Angiotensin II-mediated posttranslational modification of nNOS in the PVN of rats with CHF: Role for PIN

Neeru M. Sharma, Tamra L. Llewellyn, Hong Zheng, Kaushik P. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


An increased sympathetic drive is an adverse characteristic in chronic heart failure (CHF). The protein expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)- and hence nitric oxide (NO)-mediated sympathoinhibition is reduced in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of rats with CHF. However, the molecular mechanism(s) of nNOS downregulation remain(s) unclear. The aim of the study was to reveal the underlying molecular mechanism for the downregulation of nNOS in the PVN of CHF rats. Sprague-Dawley rats with CHF (6-8 wk after coronary artery ligation) demonstrated decreased nNOS dimer/monomer ratio (42%), with a concomitant increase in the expression of PIN (a protein inhibitor of nNOS known to dissociate nNOS dimers into monomers) by 47% in the PVN. Similarly, PIN expression is increased in a neuronal cell line (NG108) treated with angiotensin II (ANG II). Furthermore, there is an increased accumulation of highmolecular- weight nNOS-ubiquitin (nNOS-Ub) conjugates in the PVN of CHF rats (29%). ANG II treatment in NG108 cells in the presence of a proteasome inhibitor, lactacystin, also leads to a 69% increase in accumulation of nNOS-Ub conjugates immunoprecipitated by an antiubiquitin antibody. There is an ANG II-driven, PIN-mediated decrease in the dimeric catalytically active nNOS in the PVN, due to ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic degradation in CHF. Our results show a novel intermediary mechanism that leads to decreased levels of active nNOS in the PVN, involved in subsequent reduction in sympathoinhibition during CHF, offering a new target for the treatment of CHF and other cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H843-H855
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2013


  • Angiotensin II
  • NNOS
  • PIN
  • Paraventricular nucleus
  • Sympathetic nerve activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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