Novel complexes of guanylate cyclase with heat shock protein 90 and nitric oxide synthase

Richard C Venema, Virginia J. Venema, Hong Ju, M. Brennan Harris, Connie Snead, Tamas Jilling, Christiana Dimitropoulou, Michael E. Maragoudakis, John D. Catravas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is an important downstream intracellular target of nitric oxide (NO) that is produced by endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) and inducible NO synthase (iNOS). In this study, we demonstrate that sGC exists in a complex with eNOS and heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) in aortic endothelial cells. In addition, we show that in aortic smooth muscle cells, sGC forms a complex with HSP90. Formation of the sGC/eNOS/HSP90 complex is increased in response to eNOS-activating agonists in a manner that depends on HSP90 activity. In vitro binding assays with glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins that contain the α- or β-subunit of sGC show that the sGC β-subunit interacts directly with HSP90 and indirectly with eNOS. Confocal immunofluorescent studies confirm the subcellular colocalization of sGC and HSP90 in both endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Complex formation of sGC with HSP90 facilitates responses to NO donors in cultured cells (cGMP accumulation) as well as in anesthetized rats (hypotension). These complexes likely function to stabilize sGC as well as to provide directed intracellular transfer of NO from NOS to sGC, thus preventing inactivation of NO by superoxide anion and formation of peroxynitrite, which is a toxic molecule that has been implicated in the pathology of several vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H669-H678
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 54-2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Bradykinin
  • Endothelium
  • Smooth muscle cells
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor
  • cGMP accumulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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