Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is responsible for maintaining systemic blood pressure, vascular remodeling and angiogenesis. Previous studies showed that bovine eNOS serine 1179 (Serine 1177 for human eNOS) phosphorylation enhanced NO synthesis. Meanwhile, heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) plays a critical role in maintenance of eNOS structure and function. However, the regulatory difference and importance between Serine 1179 phosphorylation and Hsp90 on eNOS activity have not been evaluated. In current studies, S1179D eNOS was employed to mimic phospho-eNOS and exhibited markedly increased enzyme activity than wild type eNOS (WT eNOS). Hsp90 showed a dose-dependent increase for both WT eNOS and S1179D eNOS activity at the presence of all eNOS cofactors, such as Calcium/Calmodulin (Ca2+/CaM), BH4, and NADPH etc. The enhancement effects were abolished by dominant-negative mutant Hsp 90 protein. ENOS-cofactors dynamic assay showed that Hsp90 enhanced WT eNOS affinity to NADPH, L-arginine, and CaM but not to Ca2+ and BH4. The impact of eNOS Serine 1179 phosphorylation and Hsp90 on eNOS affinity to cofactors has also been compared. Different from the effect of Hsp90 on eNOS affinity to specific cofactors, Serine 1179 phosphorylation significantly increased eNOS affinity to all cofactors. Moreover, VEGF-induced eNOS phosphorylation in bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) and more NO generation from eNOS compared to control. Inhibition of Hsp90 by geldanamycin decreased eNOS activity and decreased endothelial viability. In conclusion, by changing eNOS structure, Hsp90 profoundly affected eNOS functions, including change of affinity of eNOS to cofactors like Ca2+, L-arginine, BH4 and further affecting NO generation capability. These specific cofactors regulated by Hsp 90 could become potential therapeutic targets of the eNOS-related diseases in future.
Chen, Y., Jiang, B., Zhuang, Y., Peng, H., & Chen, W. (2017). Differential effects of heat shock protein 90 and serine 1179 phosphorylation on endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity and on its cofactors. PLoS ONE, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179978