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Biomedical Reviews

Calcium-dependent regulation of Rho and myosin phosphatase in vascular smooth muscle

Yoh Takuwa, Kazuaki Yoshioka, Noriko Takuwa, Yu Wang, Mohammed Ali Azam, Naotoshi Sugimoto

Abstract

Phosphorylation of 20 kD myosin light chain (MLC) is a critical process in eliciting smooth muscle contraction. Excitatory receptor agonists increase the extent of MLC phosphorylation by both activating myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) and inhibiting myosin phosphatase (MP). Activation of MLCK is dependent on Ca2+ and calmodulin, while inhibition of MP is dependent on the small guanosine triphosphatase Rho and Rho kinase. Receptor agonists were previously shown to induce Rho activation via the heterotrimeric G12/13 protein, largely in non-muscle cells. We recently discovered the novel Ca2+-dependent activation of Rho in vascular smooth muscle. This Ca2+-dependent Rho activation mechanism operates upon stimulation of vascular smooth muscle by either membrane depolarization or Gq-coupled vasoconstrictor receptors. Thus, Ca2+ induces MLC phosphorylation through both MLCK stimulation and MP inhibition. We found that phosphoinositide 3-kinase class II . isoform (PI3K-C2.) is involved in the Ca2+-dependent Rho activation and MP inhibition. PI3K-C2. appears to participate in regulation of vascular Rho activity and tone in vivo. These observations also indicate that PI3Ks exert isoform-specificeffectsonvasculartonethrough mechanisms involving regulation of endothelial nitric oxide production and smooth muscle MP activity.

Biomedical Reviews 2005; 16: 13-21.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/bmr.v16.91

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About The Authors

Yoh Takuwa
Kanazawa University
Japan

Kazuaki Yoshioka
Kanazawa University
Japan

Noriko Takuwa
Kanazawa University
Japan

Yu Wang
Kanazawa University
Japan

Mohammed Ali Azam
Kanazawa University
Japan

Naotoshi Sugimoto
Kanazawa University
Japan

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