Mice selectively expressing a PPARγ dominant-negative mutation in vascular smooth muscle exhibit RhoBTB1 deficiency and hypertension. Our rationale was to use genetic complementation to uncover the mechanism of action of RhoBTB1 in vascular smooth muscle. Inducible smooth muscle–specific restoration of RhoBTB1 fully corrected hypertension and arterial stiffness by improving vasodilator function. Notably, the cardiovascular protection occurred despite the preservation of increased agonist-mediated contraction and RhoA and Rho kinase activity, suggesting that RhoBTB1 selectively controls vasodilation. RhoBTB1 augmented the cyclic 3′,5′-monophosphate (cGMP) response to NO by restraining the activity of phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) through its action as a substrate adaptor delivering PDE5 to the Cullin-3 E3 ring ubiquitin ligase complex for ubiquitination, thereby inhibiting PDE5. Angiotensin II infusion also caused RhoBTB1 deficiency and hypertension, which were prevented by smooth muscle–specific RhoBTB1 restoration. We conclude that RhoBTB1 protected against hypertension, vascular smooth muscle dysfunction, and arterial stiffness in at least 2 models of hypertension.
Masashi Mukohda, Shi Fang, Jing Wu, Larry N. Agbor, Anand R. Nair, Stella-Rita C. Ibeawuchi, Chunyan Hu, Xuebo Liu, Ko-Ting Lu, Deng-Fu Guo, Deborah R. Davis, Henry L. Keen, Frederick W. Quelle, Curt D. Sigmund