G-Protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) activate intracellular signalling pathways by coupling to heterotrimeric G-proteins that control many physiological processes including blood pressure homeostasis. The Regulator of G-Protein Signalling-1 (RGS1) controls the magnitude and duration of downstream GPCR signalling by acting as a GTPase-activating protein for specific Gα-proteins. RGS1 has contrasting roles in haematopoietic and non-haematopoietic cells. Rgs1-/-ApoE-/- mice are protected from Angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced aortic aneurysm rupture. Conversely, Ang II treatment increases systolic blood pressure to a greater extent in Rgs1-/-ApoE-/- mice than ApoE-/- mice, independent of its role in myeloid cells. However the precise role of RGS1 in hypertension and vascular-derived cells remains unknown. We determined the effects of Rgs1 deletion on vascular function in ApoE-/- mice. Rgs1 deletion led to enhanced vasoconstriction in aortas and mesenteric arteries from ApoE-/- mice in response to phenylephrine (PE) and U46619 respectively. Rgs1 was shown to have a role in the vasculature, with endothelium-dependent vasodilation being impaired, and endothelium-independent dilatation to SNP being enhanced in Rgs1-/-ApoE-/- mesenteric arteries. To address the downstream signalling pathways in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in response to Ang II-stimulation, we assessed pErk1/2, pJNK and pp38 MAPK activation in VSMCs transiently transfected with Rgs1. pErk1/2 signalling but not pJNK and pp38 signalling was impaired in the presence of Rgs1. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the enhanced contractile response to PE in Rgs1-/-ApoE-/- aortas was reduced by a MAPK/Erk (MEK) inhibitor and an L-type voltage gated calcium channel antagonist, suggesting that Erk1/2 signalling and calcium influx are major effectors of Rgs1-mediated vascular contractile responses, respectively. These findings indicate RGS1 is a novel regulator of blood pressure homeostasis and highlight RGS1-controlled signalling pathways in the vasculature that may be new drug development targets for hypertension.
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Angiotensin II, G-protein signalling, Rgs1, Smooth muscle cell, Vascular function, Angiotensin II, Animals, Aorta, Thoracic, Blood Pressure, Calcium Signaling, Cell Line, Disease Models, Animal, Hypertension, Male, Mesenteric Arteries, Mice, Knockout, ApoE, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3, Muscle, Smooth, Vascular, Phosphorylation, RGS Proteins, Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1, Vasoconstriction, Vasodilation