Two classes of guanylyl cyclases (GC) form intracellular cGMP. One is a receptor for atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and the other for nitric oxide (NO). The ANP receptor guanylyl cyclase (GC-A) is a membrane-bound, single subunit protein. Nitric oxide activated or soluble guanylyl cyclases (NOGC) are heme-containing heterodimers. These have been shown to be important in cGMP mediated regulation of arterial vascular resistance and renal sodium transport. Recent studies have shown that cGMP produced by both GCs is compartmentalized in the heart and vascular smooth muscle cells. To date, however, how intracellular cGMP generated by ANP and NO is compartmentalized and how it triggers specific downstream targets in kidney cells has not been investigated. Our studies show that intracellular cGMP formed by NO is targeted to cytosolic and cytoskeletal compartments whereas cGMP formed by ANP is restricted to nuclear and membrane compartments. We used two dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF/TOF to identify distinct sub-cellular targets that are specific to ANP and NO signaling in HK-2 cells. A nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleo protein A1 (hnRNP A1) is preferentially phosphorylated by ANP/cGMP/cGK signaling. ANP stimulation of HK-2 cells leads to increased cGK activity in the nucleus and translocation of cGK and hnRNP A1 to the nucleus. Phosphodiestaerase-5 (PDE-5 inhibitor) sildenafil augmented ANP-mediated effects on hnRNPA1 phosphorylation, translocation to nucleus and nuclear cGK activity. Our results suggest that cGMP generated by ANP and SNAP is differentially compartmentalized, localized but not global changes in cGMP, perhaps at different sub-cellular fractions of the cell, may more closely correlate with their effects by preferential phosphorylation of cellular targets.
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