Activation of mTOR/p70S6 kinase by ANG II inhibits insulin-stimulated endothelial nitric oxide synthase and vasodilation

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jan 15;302(2):E201-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00497.2011. Epub 2011 Oct 25.


Elevated tissue levels of angiotensin II (ANG II) are associated with impairment of insulin actions in metabolic and cardiovascular tissues. ANG II-stimulated activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K) in cardiovascular tissues is implicated in cardiac hypertrophy and vascular remodeling. However, the role of ANG II-stimulated mTOR/p70S6K in vascular endothelium is poorly understood. In the present study, we observed that ANG II stimulated p70S6K in bovine aortic endothelial cells. ANG II increased phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) at Ser(636/639) and inhibited the insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). An inhibitor of mTOR, rapamycin, attenuated the ANG II-stimulated phosphorylation of p70S6K and phosphorylation of IRS-1 (Ser(636/639)) and blocked the ability of ANG II to impair insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of eNOS, nitric oxide production, and mesenteric-arteriole vasodilation. Moreover, point mutations of IRS-1 at Ser(636/639) to Ala prevented the ANG II-mediated inhibition of insulin signaling. From these results, we conclude that activation of mTOR/p70S6K by ANG II in vascular endothelium may contribute to impairment of insulin-stimulated vasodilation through phosphorylation of IRS-1 at Ser(636/639). This ANG II-mediated impairment of vascular actions of insulin may help explain the role of ANG II as a link between insulin resistance and hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Insulin Receptor Substrate Proteins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Phosphorylation / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Vasodilation / drug effects
  • Vasodilation / physiology*


  • Insulin
  • Insulin Receptor Substrate Proteins
  • Angiotensin II
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Sirolimus