Phosphorylation of Threonine 497 in Endothelial Nitric-oxide Synthase Coordinates the Coupling of L-Arginine Metabolism to Efficient Nitric Oxide Production

Michelle I. Lin, David Fulton, Roger Babbitt, Ingrid Fleming, Rudi Busse, Kirkwood A. Pritchard, William C. Sessa

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There is evidence that endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (eNOS) is regulated by reciprocal dephosphorylation of Thr497 and phosphorylation of Ser1179. To examine the interrelationship between these sites, cells were transfected with wild-type (WT), T497A, T497D, S1179D, and T497A/S1179D eNOS and activity, NO release and eNOS localization were assessed. Although eNOS T497A, S1179D and T497A/S1179D eNOS had greater enzymatic activity than did WT eNOS in lysates, basal production of NO from cells was markedly reduced in cells transfected with T497A and T497A/S1179D eNOS but augmented in cells transfected with S1179D eNOS. Stimulating cells with ATP or ionophore normalized the loss of function seen with T497A and T497A/S1179D eNOS to levels observed with WT and S1179D eNOS, respectively. Despite these functional differences, the localization of eNOS mutants were similar to WT. Because both T497A and T497A/S1179D eNOS exhibited higher enzyme activity but reduced production of NO, we examined whether these mutations were "uncoupling" NO synthesis. T497A and T497A/S1179D eNOS generated 2-3 times more superoxide anion than WT eNOS, and both basal and stimulated interactions of T497A/S1179D eNOS with hsp90 were reduced in co-immunoprecipitation experiments. Thus, the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of Thr497 may be an intrinsic switch mechanism that determines whether eNOS generates NO versus superoxide in cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44719-44726
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - Nov 7 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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