Role of endothelial G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 in angioedema

Jessica Gambardella, Daniela Sorriento, Maria Bova, Mariarosaria Rusciano, Stefania Loffredo, Xujun Wang, Angelica Petraroli, Laura Carucci, Ilaria Mormile, Marco Oliveti, Marco Bruno Morelli, Antonella Fiordelisi, Giuseppe Spadaro, Pietro Campiglia, Marina Sala, Bruno Trimarco, Guido Iaccarino, Gaetano Santulli, Michele Ciccarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Excessive BK (bradykinin) stimulation is responsible for the exaggerated permeabilization of the endothelium in angioedema. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these responses have not been investigated. BK receptors are Gq-protein-coupled receptors phosphorylated by GRK2 (G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2) with a hitherto unknown biological and pathophysiological significance. In the present study, we sought to identify the functional role of GRK2 in angioedema through the regulation of BK signaling. We found that the accumulation of cytosolic Ca2+ in endothelial cells induced by BK was sensitive to GRK2 activity, as it was significantly augmented by inhibiting the kinase. Accordingly, permeabilization and NO production induced by BK were enhanced, as well. In vivo, mice with reduced GRK2 levels in the endothelium (Tie2-CRE/GRK2fl+/fl-) exhibited an increased response to BK in terms of vascular permeability and extravasation. Finally, patients with reduced GRK2 levels displayed a severe phenotype of angioedema. Taken together, these findings establish GRK2 as a novel pivotal regulator of BK signaling with an essential role in the pathophysiology of vascular permeability and angioedema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1625-1636
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020


  • Angioedema
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Bradykinin
  • Endothelium
  • Phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of endothelial G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 in angioedema'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this