Aims The mammalian soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) has both an epoxide hydrolase and a phosphatase domain. The role of sEH hydrolase activity in the metabolism of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) and the activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in endothelial cells (ECs) has been well defined. However, far less is known about the role of sEH phosphatase activity in eNOS activation. In the present study, we investigated whether the phosphatase domain of sEH was involved in the eNOS activation in ECs. Methods and Results The level of eNOS phosphorylation in aortas is higher in the sEH knockout (sEH -/-) mice than in wild-type mice. In ECs, pharmacological inhibition of sEH phosphatase or overexpressing sEH with an inactive phosphatase domain enhanced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced NO production and eNOS phosphorylation. In contrast, overexpressing the phosphatase domain of sEH prevented the VEGF-mediated NO production and eNOS phosphorylation at Ser617, Ser635, and Ser1179. Additionally, treatment with VEGF induced a c-Src kinase-dependent increase in transient tyrosine phosphorylation of sEH and the formation of a sEHeNOS complex, which was abolished by treatment with a c-Src kinase inhibitor, PP1, or the c-Src dominant-negative mutant K298M. We also demonstrated that the phosphatase domain of sEH played a key role in VEGF-induced angiogenesis by detecting the tube formation in ECs and neovascularization in Matrigel plugs in mice. Conclusion In addition to epoxide hydrolase activity, phosphatase activity of sEH plays a pivotal role in the regulation of eNOS activity and NO-mediated EC functions.
- c-Src kinase
- Endothelial nitric oxide synthase
- Soluble epoxide hydrolase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)