Regulation by cAMP of post-translational processing and subcellular targeting of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (type 3) in cardiac myocytes

J Biol Chem. 1997 Apr 25;272(17):11198-204. doi: 10.1074/jbc.272.17.11198.


Cardiac myocytes express the nitric-oxide synthase isoform originally identified in endothelial cells, termed eNOS or NOS3, where it plays a role in regulating myocyte responsiveness to both adrenergic and muscarinic cholinergic autonomic nervous system agonists. eNOS in endothelial cells has been shown to undergo extensive post-translational processing, and in cardiac myocytes as well as endothelial cells, eNOS has been shown to be targeted to plasmalemmal caveolae, a process that is dependent on myristoylation and palmitoylation. Other post-translational modifications essential for the correct subcellular targeting of eNOS have not been described previously. We demonstrate, using [35S]methionine pulse-chase experiments, that native eNOS in adult rat ventricular myocytes is initially translated as a nonpalmitoylated 150-kDa isoform, which is associated with cytosolic and intracellular membrane-enriched fractions. This is subsequently processed to a palmitoylated 135-kDa isoform, which is found only in a sarcolemma-enriched membrane fraction. Forskolin, an agent that elevates intracellular cAMP, rapidly inhibited processing of the 150-kDa isoform to the 135-kDa isoform and transport of eNOS to the sarcolemma, effects paralleled by protein kinase A-dependent phosphorylation of the larger eNOS isoform. Forskolin also decreased palmitoylation of the 135-kDa isoform, although it did not accelerate depalmitoylation of sarcolemmal eNOS, as determined by pulse-chase experiments with [3H]palmitate. Thus, post-translational processing of a 150-kDa isoform of myocyte eNOS appears to be necessary for intracellular trafficking of the enzyme to sarcolemmal caveolae. Both the post-translational processing and subcellular targeting of eNOS appear to be modified by changes in intracellular cAMP, an effect that may have important implications for cardiac myocyte responsiveness to autonomic agonists in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acylation / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Compartmentation / drug effects*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Colforsin / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology*
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Isoenzymes / biosynthesis
  • Isoenzymes / classification
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / biosynthesis*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / classification
  • Palmitic Acid / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / drug effects*
  • Rats


  • Isoenzymes
  • Colforsin
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase