NO, via its second messenger cGMP, activates protein kinase GI (PKGI) to induce vascular smooth muscle cell relaxation. The mechanisms by which PKGI kinase activity regulates cardiovascular function remain incompletely understood. Therefore, to identify novel protein kinase G substrates in vascular cells, a λ phage coronary artery smooth muscle cell library was constructed and screened for phosphorylation by PKGI. The screen identified steroid-sensitive gene 1 (SSG1), which harbors several predicted PKGI phosphorylation sites. We observed direct and cGMP-regulated interaction between PKGI and SSG1. In cultured vascular smooth muscle cells, both the NO donor S-nitrosocysteine and atrial natriuretic peptide induced SSG1 phosphorylation, and mutation of SSG1 at each of the two predicted PKGI phosphorylation sites completely abolished its basal phosphorylation by PKGI. We detected high SSG1 expression in cardiovascular tissues. Finally, we found that activation of PKGI with cGMP regulated SSG1 intracellular distribution.
Keywords: Cardiovascular Disease; Protein Kinase G (PKG); Signal Transduction; Steroid-sensitive Gene 1; Vascular Biology; Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells.