Hyperaldosteronism is associated with impaired endothelium-dependent vascular reactivity owing to increased reactive oxygen species and decreased bioavailable nitric oxide (NO•); however, the effects of aldosterone on vasodilatory signaling pathways in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) remain unknown. Soluble guanylyl cyclase (GC) is a heterodimer that is activated by NO• to convert cytosolic GTP to cGMP, a second messenger required for normal VSMC relaxation. Here, we show that aldosterone (10-9-10-7 mol/liter) diminishes GC activity by activating NADPH oxidase in bovine aortic VSMC to increase reactive oxygen species levels and induce oxidative posttranslational modification(s) of Cys-122, a β1-subunit cysteinyl residue demonstrated previously to modulate NO• sensing by GC. In VSMC treated with aldosterone, Western immunoblotting detected evidence of GC β1-subunit disulfide bonding, whereas mass spectrometry analysis of a homologous peptide containing the Cys-122-bearing sequence exposed to conditions of increased oxidant stress confirmed cysteinyl sulfinic acid (m/z 435), sulfonic acid (m/z 443), and disulfide (m/z 836) bond formation. The functional effect of these modifications was examined by transfecting COS-7 cells with wild-type GC or mutant GC containing an alanine substitution at Cys-122 (C122A). Exposure to aldosterone or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) significantly decreased cGMP levels in cells expressing wild-type GC. In contrast, aldosterone or H2O2 did not influence cGMP levels in cells expressing the mutant C122A GC, confirming that oxidative modification of Cys-122 specifically impairs GC activity. These findings demonstrate that pathophysiologically relevant concentrations of aldosterone increase oxidant stress to convert GC to an NO•-insensitive state, resulting in disruption of normal vasodilatory signaling pathways in VSMC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology