Endothelial NO synthase phosphorylated at SER635 produces NO without requiring intracellular calcium increase

Yong Chool Boo, George P. Sorescu, Philip M. Bauer, David Fulton, Bruce E. Kemp, David G. Harrison, William C. Sessa, Hanjoong Jo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Shear stress stimulates NO production involving the Ca2+- independent mechanisms in endothelial cells. We have shown that exposure of bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC) to shear stress stimulates phosphorylation of eNOS at S635 and S1179 by the protein kinase A- (PKA-) dependent mechanisms. We examined whether phosphorylation of S635 of eNOS induced by PKA stimulates NO production in a calcium-independent manner. Expression of a constitutively active catalytic subunit of PKA (Cqr) in BAEC induced phosphorylation of S635 and S1179 residues and dephosphorylation of T497. Additionally, Cqr expression stimulated NO production, which could not be prevented by treating cells with the intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA-AM. To determine the role of each eNOS phosphorylation site in NO production, HEK-293 cells transfected with eNOS point mutants whereby S116, T497, S635, and S1179 were mutated to either A or D. Maximum NO production from S635D-expressing cells was significantly higher than that of either wild type or S635A in both basal and elevated [Ca2+]i conditions. More interestingly, S635D cells produced NO even when [Ca2+] i was nearly depleted by BAPTA-AM. We confirmed these results obtained in HEK-293 cells in BAEC transfected with S635D, S635A, or wild-type eNOS vector. These findings suggest that, once phosphorylated at S635 residue, eNOS produces NO without requiring any changes in [Ca2+] i. PKA-dependent phosphorylation of eNOS S635 and subsequent basal NO production in a Ca2+-independent manner may play an important role in regulating vascular biology and pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-741
Number of pages13
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Endothelial cells
  • Free radicals
  • eNOS mutants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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