Nitric oxide and superoxide generation from endothelial NOS: Modulation by HSP90

Neetu Sud, Shruti Sharma, Dean A. Wiseman, Cynthia Harmon, Sanjiv Kumar, Richard C. Venema, Jeffrey R. Fineman, Stephen M. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Previously, we have shown that pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAECs) isolated from fetal lambs produce significant levels of nitric oxide (NO) but minimal superoxide upon stimulation, whereas PAECs isolated from 4-wk-old lambs produce significant amounts of both NO and superoxide. These data indicated that a certain degree of uncoupling of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) occurs in PAECs during postnatal development. In this study, we sought to extend these studies by investigating the potential role of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) in eNOS coupling. Western blot analyses revealed higher HSP90 expression in PAECs isolated from fetal compared with 4-wk-old lambs, whereas the analysis of recombinant human eNOS activation in vitro in the presence of HSP90 indicated that HSP90 significantly augmented NO production while inhibiting superoxide generation from eNOS. To further investigate whether HSP90 could be involved in uncoupling of eNOS in PAECs isolated from 4-wk-old lambs, we utilized an adenovirus to overexpress HSP90. We found that overexpression of HSP90 significantly increased the shear-stimulated association of HSP90 with eNOS and led to significant increases in NO production and reduced NOS-dependent superoxide generation. Conversely, the exposure of PAECs isolated from fetal lambs to the HSP90 inhibitor radicicol led to significant decreases in eNOS-HSP90 interactions, decreased shear-stimulated NO generation, and increased NOS-dependent superoxide production indicative of eNOS uncoupling. Finally, we examined eNOS-HSP90 interactions in our lamb model of pulmonary hypertension associated with increased pulmonary blood flow (shunt). Our data indicate that HSP90-eNOS interactions were decreased in shunt lambs and that this was associated with decreased NO generation and an increase in eNOS-dependent generation of superoxide. Together, our data support a significant role for HSP90 in promoting NO generation and inhibiting superoxide generation by eNOS and indicate that the disruption of this interaction may be involved in the endothelial dysfunction associated with pulmonary hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L1444-L1453
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Endothelial nitric oxide synthase
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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