Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Distinct molecular requirements for activation or stabilization of soluble guanylyl cyclase upon haem oxidation-induced degradation


In endothelial dysfunction, signalling by nitric oxide (NO) is impaired because of the oxidation and subsequent loss of the soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) haem [1]. The sGC activator 4-[((4-carboxybutyl){2-[(4-phenethylbenzyl)oxy]phenethyl}amino)methyl [benzoic]acid (BAY 58-2667) is a haem-mimetic able to bind with high affinity to GC when the native haem (the NO binding site) is removed and it also protects sGC from ubiquitin-triggered degradation [24]. Here we investigate whether this protection is a unique feature of BAY 58-2667 or a general characteristic of haem-site ligands such as the haem-independent sGC activator 5-chloro-2-(5-chloro-thiophene-2-sulphonylamino-N-(4-(morpholine-4-sulphonyl)-phenyl)-benzamide sodium salt (HMR 1766), the haem-mimetic Zn-protoporphyrin IX (Zn-PPIX) or the haem-dependent sGC stimulator 5-cyclopropyl-2-[1-(2-fluoro-benzyl)-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-b]pyridin-3-yl]-pyrimidin-4-ylamine (BAY 41-2272).

Experimental approach

The sGC inhibitor 1H-(1,2,4)-oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) was used to induce oxidation-induced degradation of sGC. Activity and protein levels of sGC were measured in a Chinese hamster ovary cell line as well as in primary porcine endothelial cells. Cells expressing mutant sGC were used to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the effects observed.


Oxidation-induced sGC degradation was prevented by BAY 58-2667 and Zn-PPIX in both cell types. In contrast, the structurally unrelated sGC activator, HMR 1766, and the sGC stimulator, BAY 41-2272, did not protect. Similarly, the constitutively haem-free sGC mutant β1H105F was stabilized by BAY 58-2667 and Zn-PPIX.


The ability of BAY 58-2667 not only to activate but also to stabilize oxidized/haem-free sGC represents a unique example of bimodal target interaction and distinguishes this structural class from non-stabilizing sGC activators and sGC stimulators such as HMR 1766 and BAY 41-2272 respectively.


  1. Chirkov YY, Horowitz JD: Impaired tissue responsiveness to organic nitrates and nitric oxide: a new therapeutic frontier?. Pharmacol Ther. 2007, 116: 287-305. 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2007.06.012.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Stasch JP, Schmidt PM, Alonso-Alija C, Apeler H, Dembowsky K, Haerter M: NO- and haem-independent activation of soluble guanylyl cyclase: molecular basis and cardiovascular implications of of a new pharmacological principle. Br J Pharmacol. 2002, 136: 773-783. 10.1038/sj.bjp.0704778.

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Stasch JP, Schmidt PM, Nedvetsky PI, Nedvetskaya TY, Arum Kumar HS, Meurer S: Targeting the heme-oxidized nitric oxide receptor for selective vasodilatation of diseased blood vessels. J Clin Invest. 2006, 116: 2552-2561. 10.1172/JCI28371.

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Meurer S, Pioch S, Pabst T, Opitz N, Schmidt PM, Beckhaus T, Wagner K, Gegenbauer K, Geschka S, Karas M, Stasch JP, Schmidt HHHW, Müller-Esterl W: Nitric-oxide-independen vasodilator rescues heme-oxidized soluble guanylate cyclase from proteasomal degradation. Circ Res. 2009,

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Linda Sarah Hoffmann.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hoffmann, L.S., Schmidt, P.M., Keim, Y. et al. Distinct molecular requirements for activation or stabilization of soluble guanylyl cyclase upon haem oxidation-induced degradation. BMC Pharmacol 9 (Suppl 1), P26 (2009).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: