Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) is an endogenous regulator of nitric oxide production and represents a potential therapeutic target. However, only a small number of biologically useful inhibitors have been reported, and many of these are substrate analogs. To seek more diverse scaffolds, we developed a high-throughput screening (HTS) assay and queried two small libraries totaling 2446 compounds. The HTS assay proved to be robust, reproducible and scalable, with Z' factors ≥ 0.78. One inhibitor, ebselen, is structurally divergent from substrate and was characterized in detail. This selenazole covalently inactivates DDAH in vitro and in cultured cells. The rate constant for inactivation of DDAH (44,000 ± 2,400 M−1s−1) is greater than those reported for any other target, suggesting this pathway is an important aspect of ebselen's total pharmacological effects.
Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase; high-throughput screening; ebselen; covalent inhibitors; nitric oxide
Potent and selective inhibitors of the enzyme dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) are useful as molecular probes to better understand cellular regulation of nitric oxide. Inhibitors are also potential therapeutic agents for treatment of pathological states associated with the inappropriate overproduction of nitric oxide, such as septic shock, selected types of cancer, and other conditions. Inhibitors with structures dissimilar to substrate may overcome limitations inherent to substrate analogs. Therefore, to identify structurally-diverse inhibitor scaffolds, high-throughput screening (HTS) of a 4000-member library of fragment-sized molecules was completed using the Pseudomonas aeruginosa DDAH and human DDAH-1 isoforms. Use of a substrate concentration equal to its KM value during the primary screen allowed for the detection of inhibitors with different modes of inhibition. A series of validation tests were designed and implemented in the identification of four inhibitors of human DDAH-1 that were unknown prior to the screen. Two inhibitors share a 4-halopyridine scaffold and act as quiescent affinity labels that selectively and covalently modify the active-site Cys residue. Two inhibitors are benzimidazole-like compounds that reversibly and competitively inhibit human DDAH-1 with Ligand Efficiency values ≥ 0.3 kcal / mol / heavy (non-hydrogen) atom, indicating their suitability for further development. Both inhibitor scaffolds have available sites to derivatize for further optimization. Therefore, use of this fragment-based HTS approach is demonstrated to successfully identify two novel scaffolds for development of DDAH-1 inhibitors.
Fragment library; High-throughput screen; Inhibitor discovery; Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase; Nitric oxide
Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent signaling molecule that needs to be tightly regulated to maintain metabolic and cardiovascular homeostasis. The nitric oxide synthase (NOS)/Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH)/Asymmetric Dimethylarginine (ADMA) pathway is central to this regulation. Specifically, the small molecule ADMA competitively inhibits NOS, thus lowering NO levels. The majority of ADMA is physiologically metabolized by DDAH, thus maintaining NO levels at physiological concentration. However, under pathophysiological conditions, DDAH activity is impaired, in part as a result of its sensitivity to oxidative stress. Therefore, the application of high throughput chemical screening for the discovery of small molecules that could restore or enhance DDAH activity might have significant potential in treating metabolic and vascular diseases characterized by reduced NO levels, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, and insulin resistance. By contrast, excessive generation of NO (primarily driven by iNOS) could play a role in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), sepsis, migraine headaches, and some types of cancer. In these conditions, small molecules that inhibit DDAH activity might be therapeutically useful. Here, we describe optimization and validation of a highly reproducible and robust assay successfully used in a high throughput screen for DDAH modulators.
nitric oxide; asymmetric dimethylarginine; diabetes; hypertension; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) metabolizes asymmetric dimethylarginine to generate l-citrulline and is present in large quantities in the kidney. We present a new study that optimizes the Prescott–Jones colorimetric assay to measure DDAH-dependent l-citrulline generation in kidney homogenates. We found that the removal of urea with urease is necessary since urea also produces a positive reaction. Deproteinization with sulfosalicylic acid was found to be optimal and that protease inhibitors were not necessary. All assays were conducted in phosphate buffer, since other common additives can create false positive and false negative reactions. Arginase or nitric oxide synthase isoenzymes were not found to influence l-citrulline production. Our optimized l-citrulline production assay to measure DDAH activity correlated closely with the direct measure of the rate of asymmetric dimethylarginine consumption. Using this assay, we found that both superoxide and nitric oxide inhibit renal cortical DDAH activity in vitro.
asymmetric dimethylarginine; l-citrulline; dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase; nitric oxide; urea
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, which was associated with insulin resistance. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) is the major determinant of plasma ADMA. Examining data from the DIAGRAM+ (Diabetes Genetics Replication And Meta-analysis), we identified a variant (rs9267551) in the DDAH2 gene nominally associated with type 2 diabetes (P = 3×10−5).
initially, we assessed the functional impact of rs9267551 in human endothelial cells (HUVECs), observing that the G allele had a lower transcriptional activity resulting in reduced expression of DDAH2 and decreased NO production in primary HUVECs naturally carrying it. We then proceeded to investigate whether this variant is associated with insulin sensitivity in vivo. To this end, two cohorts of nondiabetic subjects of European ancestry were studied. In sample 1 (n = 958) insulin sensitivity was determined by the insulin sensitivity index (ISI), while in sample 2 (n = 527) it was measured with a euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. In sample 1, carriers of the GG genotype had lower ISI than carriers of the C allele (67±33 vs.79±44; P = 0.003 after adjusting for age, gender, and BMI). ADMA levels were higher in subjects carrying the GG genotype than in carriers of the C allele (0.68±0.14 vs. 0.57±0.14 µmol/l; P = 0.04). In sample 2, glucose disposal was lower in GG carriers as compared with C carriers (9.3±4.1 vs. 11.0±4.2 mg×Kg−1 free fat mass×min−1; P = 0.009).
A functional polymorphism of the DDAH2 gene may confer increased risk for type 2 diabetes by affecting insulin sensitivity throughout increased ADMA levels.
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS). ADMA is eliminated largely by the action of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase1 (DDAH1). Decreased DDAH activity is found in several pathological conditions and is associated with increased risk of vascular disease. Overexpression of DDAH1 has been shown to augment endothelial proliferation and angiogenesis. To better understand the mechanism by which DDAH1 influences endothelial proliferation, this study examined the effect of DDAH1 deficiency on cell cycle progression and the expression of some cell cycle master regulatory proteins. DDAH1 KO decreased in vivo Matrigel angiogenesis and depressed endothelial repair in a mouse model of carotid artery wire injury. DDAH1 deficiency decreased VEGF expression in HUVEC and increased NF1 expression in both HUVEC and DDAH1 KO mice. The expression of active Ras could overcome the decreased VEGF expression caused by the DDAH1 depletion. The addition of VEGF and knockdown NF1 could both restore proliferation in cells with DDAH1 depletion. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that DDAH1 sRNAi knockdown in HUVEC caused G1 and G2/M arrest that was associated with decreased expression of CDC2, CDC25C, cyclin D1 and cyclin E. MEF cells from DDAH1 KO mice also demonstrated G2/M arrest that was associated with decreased cyclin D1 expression and Akt activity. Our findings indicate that DDAH1 exerts effects on cyclin D1 and cyclin E expression through multiple mechanisms, including VEGF, the NO/cGMP/PKG pathway, the Ras/PI3K/Akt pathway, and NF1 expression. Loss of DDAH1 effects on these pathways results in impaired endothelial cell proliferation and decreased angiogenesis. The findings provide background information that may be useful in the development of therapeutic strategies to manipulate DDAH1 expression in cardiovascular diseases or tumor angiogenesis.
Asymmetric methylarginines inhibit nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) activity and thereby decrease NO production. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1 (DDAH1) degrades asymmetric methylarginines. We previously demonstrated that in the heart DDAH1 is predominantly expressed in vascular endothelial cells. Since an earlier study showed that mice with global DDAH1 deficiency was embryonic lethal, we speculate that a mouse strain with selective vascular endothelial DDAH1 deficiency (endo-DDAH1−/−) would largely abolish tissue DDAH1 expression in many tissues but possibly avoid embryonic lethality.
Methods and Results:
By using the LoxP/Cre approach, we generated the endo-DDAH1−/− mice. The endo-DDAH1−/− mice had no apparent defect in growth or development as compared with wild type littermates. DDAH1 expression was greatly reduced in kidney, lung, brain, and liver, indicating that in these organs DDAH1 is mainly distributed in vascular endothelial cells. The endo-DDAH1−/− mice showed a significant increase of asymmetric methylarginine concentration in plasma (1.41μM in the endo-DDAH1−/− vs. 0.69μM in the control mice), kidney, lung and liver, which was associated with significantly increased systolic blood pressure (132 mmHg vs. 113 mmHg in wild type). The endo-DDAH1−/− mice also exhibited significantly attenuated acetylcholine-induced NO production and vessel relaxation in isolated aortic rings.
Our study demonstrates that DDAH1 is highly expressed in vascular endothelium, and that endothelial DDAH1 plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. In the context that asymmetric methylarginines are broadly produced by many type of cells, the strong DDAH1 expression in vascular endothelium demonstrates for the first time that vascular endothelium can be an important site to actively dispose of toxic biochemical molecules produced by other types of cells.
Asymmetric dimethylarginine; dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1; nitric oxide; gene knockout mice
Previous studies suggest that nitric oxide (NO) may modulate insulin-induced uptake of glucose in insulin-sensitive tissues. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of NO synthase (NOS). We hypothesized that a reduction in endogenous ADMA would increase NO synthesis and thereby enhance insulin sensitivity.
Methods and Results
To test this hypothesis we employed a transgenic mouse in which we overexpressed human dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH-I). The DDAH-I mice had lower plasma ADMA at all ages (22–70 weeks) by comparison to wild-type (WT) littermates. With a glucose challenge, WT mice showed a prompt increase in ADMA, whereas DDAH-I mice had a blunted response. Furthermore, DDAH-I mice had a blunted increase in plasma insulin and glucose levels after glucose challenge, with a 50% reduction in the insulin resistence index, consistent with enhanced sensitivity to insulin. In liver, we observed an increased Akt phosphorylation in the DDAH-I mice after i.p. glucose challenge. Incubation of skeletal muscle from WT mice ex vivo with ADMA (2μM) markedly suppressed insulin-induced glycogen synthesis in fast-twitch but not slow-twitch muscle.
These findings suggest that the endogenous NOS inhibitor ADMA reduces insulin sensitivity, consistent with previous observations that NO plays a role in insulin sensitivity.
Arteriosclerosis; nitric oxide; asymmetric dimethylarginine; dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase; glucose
Molecules that block nitric oxide's (NO) biosynthesis are of significant interest. For example, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors have been suggested as anti-tumor therapeutics, as have inhibitors of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), an enzyme that catabolizes endogenous NOS inhibitors. Dual-targeted inhibitors hold promise as more effective reagents to block NO biosynthesis than single-targeted compounds. In this study, a small set of known NOS inhibitors are surveyed as inhibitors of recombinant human DDAH-1. From these, an alkylamidine scaffold is selected for homologation. Stepwise lengthening of one substituent converts an NOS-selective inhibitor into a dual-targeted NOS/DDAH-1 inhibitor and then into a DDAH-1 selective inhibitor, as seen in the inhibition constants of N5-(1-iminoethyl)-, N5-(1-iminopropyl)-, N5-(1-iminopentyl)- and N5-(1-iminohexyl)-l-ornithine for neuronal NOS (1.7, 3, 20, >1,900 μM, respectively) and DDAH-1 (990, 52, 7.5, 110 μM, respectively). A 1.9Å X-ray crystal structure of the N5-(1-iminopropyl)-l-ornithine : DDAH-1 complex indicates covalent bond formation between the inhibitor's amidino carbon and the active-site Cys274, and solution studies show reversible competitive inhibition, consistent with a reversible covalent mode of DDAH inhibition by alkylamidine inhibitors. These represent a versatile scaffold for the development of a targeted polypharmacological approach to control NO biosynthesis.
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), present in human serum, is an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase and contributes to vascular disease. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) is an ADMA degrading enzyme that has two isoforms: DDAHI and DDAHII. We sought to determine whether serum ADMA levels in type 2 diabetes are influenced by common polymorphisms in the DDAH1 and DDAH2 genes.
Relevant clinical parameters were measured and peripheral whole blood obtained for serum and genetic analysis on 343 participants with type 2 diabetes. Serum ADMA concentrations were determined by mass spectroscopy. Twenty six tag SNPs in the DDAH1 and 10 in the DDAH2 gene were genotyped in all subjects and tested for association with serum ADMA levels. Several SNPs and haplotypes in the DDAH genes were strongly associated with ADMA levels. Most significantly in the DDAH1 gene, rs669173 (p = 2.96×10−7), rs7521189 (p = 6.40×10−7), rs2474123 (p = 0.00082) and rs13373844 (p = 0.00027), and in the DDAH2 gene, rs3131383 (p = 0.0029) and the TGCCCAGGAG haplotype (p = 0.0012) were significantly associated with ADMA levels. Sub-analysis by diabetic retinopathy (DR) status revealed these variants were associated with ADMA levels predominantly in participants without DR. Combined analysis of the most strongly associated SNPs in DDAH1 (rs669173) and DDAH2 (rs3131383) revealed an additive effect (p = 1.37×10−8) on ADMA levels.
Genetic variation in the DDAH1 and 2 genes is significantly associated with serum ADMA levels. Further studies are required to determine the pathophysiological significance of elevated serum ADMA in type 2 diabetes and to better understand how DDAH gene variation influences ADMA levels.
Hyperhomocysteinemia is a cardiovascular risk factor that is associated with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA). Using mice transgenic for overexpression of the ADMA-hydrolyzing enzyme dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-1 (DDAH1), we tested the hypothesis that overexpression of DDAH1 protects from adverse structural and functional changes in cerebral arterioles in hyperhomocysteinemia.
Methods and Results
Hyperhomocysteinemia was induced in DDAH1 transgenic (DDAH1 Tg) mice and wild-type littermates using a high methionine/low folate (HM/LF) diet. Plasma total homocysteine was elevated approximately 3-fold in both wild-type and DDAH1 Tg mice fed the HM/LF diet compared with the control diet (P<0.001). Plasma ADMA was approximately 40% lower in DDAH1 Tg mice compared with wild-type mice (P<0.001) irrespective of diet. Compared with the control diet, the HM/LF diet diminished endothelium-dependent dilation to 10 µmol/L acetylcholine in cerebral arterioles of both wild-type (12±2 vs. 29±3%; P<0.001) and DDAH1 Tg (14±3 vs. 28±2%; P<0.001) mice. Responses to 10 µmol/L papaverine, a direct smooth muscle dilator, were impaired with the HM/LF diet in wild-type mice (30±3 vs. 45±5%; P<0.05) but not DDAH1 Tg mice (45±7 vs. 48±6%). DDAH1 Tg mice also were protected from hypertrophy of cerebral arterioles (P<0.05) but not from accelerated carotid artery thrombosis induced by the HM/LF diet.
Overexpression of DDAH1 protects from hyperhomocysteinemia-induced alterations in cerebral arteriolar structure and vascular muscle function.
amino acids; nitric oxide synthase; endothelium; vasodilation; thrombosis
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor that blocks nitric oxide production, while congestive heart failure is associated with increased plasma and tissue ADMA content. Increased plasma ADMA is a strong and independent predictor of all-cause mortality in the community and the strongest predictor of mortality in patients after myocardial infarction. Recent studies demonstrated that dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-1 (DDAH1) is the critical enzyme for ADMA degradation and thereby plays an important role in maintaining cardiovascular nitric oxide bioavailability. Interestingly, activation of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) through the bile acid ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) or synthetic FXR agonists, such as GW4064, can increase DDAH1 expression. Thus, modulating DDAH1 activity through FXR receptor agonists such as UDCA could be a therapeutic target for treating reduced nitric oxide bioavailability in congestive heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases.
Endothelial dysfunction participates in the development and progression of salt-sensitive hypertension. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). The objectives of this study were to investigate the impact of a high salt diet on the PRMT/ADMA/DDAH (protein arginine methyltransferases; dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase) pathway in Dahl salt-sensitive (DS) rats and SS-13BN consomic (DR) rats, and to explore the mechanisms that regulate ADMA metabolism independent of blood pressure reduction. Plasma levels of nitric oxide (NO) in DS rats given a high salt diet and subjected to intragastric administration of hydralazine (SH + HYD group) were lower than those given a normal salt diet (SN group). There were significant decreases in expression and activity of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) in DS rats given a high diet (SH group) in comparison to the SN group. The activity of DDAH and expression of eNOS in the SH + HYD group decreased more significantly than SN group. The mRNA expression of DDAH-1 and DDAH-2 were lowest in the SH group. The results suggest that salt, independent of blood pressure, can affect the PRMT-1/ADMA/DDAH system to a certain degree and lead to endothelial dysfunction in Dahl salt-sensitive rats.
endothelial dysfunction; asymmetric dimethylarginine; dimethylarginine; dimethylaminohydrolase; endothelial nitrite oxide synthase; oxidative stress
Genetic and pharmacological studies have shown that impairment of the nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) pathway is associated with hypertension and insulin-resistance (IR). In addition, inhibition of NOS by the endogenous inhibitor, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), may also result in hypertension and IR. On the other hand, overexpression of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), an enzyme that metabolizes ADMA, in mice is associated with lower ADMA, increased NO and enhanced insulin sensitivity. Since DDAH carries a farnesoid X receptor (FXR)-responsive element, we aimed to upregulate its expression by an FXR-agonist, INT-747, and evaluate its effect on blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.
Methods and Results
In this study, we evaluated the in vivo effect of INT-747 on tissue DDAH expression and insulin sensitivity in the Dahl rat model of salt-sensitive hypertension and IR (Dahl-SS). Our data indicates that high salt (HS) diet significantly increased systemic blood pressure. In addition, HS diet downregulated tissue DDAH expression while INT-747 protected the loss in DDAH expression and enhanced insulin sensitivity compared to vehicle controls.
Our study may provide the basis for a new therapeutic approach for IR by modulating DDAH expression and/or activity using small molecules.
Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1 (DDAH1) modulates NO production by degrading the endogenous NO synthase (NOS) inhibitors ADMA and L-NMMA. This study examined whether, in addition to degrading ADMA, DDAH1 exerts ADMA independent effects that influence endothelial function.
Methods and Results
Using selective gene silencing of DDAH1 with small interfering RNA and overexpression of DDAH1 in HUVEC, we found that DDAH1 acts to promote endothelial cell proliferation, migration and tube formation both by Akt phosphorylation as well as through the traditional role of degrading ADMA. Incubation of HUVEC with the NOS inhibitors L-NAME or ADMA, the soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor ODQ, or the cGMP analog 8-pCPT-cGMP had no effect on p-AktSer473, indicating that the increase of p-AktSer473 produced by DDAH1 was independent of the NO-cGMP signaling pathway. DDAH1 formed a protein complex with Ras, and DDAH1 overexpression increased Ras activity. The Ras inhibitor manumycin-A or dominant-negative Ras significantly attenuated the DDAH1-induced increase of p-AktSer473. Furthermore, DDAH1 knockout impaired endothelial sprouting from cultured aortic rings, and overexpression of constitutively active Akt or DDAH1 rescued endothelial sprouting in the aortic rings from these mice.
DDAH1 exerts a unique role in activating Akt that affects endothelial function independent of degrading endogenous NOS inhibitors.
Nitric oxide; Akt/PKB; cell proliferation; vascular endothelium; asymmetric dimethylarginine
The objective of this study was to identify the role of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-1 (DDAH1) in degrading the endogenous NOS inhibitors ADMA and L-NMMA.
Methods and results
We generated a global-DDAH1 gene deficient (DDAH1−/−) mouse strain to examine the role of DDAH1 in ADMA and L-NMMA degradation, and the physiological consequences of loss of DDAH1. Plasma and tissue ADMA and L-NMMA levels in DDAH1−/− mice were several fold higher than in wild type mice, but growth and development of these DDAH1−/− mice was similar to their wild type littermates. Although the expression of DDAH2 was unaffected, DDAH activity was undetectable in all tissues tested. These findings indicate that DDAH1 is the critical enzyme for ADMA and L-NMMA degradation. Blood pressure was ~20 mmHg higher in the DDAH1−/− mice than in wild type mice, but no other cardiovascular phenotype was found under unstressed conditions. Crossing DDAH1+/− male with DDAH1+/− female mice yielded DDAH1+/+ mice, DDAH1+/− mice and DDAH1−/− mice at anticipated ratios of 1:2:1, indicating that DDAH1 is not required for embryonic development in this strain.
Our findings indicate that DDAH1 is required for metabolizing ADMA and L-NMMA in vivo, while DDAH2 had no detectable role for degrading ADMA and L-NMMA.
Asymmetric dimethylarginine; dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1; nitric oxide; knockout mice
The endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular and overall mortality. Moreover, elevated ADMA plasma concentrations are associated with the extent of hypertension. However, data from small-sized clinical trials and experimental approaches using murine transgenic models have revealed conflicting results regarding the impact of ADMA and its metabolizing enzyme dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) in the pathogenesis of hypertension.
Therefore, we investigated the role of ADMA and DDAH1 in hypertension-induced end organ damage using the uninephrectomized, deoxycorticosterone actetate salt, and angiotensin II-induced hypertension model in human DDAH1 (hDDAH1) overexpressing and wild-type (WT) mice. ADMA plasma concentrations differed significantly between hDDAH1 and WT mice at baseline, but did not significantly change during the induction of hypertension. hDDAH1 overexpression did not protect against hypertension-induced cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy. In addition, the hypertension-induced impairment of the endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation of aortic segments ex vivo was not significantly attenuated by hDDAH1 overexpression. However, hDDAH1 mice displayed an attenuated hypertensive inflammatory response in renal tissue, resulting in less hypertensive renal injury.
Our data reveal that hDDAH1 organ-specifically modulates the inflammatory response in this murine model of hypertension. The lack of protection in cardiac and aortic tissues may be due to DDAH1 tissue selectivity and/or the extent of hypertension by the used combined model. However, our study underlines the potency of hDDAH1 overexpression in modulating inflammatory processes as a crucial step in the pathogenesis of hypertension, which needs further experimental and clinical investigation.
In an effort to develop novel covalent modifiers of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) that are useful for biological applications, a set of “fragment”-sized inhibitors that were identified using a high-throughput screen are tested for time-dependent inhibition. One structural class of inactivators, 4-halopyridines, show time- and concentration-dependent inactivation of DDAH and the inactivation mechanism of one example, 4-bromo-2-methylpyridine (1), is characterized in detail. The neutral form of halopyridines is not very reactive with excess glutathione. However, 1 readily reacts, with loss of its halide, in a selective, covalent and irreversible manner with the active-site Cys249 of DDAH. This active-site Cys is not particularly reactive (pKa ca. 8.8) and 1 does not inactivate papain (Cys pKa ca. ≤ 4), suggesting that, unlike many reagents, Cys nucleophilicity is not a predominating factor in selectivity. Rather, binding and stabilization of the more reactive pyridinium form of the inactivator by a second moiety, Asp66, is required for facile reaction. This constraint imparts a unique selectivity profile to these inactivators. To our knowledge, halopyridines have not previously been reported as protein modifiers, and therefore represent a first-in-class example of a novel type of quiescent affinity label.
Asymmetrical dimethyl arginine (ADMA) is an endogenous non-selective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase that may influence the severity of organ failure and the occurrence of shock secondary to an infectious insult. Levels may be genetically determined by a promoter polymorphism in a regulatory gene encoding dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase II (DDAH II), which functions by metabolising ADMA to citrulline. The aim of this study was to examine the association between ADMA levels and the severity of organ failure and shock in severe sepsis and also to assess the influence of a promoter polymorphism in DDAH II on ADMA levels.
A prospective observational study was designed, and 47 intensive care unit (ICU) patients with severe sepsis and 10 healthy controls were enrolled. Serum ADMA and IL-6 were assayed on admission to the ICU and seven days later. Allelic variation for a polymorphism at position -449 in the DDAH II gene was assessed in each patient. Clinical and demographic details were also collected.
On day 1 more ADMA was detectable in the ICU group than in the control group (p = 0.005). Levels subsequently increased during the first week in ICU (p = 0.001). ADMA levels were associated with vasopressor requirements on day one (p = 0.001). ADMA levels and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores were directly associated on day one (p = 0.0001) and day seven (p = 0.002). The degree of acidaemia and lactaemia was directly correlated with ADMA levels at both time points (p < 0.01). On day seven, IL-6 was directly correlated with ADMA levels (p = 0.006). The variant allele with G at position -449 in the DDAH II gene was associated with increased ADMA concentrations at both time points (p < 0.05).
Severity of organ failure, inflammation and presence of early shock in severe sepsis are associated with increased ADMA levels. ADMA concentrations may be influenced by a polymorphism in the DDAH II gene.
Nitric oxide (NO) production is reduced in renal disease, partially due to decreased endothelial NO production. Evidence indicates that NO deficiency contributes to cardiovascular events and progression of kidney damage. Two possible causes of NO deficiency are substrate (l-arginine) limitation and increased levels of circulating endogenous inhibitors of NO synthase (particularly asymmetric dimethylarginine [ADMA]). Decreased l-arginine availability in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is due to perturbed renal biosynthesis of this amino acid. In addition, inhibition of transport of l-arginine into endothelial cells and shunting of l-arginine into other metabolic pathways (e.g. those involving arginase) might also decrease availability. Elevated plasma and tissue levels of ADMA in CKD are functions of both reduced renal excretion and reduced catabolism by dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH). The latter might be associated with loss-of-function polymorphisms of a DDAH gene, functional inhibition of the enzyme by oxidative stress in CKD and end-stage renal disease, or both. These findings provide the rationale for novel therapies, including supplementation of dietary l-arginine or its precursor l-citrulline, inhibition of non-NO-producing pathways of l-arginine utilization, or both. Because an increase in ADMA has emerged as a major independent risk factor in end-stage renal disease (and probably also in CKD), lowering ADMA concentration is a major therapeutic goal; interventions that enhance the activity of the ADMA-hydrolyzing enzyme DDAH are under investigation.
arginase; asymmetric dimethylarginine; cardiovascular events; dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase; l-arginine transporters
Asymmetric NG,NG-dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, is regulated by the enzymatic participants of synthetic and metabolic processes, i.e., type I protein N-arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) and dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH). Previous reports have demonstrated that circulating ADMA levels can vary in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). White adipose tissue expresses the full enzymatic machinery necessary for ADMA production and metabolism; however, modulation of the activities of adipose ADMA-related enzymes in T2DM remains to be determined.
A rodent model of T2DM using 11- and 20-week old Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats was used. The expression and catalytic activity of PRMT1 and DDAH1 and 2 in the white adipose tissues (periepididymal, visceral and subcutaneous fats) and femur skeletal muscle tissue were determined by immunoblotting, in vitro methyltransferase and in vitro citrulline assays.
Non-obese diabetic GK rats showed low expression and activity of adipose PRMT1 compared to age-matched Wistar controls. Adipose tissues from the periepididymal, visceral and subcutaneous fats of GK rats had high DDAH1 expression and total DDAH activity, whereas the DDAH2 expression was lowered below the control value. This dynamic of ADMA-related enzymes in white adipose tissues was distinct from that of skeletal muscle tissue. GK rats had lower levels of serum non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and triglycerides (TG) than the control rats. In all subjects the adipose PRMT1 and DDAH activities were statistically correlated with the levels of serum NEFA and TG.
Activities of PRMT1 and DDAH in white adipose tissues were altered in diabetic GK rats in an organ-specific manner, which was reflected in the serum levels of NEFA and TG. Changes in adipose ADMA-related enzymes might play a part in the function of white adipose tissue.
Protein N-arginine methyltransferase 1; Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1 and 2; Non-esterified fatty acids; Triglycerides; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Serum homocysteine, when studied singly, has been reported to be positively associated both with the endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine [ADMA, via inhibition of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) activity] and with symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA). We investigated combined associations between transsulfuration pathway thiols, including homocysteine, and serum ADMA and SDMA concentrations at population level.
Data on clinical and demographic characteristics, medication exposure, C-reactive protein, serum ADMA and SDMA (LC-MS/MS), and thiols (homocysteine, cysteine, taurine, glutamylcysteine, total glutathione, and cysteinylglycine; capillary electrophoresis) were collected from a sample of the Hunter Community Study on human ageing [n = 498, median age (IQR) = 64 (60–70) years].
Regression analysis showed that: a) age (P = 0.001), gender (P = 0.03), lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, P = 0.08), body mass index (P = 0.008), treatment with beta-blockers (P = 0.03), homocysteine (P = 0.02), and glutamylcysteine (P = 0.003) were independently associated with higher ADMA concentrations; and b) age (P = 0.001), absence of diabetes (P = 0.001), lower body mass index (P = 0.01), lower eGFR (P<0.001), cysteine (P = 0.007), and glutamylcysteine (P<0.001) were independently associated with higher SDMA concentrations. No significant associations were observed between methylated arginines and either glutathione or taurine concentrations.
After adjusting for clinical, demographic, biochemical, and pharmacological confounders the combined assessment of transsulfuration pathway thiols shows that glutamylcysteine has the strongest and positive independent associations with ADMA and SDMA. Whether this reflects a direct effect of glutamylcysteine on DDAH activity (for ADMA) and/or cationic amino acid transport requires further investigations.
Methylated arginines are endogenous analogues of L-arginine, the substrate for nitric oxide (NO) synthase. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) interferes with NO formation, causing endothelial dysfunction. ADMA is a predictor of cardiovascular events and mortality in humans. It is eliminated primarily by enzymatic activity of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH).
We investigated whether human DDAH-1 (hDDAH-1) transgenicity protects from ischemic tissue damage in temporary middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) in mice. Infarct sizes did not significantly differ between hDDAH-1 transgenic (TG) mice and wild-type littermates (WT). As expected, ADMA plasma concentrations were significantly decreased, cerebral hDDAH expression and protein significantly increased in transgenic animals. Interestingly, neither brain tissue DDAH activity nor ADMA concentrations were different between TG and WT mice. In contrast, muscular DDAH activity was generally lower than in brain but significantly increased in TG mice.
Our study demonstrates that hDDAH-1 transgenic mice are not protected from ischemic cerebral tissue damage in tMCAO. This lack of protection is due to high basal cerebral DDAH activity, which is not further increasable by transgenic overexpression of DDAH.
Nitric oxide (NO) is generated from L-arginine by NO synthases, of which three forms have been identified: endothelial, inducible and neuronal (eNOS, iNOS and nNOS, respectively). The arginine metabolite asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is a potent, noncompetitive inhibitor of nNOS, while its congener NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) is a less potent, competitive inhibitor. In rat neurons large amounts of ADMA are found, suggesting its importance in modulatin neuronal activity.
Humans generate approximately 300 μmol (∼60 mg) ADMA per day. It is released from myelin basic proteins that are highly expressed in neuronal tissue. ADMA is mainly degraded by the action of the enzyme dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), which exists in two isoforms. DDAH1 is highly expressed in brain, suggesting specific function in this area. The presence of nNOS and DDAH1 in brain suggests that ADMA may have specific CNS activity and be more than an unregulated metabolite.
Increased NO production - either prior to or concurrently with opioid administration - results in an enhanced rate and extent of development of tolerance to morphine in mice. NO produces an alteration in the μ-opioid receptor that increases constitutive receptor activity. It thereby reduces the ability of a selective μ-opioid agonist to activate the μ-opioid receptor; these in vitro molecular effects occur in a time course consistent with the in vivo development of antinociceptive tolerance in mice. Amongst many other synthetic NOS inhibitors of varying specificity, 7-nitroindazole (7-NI) has been shown to have a high affinity (IC50 0.71 μM) to nNOS. Selective blockade of nNOS by 7-NI attenuated morphine withdrawal in opiate dependent rats, suggesting nNOS as a viable target for development of pharmacotherapies.
We hypothesize that, by inhibiting nNOS and reducing NO levels, ADMA may decrease μ-opiate receptor constitutive activity, resulting in alteration of the analgesic dose-response curve of morphine.
addiction; opiates; heroine; nociception; NOS; Asymmetrical dimethylarginine; NG-monomethyl-L-arginine
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), is mainly metabolized by NG,NG-dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH). We investigated whether altered cavernosal ADMA–DDAH metabolism might cause impairment of erection in rat model of atherosclerosis (AS). Male Sprague–Dawley rats (3 months old) were divided into an AS group and a normal control (Con) group (n=20 in each group). The AS rats received AS-prone treatment (6 weeks of 1% cholesterol diet plus early 2 weeks of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (3 mg ml−1 per day) treatment). After 6 weeks, rats underwent cavernosometry measuring the maximal intracavernosal pressure/mean arterial pressure (ICP/MAP) ratios as a surrogate marker of erectile function. The amount of cavernosal ADMA was assessed by immunoblot analysis and correlated with the ICP/MAP. Isoform-specific DDAH expression was compared by immunohistochemistry. Cavernosal DDAH and NOS activity were measured. Cavernosal malondialdehyde levels were assayed to determine the degree of lipid peroxidation. Compared to the controls, the AS rats had signs of impaired erectile function. Higher cavernosal ADMA was observed in the AS rats. The cavernosal ADMA had a moderately negative correlation with the ICP/MAP. Immunohistochemistry revealed the expression of both isoforms was not affected by the presence of AS. However, significantly diminished DDAH as well as NOS activity was observed in the AS group. In addition, elevated cavernosal malondialdehyde levels were noted in the AS rats. Our study showed that decreased cavernosal DDAH activity is the cause of cavernosal ADMA accumulation leading to reduced cavernosal NOS activity and impairment of erectile function.
erectile dysfunction; atherosclerosis; rats; asymmetric dimethylarginine; dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase