|Authors||Knock, G.A., Snetkov, V.A., Shaifta, Y., Drndarski, S., Ward, J.P. and Aaronson, P.I.|
Aims: We investigated the role of src-family kinases (srcFKs) in hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) and how this relates to Rho-kinase-mediated Ca(2+) sensitization and changes in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)).
Methods and results: Intra-pulmonary arteries (IPAs) were obtained from male Wistar rats. HPV was induced in myograph-mounted IPAs. Auto-phosphorylation of srcFKs and phosphorylation of the regulatory subunit of myosin phosphatase (MYPT-1) and myosin light-chain (MLC(20)) in response to hypoxia were determined by western blotting. Translocation of Rho-kinase and effects of siRNA knockdown of src and fyn were examined in cultured pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). [Ca(2+)](i) was estimated in Fura-PE3-loaded IPA. HPV was inhibited by two blockers of srcFKs, SU6656 and PP2. Hypoxia enhanced phosphorylation of three srcFK proteins at Tyr-416 (60, 59, and 54 kDa, corresponding to src, fyn, and yes, respectively) and enhanced srcFK-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of multiple target proteins. Hypoxia caused a complex, time-dependent enhancement of MYPT-1 and MLC(20) phosphorylation, both in the absence and presence of pre-constriction. The sustained component of this enhancement was blocked by SU6656 and the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y27632. In PASMCs, hypoxia caused translocation of Rho-kinase from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, and this was prevented by anti-src siRNA and to a lesser extent by anti-fyn siRNA. The biphasic increases in [Ca(2+)](i) that accompany HPV were also inhibited by PP2.
Conclusion: Hypoxia activates srcFKs and triggers protein tyrosine phosphorylation in IPA. Hypoxia-mediated Rho-kinase activation, Ca(2+) sensitization, and [Ca(2+)](i) responses are depressed by srcFK inhibitors and/or siRNA knockdown, suggesting a central role of srcFKs in HPV.