Ca2+-pumps and Na+?Ca2+-exchangers in coronary artery endothelium versus smooth muscle
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Vascular endothelial cells (EC) and smooth muscle cells (SMC) require a decrease in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration after activation. This can be achieved by Ca2+ sequestration by the sarco-/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pumps (SERCA) and Ca2+ extrusion by plasma membrane Ca2+ pumps (PMCA) and Na+-Ca2+-exchangers (NCX). Since the two cell types differ in their structure and function, we compared the activities of PMCA, NCX and SERCA in pig coronary artery EC and SMC, the types of isoforms expressed using RT-PCR, and their protein abundance using Western blots. The activity of NCX is higher in EC than in SMC but those of PMCA and SERCA is lower. Consistently, the protein abundance for NCX protein is higher in EC than in SMC and those of PMCA and SERCA is lower. Based on RT-PCR experiments, the types of RNA present are as follows: EC for PMCA1 while SMC for PMCA4 and PMCA1; EC for SERCA2 and SERCA3 and SMC for SERCA2. Both EC and SMC express NCX1 (mainly NCX1.3). PMCA, SERCA and NCX differ in their affinities for Ca2+ and regulation. Based on these observations and the literature, we conclude that the tightly regulated Ca2+ removal systems in SMC are consistent with the cyclical control of contractility of the filaments and those in EC are consistent with Ca2+ regulation of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase near the cell surface. The differences between EC and SMC should be considered in therapeutic interventions of cardiovascular diseases.
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