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      Sustained Contraction in Vascular Smooth Muscle by Activation of L-type Ca 2+ Channels Does Not Involve Ca 2+ Sensitization or Caldesmon

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          Vascular smooth muscle (VSM) is unique in its ability to maintain an intrinsic level of contractile force, known as tone. Vascular tone is believed to arise from the constitutive activity of membrane-bound L-type Ca 2+ channels (LTCC). This study used a pharmacological agonist of LTCC, Bay K8644, to elicit a sustained, sub-maximal contraction in VSM that mimics tone. Downstream signaling was investigated in order to determine what molecules are responsible for tone. Medial strips of swine carotid artery were stimulated with 100 nM Bay K8644 to induce a sustained level of force. Force and phosphorylation levels of myosin light chain (MLC), MAP kinase, MYPT1, CPI-17, and caldesmon were measured during Bay K8644 stimulation in the presence and absence of nifedipine, ML-7, U0126, bisindolylmaleimide (Bis), and H-1152. Nifedipine and ML-7 inhibited force and MLC phosphorylation in response to Bay K8644. Inhibition of Rho kinase (H-1152) but not PKC (Bis) inhibited Bay K8644 induced force. U0126 significantly increased Bay K8644-dependent force with no effect on MLC phosphorylation. Neither CPI-17 nor caldesmon phosphorylation were increased during the maintenance of sustained force. Our results suggest that force due to the influx of calcium through LTCCs is partially MLC phosphorylation-dependent but does not involve PKC or caldesmon. Interestingly, inhibition of MLC kinase (MLCK) and PKC significantly increased MAP kinase phosphorylation suggesting that MLCK and PKC may directly or indirectly inhibit MAP kinase activity during prolonged contractions induced by Bay K8544.

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          Most cited references 41

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          Identification of a novel inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase.

          The compound U0126 (1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1, 4-bis[2-aminophenylthio]butadiene) was identified as an inhibitor of AP-1 transactivation in a cell-based reporter assay. U0126 was also shown to inhibit endogenous promoters containing AP-1 response elements but did not affect genes lacking an AP-1 response element in their promoters. These effects of U0126 result from direct inhibition of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase family members, MEK-1 and MEK-2. Inhibition is selective for MEK-1 and -2, as U0126 shows little, if any, effect on the kinase activities of protein kinase C, Abl, Raf, MEKK, ERK, JNK, MKK-3, MKK-4/SEK, MKK-6, Cdk2, or Cdk4. Comparative kinetic analysis of U0126 and the MEK inhibitor PD098059 (Dudley, D. T., Pang, L., Decker, S. J., Bridges, A. J., and Saltiel, A. R. (1995) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci U. S. A. 92, 7686-7689) demonstrates that U0126 and PD098059 are noncompetitive inhibitors with respect to both MEK substrates, ATP and ERK. We further demonstrate that the two compounds bind to deltaN3-S218E/S222D MEK in a mutually exclusive fashion, suggesting that they may share a common or overlapping binding site(s). Quantitative evaluation of the steady state kinetics of MEK inhibition by these compounds reveals that U0126 has approximately 100-fold higher affinity for deltaN3-S218E/S222D MEK than does PD098059. We further tested the effects of these compounds on the activity of wild type MEK isolated after activation from stimulated cells. Surprisingly, we observe a significant diminution in affinity of both compounds for wild type MEK as compared with the deltaN3-S218E/S222D mutant enzyme. These results suggest that the affinity of both compounds is mediated by subtle conformational differences between the two activated MEK forms. The MEK affinity of U0126, its selectivity for MEK over other kinases, and its cellular efficacy suggest that this compound will serve as a powerful tool for in vitro and cellular investigations of mitogen-activated protein kinase-mediated signal transduction.
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            The bisindolylmaleimide GF 109203X is a potent and selective inhibitor of protein kinase C.

            Staurosporine is the most potent inhibitor of protein kinase C (PKC) described in the literature with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 10 nM. Nevertheless, this natural product is poorly selective when assayed against other protein kinases. In order to obtain specific PKC inhibitors, a series of bisindolylmaleimides has been synthesized. Structure-activity relationship studies allowed the determination of the substructure responsible for conferring high potency and lack of selectivity in the staurosporine molecule. Several aminoalkyl bisindolylmaleimides were found to be potent and selective PKC inhibitors (IC50 values from 5 to 70 nM). Among these compounds GF 109203X has been chosen for further studies aiming at the characterization of this chemical family. GF 109203X was a competitive inhibitor with respect to ATP (Ki = 14 +/- 3 NM) and displayed high selectivity for PKC as compared to five different protein kinases. We further determined the potency and specificity of GF 109203X in two cellular models: human platelets and Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts. GF 109203X efficiently prevented PKC-mediated phosphorylations of an Mr = 47,000 protein in platelets and of an Mr = 80,000 protein in Swiss 3T3 cells. In contrast, in the same models, the PKC inhibitor failed to prevent PKC-independent phosphorylations. GF 109203X inhibited collagen- and alpha-thrombin-induced platelet aggregation as well as collagen-triggered ATP secretion. However, ADP-dependent reversible aggregation was not modified. In Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts, GF 109203X reversed the inhibition of epidermal growth factor binding induced by phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate and prevented [3H] thymidine incorporation into DNA, only when this was elicited by growth promoting agents which activate PKC. Our results illustrate the potential of GF 109203X as a tool for studying the involvement of PKC in signal transduction pathways.
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              Signaling mechanisms underlying the vascular myogenic response.

              The vascular myogenic response refers to the acute reaction of a blood vessel to a change in transmural pressure. This response is critically important for the development of resting vascular tone, upon which other control mechanisms exert vasodilator and vasoconstrictor influences. The purpose of this review is to summarize and synthesize information regarding the cellular mechanism(s) underlying the myogenic response in blood vessels, with particular emphasis on arterioles. When necessary, experiments performed on larger blood vessels, visceral smooth muscle, and even striated muscle are cited. Mechanical aspects of myogenic behavior are discussed first, followed by electromechanical coupling mechanisms. Next, mechanotransduction by membrane-bound enzymes and involvement of second messengers, including calcium, are discussed. After this, the roles of the extracellular matrix, integrins, and the smooth muscle cytoskeleton are reviewed, with emphasis on short-term signaling mechanisms. Finally, suggestions are offered for possible future studies.

                Author and article information

                Front Pharmacol
                Front Pharmacol
                Front. Pharmacol.
                Frontiers in Pharmacology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                26 December 2016
                : 7
                1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia PA, USA
                2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada
                3Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia PA, USA
                Author notes

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

                Reviewed by: Michael A. Hill, University of Missouri, USA; Philip Aaronson, King’s College London, UK

                *Correspondence: Chun Y. Seow, chun.seow@


                This article was submitted to Cardiovascular and Smooth Muscle Pharmacology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology

                Copyright © 2016 Ets, Seow and Moreland.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 51, Pages: 12, Words: 0
                Funded by: National Institutes of Health 10.13039/100000002
                Award ID: DK 85734
                Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research 10.13039/501100000024
                Award ID: MOP 13271
                Funded by: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada 10.13039/501100000038
                Award ID: Discovery grant
                Original Research


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