Intracellular signaling in vascular smooth muscle

A. V. Somlyo, A. P. Somlyo, F. Prinzen, D. Allen, C. Holloway, D. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The two major modalities of pharmacomechanical coupling, inositol 1,4,5 trisphosphate induced Ca2+ release and modulation of Ca2+-sensitivity, are reviewed. Recent studies show that although changes in cytoplasmic Ca2+ play the major role in regulating smooth muscle contraction, agonists can also significantly affect the contractile state by modifying Ca2+- sensitivity. Inhibition of myosin light chain kinase or myosin light chain phosphatase leads to, respectively, desensitization or sensitization of the contractile apparatus to Ca2+, G-protein linked inhibition of myosin light chain phosphatase and Ca2+ release mediated by the phosphatidylinol cascade are the two major pharmacomechanical coupling mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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