Nitric oxide (NO) regulates the biological activity of many enzymes and other functional proteins as well as gene expression. In this study, we tested whether pretreatment with NO regulates NO production in response to cytokines in cultured rat hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were recovered in fresh medium for 24 h following pretreatment with the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-D,L-penicillamine (SNAP) and stimulated to express the inducible NO synthase (iNOS) with interleukin-1β and interferon-γ or transfected with the human iNOS gene. NO pretreatment resulted in a significant increase in NO production without changing iNOS expression for both conditions. This effect, which did not occur in macrophages and smooth muscle cells, was inhibited when NO was scavenged using red blood cells. Pretreatment with oxidized SNAP, 8-Br-cGMP, NO2-, or NO3- did not increase the cytokine-induced NO production. SNAP pretreatment increased cytosolic iNOS activity measured only in the absence of exogenous tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). SNAP pretreatment suppressed the level of GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCHI) feedback regulatory protein (GFRP) and increased GTPCHI activity without changing GTPCHI protein level. SNAP pretreatment also increased total cellular levels of biopterin and active iNOS dimer. These results suggest that SNAP pretreatment increased NO production from iNOS by elevating cellular BH4 levels and promoting iNOS subunit dimerization through the suppression of GFRP levels and subsequent activation of GTPCHI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology