Endothelin-1 modulates insulin signaling through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway in vascular smooth muscle cells.
Diminished insulin action in the vasculature may contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases in diabetes. We have studied insulin's effects on the phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase pathway in arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and its inhibition by endothelin (ET)-1, a potent vasoactive hormone reported to be elevated in insulin resistance and other vascular diseases. ET-1 increased the level of serine phosphorylation of insulin receptor beta subunit but increased both tyrosine and serine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-2. Pretreatment of cells with ET-1 (10 nmol/l) inhibited insulin-stimulated PI 3-kinase activity associated with IRS-2 by 50-60% and inhibited the association of p85 subunit of PI 3-kinase to IRS-2. The inhibition of insulin-stimulated PI 3-kinase activity by ET-1 was prevented by BQ-123, a selective ET(A) receptor antagonist, but was not affected by pertussis toxin. Treatment of cells with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, an activator of protein kinase C (PKC), reduced both insulin-stimulated PI 3-kinase activity by 57% and the association of IRS-2 to the p85 subunit of PI 3-kinase by 40%, whereas GF109203X, a specific inhibitor of PKC, partially prevented the inhibitory effect of ET-1 on insulin-induced PI 3-kinase activity. These results suggested that ET-1 could interfere with insulin signaling in SMCs by both PKC-dependent and -independent pathways.