Rod-type cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel is expressed in vascular endothelium and vascular smooth muscle cells

Xiaoqiang Yao*, Po Sing Leung, Hiu Yee Kwan, Tung Po Wong, Mei Wa Fong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Ca++-permeable nonselective cation channels mediate the entry of extracellular Ca++ in vascular endothelium. They are also partly responsible for Ca++ entry in vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). The molecular identities of these channels have not been identified. The aim of this study is to examine whether rod-type nucleotide-gated nonselective cation (CNG1) channel, a channel which has been molecularly cloned, is related to the nonselective channels in vascular cells. Methods: We used RT- PCR, molecular cloning, northern Blot and in situ hybridization to examine the expression of CNG1 mRNA in a variety of guinea pig and rat blood vessels with different diameters and in cultured vascular endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells. Results: We have cloned a 402-bp partial cDNA of CNG1 channel from guinea pig mesenteric arteries. RT-PCR and southern blot results indicate that the CNG1 mRNA is expressed in both cultured vascular endothelial and cultured vascular SMCs. Northern blot revealed the transcripts of ~3.2 kb, ~5.0 kb, and ~1.8 kb in cultured endothelial cells. In situ hybridization yielded strong labeling in endothelium layer of aorta, medium-sized mesenteric arteries, and small mesenteric arteries. Conclusion: Our findings suggest a potential role of CNG protein for Ca++ entry in vascular endothelium and vascular smooth muscles. The high expression of CNG1 mRNA in the endothelium of medium-sized arteries and small-sized arteries implicates a possible involvement of CNG1 protein in the regulation of blood supply to different regions and in the regulation of arterial blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-290
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Ca++ entry
  • CNG1 channel
  • Mesenteric arteries
  • Vascular endothelium
  • Vascular smooth muscle cells


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