Abstract 066: The Undescribed Protein Caskin2 Is a Novel Regulator of eNOS Phosphorylation and Systemic Blood Pressure
Disruptions in the function of the quiescent endothelial cells (ECs) that line mature vessels can both result in and contribute to the progression of numerous cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and disorders of vascular permeability. Despite recent attention, the signaling pathways that are active in quiescent ECs remain poorly characterized relative to those that regulate EC activation. In an effort to provide mechanistic insight into these pathways, we have characterized the previously undescribed protein Caskin2, which we hypothesize is a novel regulator of EC quiescence. Caskin2 is expressed in ECs throughout the vasculature, including the aorta, coronary arteries, and renal glomeruli. In vitro, Caskin2 promotes a quiescent EC phenotype characterized by decreased proliferation and increased resistance to apoptosis-inducing factors. Caskin2 knockout mice are viable and fertile. However, preliminary radiotelemetry measurements indicate that Caskin2 knockout (KO) mice have mildly elevated systemic blood pressure (BP). Compared to wild type (WT) littermates (n=8), Caskin2 KO mice (n=7) had increased mean arterial pressure (119+/-1 vs. 113+/-1, p=0.012), systolic BP (138+/-2 vs. 132+/-2, p=0.023), and diastolic BP (99+/-1 vs. 93+/-1, p=0.014) at baseline. To explore the molecular mechanisms of Caskin2’s effects, we used mass spectrometry to identify interacting proteins. Among the 67 proteins identified were the Ser/Thr phosphatase protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) and eNOS. Using standard in vitro biochemical techniques, we demonstrated that Caskin2 acts as a PP1 regulatory subunit. Interestingly, homologous expression of Caskin2 in vitro resulted in a marked increase in phosphorylation of eNOS on S1177, which is known to promote eNOS activity, and a decrease in phosphorylation on T495, which is associated with eNOS inhibition. Finally, PP1 has been shown to dephosphorylate eNOS T495 in vitro, suggesting a molecular mechanism for our in vivo findings. Ongoing work aims to determine if the interaction of Caskin2 and PP1 is required for the Caskin2-induced increase in activating phosphorylation of eNOS and to characterize the physiological mechanisms responsible for Caskin2’s effects on BP in more detail.
Author Disclosures: S.B. Mueller: None. S.B. Gurley: None. C.D. Kontos: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.