Specific O-GlcNAc modification at Ser-615 modulates eNOS function

Aulak, Kulwant S., et al. “Specific O-GlcNAc Modification at Ser-615 Modulates ENOS Function.” Redox Biology, vol. 36, 2020, p. 101625., doi:10.1016/j.redox.2020.101625.


Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) is a progressive and devastating disease characterized by vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cell proliferation leading to a narrowing of the vessels in the lung. The increased resistance in the lung and the higher pressures generated result in right heart failure. Nitric Oxide (NO) deficiency is considered a hallmark of IPAH and altered function of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), decreases NO production. We recently demonstrated that glucose dysregulation results in augmented protein serine/threonine hydroxyl-linked N-Acetyl-glucosamine (O-GlcNAc) modification in IPAH. In diabetes, dysregulated glucose metabolism has been shown to regulate eNOS function through inhibition of Ser-1177 phosphorylation. However, the link between O-GlcNAc and eNOS function remains unknown. Here we show that increased protein O-GlcNAc occurs on eNOS in PAH and Ser-615 appears to be a novel site of O-GlcNAc modification resulting in reduced eNOS dimerization. Functional characterization of Ser-615 demonstrated the importance of this residue on the regulation of eNOS activity through control of Ser-1177 phosphorylation. Here we demonstrate a previously unidentified regulatory mechanism of eNOS whereby the O-GlcNAc modification of Ser-615 results in reduced eNOS activity and endothelial dysfunction under conditions of glucose dysregulation.