult rats (maximum effect, 46.4+/-9.4% at 10(-5) mol/L, P<0.01). Similar vasorelaxation was elicited with the additional arginase inhibitors N-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine (nor-NOHA) and difluoromethylornithine (DFMO). This effect required intact endothelium and was prevented by 1H-oxadiazole quinoxalin-1-one (P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively), a soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor. DFMO-elicited vasodilation was greater in old (O) compared with Y rat aortic rings (60+/-6% versus 39+/-6%, P<0.05). In addition, BEC restored depressed L-arginine (10(-4) mol/L)-dependent vasorelaxant responses in O rings to those of Y. Arginase activity and expression were increased in O rings, whereas NOS activity and cyclic GMP levels were decreased. BEC and DFMO suppressed arginase activity and restored NOS activity and cyclic GMP levels in O vessels to those of Y. These findings demonstrate that arginase modulates NOS activity, likely by regulating intracellular L-arginine availability. Arginase upregulation contributes to endothelial dysfunction of aging and may therefore be a therapeutic target.

                Author and article information

                Yonsei Med J
                Yonsei Med. J
                Yonsei Medical Journal
                Yonsei University College of Medicine
                01 November 2016
                30 August 2016
                : 57
                : 6
                : 1329-1338
                [1 ]Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
                [2 ]Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea.
                [3 ]Infectious Signaling Network Research Center, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
                [4 ]Department of New Drug Discovery and Development, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
                [5 ]Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
                Author notes
                Co-corresponding author: Dr. Sungwoo Ryoo, Department of Biological Sciences, Kangwon National University, 1 Gangwondaehak-gil, Chuncheon 24341, Korea. Tel: 82-33-250-8534, Fax: 82-33-251-3990, ryoosw08@ 123456kangwon.ac.kr
                Co-corresponding author: Dr. Hyun Kyo Lim, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, 20 Ilsan-ro, Wonju 26426, Korea. Tel: 82-33-741-1536, Fax: 82-33-742-8198, hyunkyolim@ 123456yonsei.ac.kr

                *Minh Cong Nguyen and Jong Taek Park contributed equally to this work.

                © Copyright: Yonsei University College of Medicine 2016

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Funded by: National Research Foundation of Korea, CrossRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100003725;
                Award ID: 2015R1D1A3A01017911
                Funded by: Small and Medium Business Administration, CrossRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100003663;
                Award ID: C-1012329-01-01
                Funded by: Kangwon National University, CrossRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100002507;
                Award ID: 120140393
                Original Article
                Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems


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