Role of soluble guanylyl cyclase-cyclic GMP signaling in tumor cell proliferation

Kalpana Mujoo, Vladislav G. Sharin, Emil Martin, Byung Kwon Choi, Courtney Sloan, Lubov E. Nikonoff, Alexander Y. Kots, Ferid Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Our previous studies demonstrate a differential expression of nitric oxide (NO) signaling components in ES cells and our recent study demonstrated an enhanced differentiation of ES cells into myocardial cells with NO donors and soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) activators. Since NO-cGMP pathway exhibits a diverse role in cancer, we were interested in evaluating the role of the NO-receptor sGC and other components of the pathway in regulation of the tumor cell proliferation. Our results demonstrate a differential expression of the sGC subunits, NOS-1 and PKG mRNA and protein levels in various human cancer models. In contrast to sGC α1, robust levels of sGC β1 were observed in OVCAR-3 (ovarian) and MDA-MB-468 (breast) cancer cells which correlated well with the sGC activity and a marked increase in cGMP levels upon exposure to the combination of a NO donor and a sGC activator. NOC-18 (DETA NONOate; NO donor), BAY41-2272 (3-(4-amino-5-cyclopropylpyrimidin-2-yl)-1-(2-fluorobenzyl)-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-b]pyridine); sGC activator), NOC-18 + BAY41-2272, IBMX (3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine; phosphodiesterase inhibitor) and 8-bromo-cGMP (cGMP analog) caused growth inhibition and apoptosis in various cancer cell lines. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in growth inhibition, we evaluated the effect of activators/inhibitors on ERK phosphorylation. Our studies indicate that BAY41-2272 or the combination NOC-18 + BAY41-2272 caused inhibition of the basal ERK1/2 phosphorylation in OVCAR-3 (high sGC activity), SK-OV-3 and SK-Br-3 (low sGC activity) cell lines and in some cases the inhibition was rescued by the sGC inhibitor ODQ (1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one). These studies suggest that the effects of activators/inhibitors of NO-sGC-cGMP in tumor cell proliferation is mediated by both cGMP-dependent and independent mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalNitric Oxide - Biology and Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 22 2010


  • Breast cancer
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Nitric oxide
  • Ovarian cancer
  • sGC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research


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