Nitric oxide-generating vasodilators inhibit vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. To elucidate the mechanism underlying this process, we investigated the effect of S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), a nitric oxide-releasing agent, on the smooth muscle cell cycle. When G0 cells were stimulated with fetal bovine serum and basic fibroblast growth factor, DNA synthesis assessed by [3H]thymidine incorporation started about 15 h later. SNAP dose-dependently inhibited this incorporation, and this effect was maximal at 100 μM. This inhibition was attenuated when SNAP was added after 9-12 h. SNAP inhibited the activity of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) and phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein, both of which usually increased from about 9 h, whereas it did not inhibit the activities of cyclin D-associated kinase(s), Cdk4, and Cdk6, which normally increased from 0-3 h. Although SNAP reduced the mRNA levels of cyclins E and A, it neither reduced their protein levels nor impaired their association with Cdk2. SNAP did not reduce the mRNA levels of cyclins G, C, and D1, Cdk2, Cdk4, and Cdk5, which were normally elevated from 0-3 h. The mRNA and protein levels of the Cdk inhibitor p21 were high in the early G1 phase, peaking at 3 h and then rapidly decreasing after 6 h. In the presence of SNAP, however, p21 expression was enhanced, and moreover, the later decrease disappeared. SNAP also increased the amount of Cdk2-associated p21. These results suggested that nitric oxide inhibits the G1/S transition by inhibiting Cdk2-mediated phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein and that p21 induction is involved in the Cdk2 inhibition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology