Suppression of Gαs synthesis by simvastatin treatment of vascular endothelial cells

Ruqin Kou, Takashi Shiroto, Juliano L. Sartoretto, Thomas Michel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


These studies explore the effects of statins on cyclic AMP-modulated signaling pathways in vascular endothelial cells. We previously observed (Kou, R., Sartoretto, J., and Michel, T. (2009) J. Biol. Chem. 284, 14734-14743) that simvastatin treatment of endothelial cells leads to a marked decrease in PKA-modulated phosphorylation of the protein VASP. Here we show that long-term treatment of mice with simvastatin attenuates the vasorelaxation response to the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol, without affecting endothelin-induced vasoconstriction or carbachol-induced vasorelaxation. We found that statin treatment of endothelial cells dose-dependently inhibits PKA activation as assessed by analyses of serine 157 VASP phosphorylation as well as Epac-mediated Rap1 activation. These effects of simvastatin are completely reversed by mevalonate and by geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, implicating geranylgeranylation as a critical determinant of the stain response. We used biochemical approaches as well as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) methods with a cAMP biosensor to show that simvastatin treatment of endothelial cells markedly inhibits cAMP accumulation in response to epinephrine. Importantly, simvastatin treatment significantly decreases Gαs abundance, without affecting other Gα subunits. Simvastatin treatment does not influence Gαs protein stability, and paradoxically increases the abundance of Gαs mRNA. Finally, we found that simvastatin treatment inhibits Gαs translation mediated by Akt/mTOR/eIF4/4EBP. Taken together, these findings establish a novel mechanism by which simvastatin modulates β-adrenergic signaling in vascular wall, and may have implications for cardiovascular therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2643-2651
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 20
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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