British journal of pharmacology

Inhibition of nitric oxide-activated guanylyl cyclase by calmodulin antagonists.

PMID 19845679


Nitric oxide (NO) controls numerous physiological processes by activation of its receptor, guanylyl cyclase (sGC), leading to the accumulation of 3'-5' cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Ca(2+)-calmodulin (CaM) regulates both NO synthesis by NO synthase and cGMP hydrolysis by phosphodiesterase-1. We report that, unexpectedly, the CaM antagonists, calmidazolium, phenoxybenzamine and trifluoperazine, also inhibited cGMP accumulation in cerebellar cells evoked by an exogenous NO donor, with IC(50) values of 11, 80 and 180 microM respectively. Here we sought to elucidate the underlying mechanism(s). We used cerebellar cell suspensions to determine the influence of CaM antagonists on all steps of the NO-cGMP pathway. Homogenized tissue and purified enzyme were used to test effects of calmidazolium on sGC activity. Inhibition of cGMP accumulation in the cells did not depend on changes in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. Degradation of cGMP and inactivation of NO were both inhibited by the CaM antagonists, ruling out increased loss of cGMP or NO as explanations. Instead, calmidazolium directly inhibited purified sGC (IC(50)= 10 microM). The inhibition was not in competition with NO, nor did it arise from displacement of the haem moiety from sGC. Calmidazolium decreased enzyme V(max) and K(m), indicating that it acts in an uncompetitive manner. The disruption of every stage of NO signal transduction by common CaM antagonists, unrelated to CaM antagonism, cautions against their utility as pharmacological tools. More positively, the compounds exemplify a novel class of sGC inhibitors that, with improved selectivity, may be therapeutically valuable.

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Calmidazolium chloride, solid
Phenoxybenzamine hydrochloride, ≥97%, powder
C18H22ClNO · HCl