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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of calpain in hypoxic inhibition of nitric oxide synthase activity in pulmonary endothelial cells.

Pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAEC) were exposed to normoxia or hypoxia (0% O(2)-95% N(2)-5% CO(2)) in the presence and absence of calpain inhibitor I or calpeptin, after which endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity and protein content were assayed. Exposure to hypoxia decreased eNOS activity but not eNOS protein content. Both calpain inhibitor I and calpeptin prevented the hypoxic decrease of eNOS activity. Incubation of calpain with total membrane preparations of PAEC caused dose-dependent decreases in eNOS activity independent of changes in eNOS protein content. Exposure of PAEC to hypoxia also caused time-dependent decreases of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) that were prevented by calpain inhibitor I and calpeptin. Moreover, the HSP90 content in anti-eNOS antibody-induced immunoprecipitates from hypoxic PAEC lysates was reduced, and repletion of HSP90 reversed the decrease of eNOS activity in these immunoprecipitates. Incubation of PAEC with a specific inhibitor of HSP90 (geldanamycin) mimicked the hypoxic decrease of eNOS activity. These results indicate that the hypoxia-induced reduction in eNOS activity in PAEC is due to a decrease in HSP90 caused by calpain activation.[1]


  1. Role of calpain in hypoxic inhibition of nitric oxide synthase activity in pulmonary endothelial cells. Su, Y., Block, E.R. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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