Pin1 deficiency causes endothelial dysfunction and hypertension.
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Pin1 is a peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase that only binds to and isomerizes phosphorylated serine/threonine-proline motifs, inducing conformational changes that alter target protein function and phosphorylation. We have shown previously that deficiency of another peptidyl prolyl isomerase, FK506 binding protein 12/12.6, alters endothelial NO synthase phosphorylation and causes endothelial dysfunction and hypertension. Endothelial NO synthase contains the Pin1 binding sequence at (p)serine 116-proline 117 and phosphorylation of endothelial NO synthase serine 116 inhibits NO production; however, whether Pin1 deficiency alters vascular function and blood pressure is unknown. We hypothesized that Pin1 isomerizes p-endothelial NO synthase serine 116, which enables dephosphorylation and stimulates NO production. Immunoprecipitation of endothelial NO synthase and probing for Pin1 in rat aortic endothelial cells confirmed the interaction between the two. Pin1 knockdown via small interfering RNA or inhibition by juglone increased endothelial NO synthase serine 116 phosphorylation and prevented vascular endothelial growth factor-induced serine 116 dephosphorylation in endothelial cells. Acute treatment of isolated mouse aortas with juglone increased endothelial NO synthase serine 116 phosphorylation and decreased NO production and relaxation responses. Mice treated with juglone for 2 weeks, as well as Pin1 knockout mice, exhibited increased aortic endothelial NO synthase serine 116 phosphorylation, endothelial dysfunction, and hypertension. These data demonstrate that Pin1 binds endothelial NO synthase and enables dephosphorylation of serine 116, which increases NO production and endothelium-dependent dilation, leading to blood pressure maintenance.