O2 Sensing in Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) helps to optimize lung gas exchange, but it contributes to pulmonary hypertension in hypoxic lung disease. 2 opposing models have emerged to explain the underlying mechanism of O2 sensing in HPV. 1 proposes that hypoxia decreases reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, shifting the cytosol to a more reduced state. The other proposes that hypoxia stimulates ROS, generating an oxidant signal in the cytosol. Resolution of this debate has been hindered by a lack of tools to assess intracellular redox. In Aim 1 we will use novel redox-dependant Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (HSP-FRET) and RoGFP1 probes to assess redox in normoxic and hypoxic pulmonary vascular cells. We hypothesize that increased ROS come from the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). We will target overexpression of antioxidant enzymes to mitochondrial matrix or the cytosol to determine which compartments participate in redox signaling. Aim 2 will determine which ETC complexes contribute to ROS generation by using short hairpin interfering RNA (shRNA) to suppress expression of critical ETC subunits. We predict that oxidant signals will be attenuated when the subunits required for ROS generation are suppressed. Aim 3 will test the relationship between mitochondrial ROS generation and functional responses to hypoxia in pulmonary artery (PA) myocytes (increase in cytosolic Ca2+) and in PA endothelial cells (increased activation of Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 and increased expression of endothelin-1). We predict that inhibiting the propagation of ROS signals from mitochondria to cytosol (by targeted overexpression of antioxidant enzymes) or preventing their generation (by shRNA suppression of critical ETC subunits) will abrogate the functional responses to hypoxia in both cell types. Collectively, these studies will test whether a common O2 sensing mechanism functions in PA myocytes and endothelial cells to trigger their diverse responses in HPV.
Effective start/end date7/1/056/30/10


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (5 R01 HL079650-03)


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