The vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP): Target of YC-1 and nitric oxide effects in human and rat platelets

Eva Maria Backer, Peter Schmidt, Matthias Schramm, Henning Schröder, Ulrich Walter, Markus Hoenicka, Rupert Gerzer, Johannes Peter Stasch

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30 Scopus citations


The effects of the different types of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulators on the phosphorylation status of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) in both human and rat platelets were studied under in vitro and in vivo conditions, sGC-dependent VASP phosphorylation (at Ser239 and Ser157) both by the new direct sGC stimulator YC-1 and by NO donors was examined by sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS/PAGE) with different antibodies. One antibody, which recognizes VASP independent of its phosphorylation state, was used to detect the mobility shift of VASP caused by Ser157 phosphorylation. The other antibody was specifically directed against VASP phosphorylated at Ser239, the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) preferred phosphorylation site of VASP. In vitro YC-1 increased both VASP phosphorylation and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) levels as did the NO donors 2-(N,N- diethylamino)- diazenolate-2-oxide (DEA/NO) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP). The combination of both types induced a synergistic effect in both VASP phosphorylation and cGMP increase. In rat platelets, similar effects could be shown in vitro. In vivo we observed a significant increase in cGMP and distinct effect on VASP phosphorylation in rat platelets 1 h after oral administration of YC-1. These biochemical alterations are supported by a significant prolongation in rat- tail bleeding time. Direct stimulators of sGC like YC-1 are on the one hand direct potent stimulators of the cGMP/PKG/VASP pathway in platelets and on the other hand synergize with NO, the physiologic stimulator of sGC. Therefore YC-1-like substances are interesting tools for the development of new cardiovascular drugs with vasodilatory and antithrombotic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 13 2000


  • Nitric oxide
  • Platelets
  • Second messenger
  • YC-1
  • cGMP


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