Airway epithelial-derived nitric oxide (NO), through the activation of nucleotide cyclases and downstream kinases, stimulates ciliary beating, yet the precise locations of these enzymes are unknown. We hypothesized that these NO-activated enzymes are located within, or adjacent to, the ciliary axoneme. Immunohistochemistry of intact ciliated cells revealed that endothelial-type nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), the RII isoform of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA-RII), the type I isoform of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG-I), and guanylate cyclase β (GC-β) all colocalized with pericentrin to the basal body. In contrast, the PKA-RI isoform and the PKG-II isoform localized to ciliary axonemes. Western blot analysis of isolated demembranated ciliary preparations detected eNOS, GC-β, and both isoforms of PKA and PKG. An A-kinase-anchoring protein was also detected. Our findings suggest that these enzymes are sequestered close to their points of action into a discrete ciliary metabolon, enabling targeted phosphorylation and efficient upregulation of ciliary beating.
- Nitric oxide
- cAMP-dependent protein kinase
- cGMP-dependent protein kinase
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