2-(2,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-5-(E)-propenylbenzofuran promotes endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity in human endothelial cells

Angela Ladurner, Atanas G Atanasov, Elke H Heiss, Lisa Baumgartner, Stefan Schwaiger, Judith M Rollinger, Hermann Stuppner, Verena M Dirsch
Biochemical Pharmacology 2012 September 15, 84 (6): 804-12
Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) mediates important vaso-protective and immunomodulatory effects. Aim of this study was to examine whether lignan derivatives isolated from the roots of the anti-inflammatory medicinal plant Krameria lappacea influence eNOS activity and endothelial nitric oxide (NO) release. The study was performed using cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and HUVEC-derived EA.hy926 cells. Among the eleven isolated compounds only 2-(2,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-5-(E)-propenylbenzofuran (DPPB) was able to increase eNOS enzyme activity. DPPB (1-10 μM) treatment for 24 h induced a significant and dose-dependent increase in eNOS activity as determined by the [(14)C]L-arginine/[(14)C]L-citrulline conversion assay. Immunoblotting studies further revealed a time-dependent DPPB-induced increase in eNOS-Ser(1177) and decrease in eNOS-Thr(495) phosphorylation, as well as increased AMPK phosphorylation at Thr(172), whereas Akt phosphorylation at Ser(473) was not affected. Si-RNA-mediated knockdown of AMPK and inhibition of CaMKKβ by STO 609, as well as intracellular Ca(2+) chelation by Bapta AM abolished the stimulating effect of DPPB on eNOS-Ser(1177) and AMPK-Thr(172) phosphorylation. Furthermore, we could show that DPPB increases intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations assessed with the fluorescent dye Fluo-3-AM. DPPB enhances eNOS activity and endothelial NO release by raising intracellular Ca(2+) levels and increases signaling through a CaMKKβ-AMPK dependent pathway.

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