Role of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein in cGMP-mediated protection of human pulmonary artery endothelial barrier function

Otgonchimeg Rentsendorj, Tamara Mirzapoiazova, Djanybek Adyshev, Laura E. Servinsky, Thomas Renné, Alexander D. Verin, David B. Pearse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Increased pulmonary endothelial cGMP was shown to prevent endothelial barrier dysfunction through activation of protein kinase G (PKGI). Vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) has been hypothesized to mediate PKGI barrier protection because VASP is a cytoskeletal phosphorylation target of PKGI expressed in cell-cell junctions. Unphosphorylated VASP was proposed to increase paracellular permeability through actin polymerization and stress fiber bundling, a process inhibited by PKG I-mediated phosphorylation of Ser157 and Ser 239. To test this hypothesis, we examined the role of VASP in the transient barrier dysfunction caused by H2O2 in human pulmonary artery endothelial cell (HPAEC) monolayers studied without and with PKGI expression introduced by adenoviral infection (Ad.PKG). In the absence of PKGI expression, H2O2 (100-250 μM) caused a transient increased permeability and pSer157-VASP formation that were both attenuated by protein kinase C inhibition. Potentiation of VASP Ser157 phosphorylation by either phosphatase 2B inhibition with cyclosporin or protein kinase A activation with forskolin prolonged, rather than inhibited, the increased permeability caused by H2O 2. With Ad.PKG infection, inhibition of VASP expression with small interfering RNA exacerbated H2O2-induced barrier dysfunction but had no effect on cGMPmediated barrier protection. In addition, expression of a Ser-double phosphomimetic mutant VASP failed to reproduce the protective effects of activated PKGI. Finally, expression of a Ser-double phosphorylation-resistant VASP failed to interfere with the ability of cGMP/PKGI to attenuate H2O2-induced disruption of VE-cadherin homotypic binding. Our results suggest that VASP phosphorylation does not explain the protective effect of cGMP/PKGI on H2O2-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction in HPAEC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L686-L697
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • H O
  • Protein kinase A
  • Protein kinase G
  • Small interfering RNA
  • cAMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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