GTP cyclohydrolase i phosphorylation and interaction with GTP cyclohydrolase feedback regulatory protein provide novel regulation of endothelial tetrahydrobiopterin and nitric oxide

Li Li, Amir Rezvan, John C. Salerno, Ahsan Husain, Kihwan Kwon, Hanjoong Jo, David G. Harrison, Wei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale: GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH-1) is the rate-limiting enzyme involved in de novo biosynthesis of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH 4), an essential cofactor for NO synthases and aromatic amino acid hydroxylases. GTPCH-1 undergoes negative feedback regulation by its end-product BH 4 via interaction with the GTP cyclohydrolase feedback regulatory protein (GFRP). Such a negative feedback mechanism should maintain cellular BH 4 levels within a very narrow range; however, we recently identified a phosphorylation site (S81) on human GTPCH-1 that markedly increases BH 4 production in response to laminar shear. Objective: We sought to define how S81 phosphorylation alters GTPCH-1 enzyme activity and how this is modulated by GFRP. Methods and Results: Using prokaryotically expressed proteins, we found that the GTPCH-1 phospho-mimetic mutant (S81D) has increased enzyme activity, reduced binding to GFRP and resistance to inhibition by GFRP compared to wild-type GTPCH-1. Using small interfering RNA or overexpressing plasmids, GFRP was shown to modulate phosphorylation of GTPCH-1, BH 4 levels, and NO production in human endothelial cells. Laminar, but not oscillatory shear stress, caused dissociation of GTPCH-1 and GFRP, promoting GTPCH-1 phosphorylation. We also found that both GTPCH-1 phosphorylation and GFRP downregulation prevents endothelial NO synthase uncoupling in response to oscillatory shear. Finally oscillatory shear was associated with impaired GTPCH-1 phosphorylation and reduced BH 4 levels in vivo. Conclusions: These studies provide a new mechanism for regulation of endothelial GTPCH-1 by its phosphorylation and interplay with GFRP. This mechanism allows for escape from GFRP negative feedback and permits large amounts of BH 4 to be produced in response to laminar shear stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-336
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation Research
Volume106
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (2T32-GM007347 and 5F30-AI129229, both to K. W. G.).

Keywords

  • Coimmunoprecipitation
  • eNOS uncoupling
  • Shear stress
  • Site-directed mutagenesis
  • Transfection

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