Calcium (Ca2+) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) subserve antagonistic functions that are reflected in their coordinated reciprocal regulation in physiological systems. However, molecular mechanisms by which Ca2+ regulates cGMP-dependent signaling remain incompletely defined. In this study, the inhibition of recombinant nitric oxide (NO)-stimulated soluble guanylyl cyclase (SGC) by Ca2+ was demonstrated. The α- and β-subunits of recombinant rat SGC were heterologously coexpressed in HEK 293 cells which do not express NO synthase, whose Ca2+-stimulated activity can confound the effects of that cation on SGC. Ca2+ inhibited basal and NO-stimulated SGC in a concentration- and guanine nucleotide-dependent fashion. This cation inhibited SGC in crude cell extracts and immunopurified preparations. Ca2+ lowered both the V(max) and K(m) of SGC via an uncompetitive mechanism through direct interaction with the enzyme. In intact HEK 293 cells, increases in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration induced by ionomycin, a Ca2+ ionophore, and thapsigargin, which releases intracellular stores of that cation, inhibited NO-stimulated intracellular cGMP accumulation. Similarly, carbachol-induced elevation of the intracellular Ca2+ concentration inhibited NO-stimulated intracellular cGMP accumulation in HEK 293 cells. These data demonstrate that SGC behaves as a sensitive Ca2+ detector that may play a central role in coordinating the reciprocal regulation of Ca2+- and cGMP-dependent signaling mechanisms.
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