Activation of the mechanosensitive Ca2+ channel TRPV4 induces endothelial barrier permeability via the disruption of mitochondrial bioenergetics

Qing Lu, Evgeny A. Zemskov, Xutong Sun, Hui Wang, Manivannan Yegambaram, Xiaomin Wu, Alejandro Garcia-Flores, Shanshan Song, Haiyang Tang, Archana Kangath, Gabriela Zubiate Cabanillas, Jason X.J. Yuan, Ting Wang, Jeffrey R. Fineman, Stephen M. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Mechanical ventilation is a life-saving intervention in critically ill patients with respiratory failure due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a refractory lung disease with an unacceptable high mortality rate. Paradoxically, mechanical ventilation also creates excessive mechanical stress that directly augments lung injury, a syndrome known as ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI). The specific mechanisms involved in VILI-induced pulmonary capillary leakage, a key pathologic feature of VILI are still far from resolved. The mechanoreceptor, transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 4, TRPV4 plays a key role in the development of VILI through unresolved mechanism. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) uncoupling plays an important role in sepsis-mediated ARDS so in this study we investigated whether there is a role for eNOS uncoupling in the barrier disruption associated with TRPV4 activation during VILI. Our data indicate that the TRPV4 agonist, 4α-Phorbol 12,13-didecanoate (4αPDD) induces pulmonary arterial endothelial cell (EC) barrier disruption through the disruption of mitochondrial bioenergetics. Mechanistically, this occurs via the mitochondrial redistribution of uncoupled eNOS secondary to a PKC-dependent phosphorylation of eNOS at Threonine 495 (T495). A specific decoy peptide to prevent T495 phosphorylation reduced eNOS uncoupling and mitochondrial redistribution and preserved PAEC barrier function under 4αPDD challenge. Further, our eNOS decoy peptide was able to preserve lung vascular integrity in a mouse model of VILI. Thus, we have revealed a functional link between TRPV4 activation, PKC-dependent eNOS phosphorylation at T495, and EC barrier permeability. Reducing pT495-eNOS could be a new therapeutic approach for the prevention of VILI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101785
JournalRedox Biology
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Barrier permeability
  • eNOS
  • Mitochondrial bioenergetics
  • PKCα
  • TRPV4
  • VILI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Activation of the mechanosensitive Ca2+ channel TRPV4 induces endothelial barrier permeability via the disruption of mitochondrial bioenergetics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this