Protein kinase G-I deficiency induces pulmonary hypertension through Rho A/Rho kinase activation

Yidan D. Zhao, Lei Cai, Muhammad K. Mirza, Xiaojia Huang, Dave L. Geenen, Franz Hofmann, Jason X.J. Yuan, You Yang Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Protein kinase G (PKG) plays an important role in the regulation of vascular smooth cell contractility and is a critical mediator of nitric oxide signaling, which regulates cardiovascular homeostasis. PKG-I-knockout (Prkg1 -/-) mice exhibit impaired nitric oxide/cGMP-dependent vasorelaxation and systemic hypertension. However, it remains unknown whether PKG-I deficiency induces pulmonary hypertension. In this study, we characterized the hypertensive pulmonary phenotypes in Prkg1 -/- mice and delineated the underlying molecular basis. We observed a significant increase in right ventricular systolic pressure in Prkg1 -/- mice in the absence of systemic hypertension and left-sided heart dysfunction. In addition, we observed marked muscularization of distal pulmonary vessels in Prkg1 -/- mice. Microangiography revealed impaired integrity of the pulmonary vasculature in Prkg1 -/- mice. Mechanistically, PKG-I-mediated phosphorylation of Rho A Ser188 was markedly decreased, and the resultant Rho A activation was significantly increased in Prkg1 -/- lung tissues, which resulted in Rho kinase activation. The i.t. administration of fasudil, a Rho kinase inhibitor, reversed the hypertensive pulmonary phenotype in Prkg1 -/- mice. Taken together, these data show that PKG-I deficiency induces pulmonary hypertension through Rho A/Rho kinase activation-mediated vasoconstriction and pulmonary vascular remodeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2268-2275
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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