Vascular Bioactivation of Nitroglycerin Is Catalyzed by Cytosolic Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-2
Rationale: According to general view, aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) catalyzes the high-affinity pathway of vascular nitroglycerin (GTN) bioactivation in smooth muscle mitochondria. Despite having wide implications to GTN pharmacology and raising many questions that are still unresolved, mitochondrial bioactivation of GTN in blood vessels is still lacking experimental support.
Objective: In the present study, we investigated whether bioactivation of GTN is affected by the subcellular localization of ALDH2 using immortalized ALDH2-deficient aortic smooth muscle cells and mouse aortas with selective overexpression of the enzyme in either cytosol or mitochondria.
Methods and Results: Quantitative Western blotting revealed that ALDH2 is mainly cytosolic in mouse aorta and human coronary arteries, with only approximately 15% (mouse) and approximately 5% (human) of the enzyme being localized in mitochondria. Infection of ALDH2-deficient aortic smooth muscle cells or isolated aortas with adenovirus containing ALDH2 cDNA with or without the mitochondrial signal peptide sequence led to selective expression of the protein in mitochondria and cytosol, respectively. Cytosolic overexpression of ALDH2 restored GTN-induced relaxation and GTN denitration to wild-type levels, whereas overexpression in mitochondria (6-fold vs wild-type) had no effect on relaxation. Overexpression of ALDH2 in the cytosol of ALDH2-deficient aortic smooth muscle cells led to a significant increase in GTN denitration and cyclic GMP accumulation, whereas mitochondrial overexpression had no effect.
Conclusions: The data indicate that vascular bioactivation of GTN is catalyzed by cytosolic ALDH2. Mitochondrial GTN metabolism may contribute to oxidative stress-related adverse effects of nitrate therapy and the development of nitrate tolerance.
- Received March 30, 2011.
- Revision received December 19, 2011.
- Accepted December 20, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.