Event: 935

Key Event Title


KE2 : Decrease, GTPCH-1

Short name


Decrease, GTPCH-1

Biological Context


Level of Biological Organization

Cell term


Cell term
endothelial cell of vascular tree

Organ term


Key Event Components


Process Object Action
proteasome complex disassembly GTP cyclohydrolase 1 decreased

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event


AOP Name Role of event in AOP
Hypertension KeyEvent



Taxonomic Applicability


Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
Homo sapiens Homo sapiens High NCBI
Bos taurus Bos taurus High NCBI
Mus musculus Mus musculus High NCBI
Rattus norvegicus Rattus norvegicus Low NCBI

Life Stages


Life stage Evidence
All life stages Not Specified

Sex Applicability


Term Evidence
Unspecific Not Specified

Key Event Description


Guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase-1 (GTPCH-1) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the de novo biosynthesis of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), an essential cofactor for endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and nitric oxide generation (Wang et al., 2008). GTPCH-1 catalyzes the rearrangement of GTP to 7-dihydroneopterin triphosphate, which is converted to BH4 through sequential actions of pyruvoyl tetrahydrobiopterin synthase and sepiapterin reductase. GTPCH-1 activity is regulated in a negative feedback by levels of BH4 which promotes binding of GTPCH-1 with its inhibitor GTPCH feedback regulatory protein (GFRP), but phosphorylation of GTPCH-1 reduces its binding to GFRP and prevents this negative feedback (Chen et al., 2011).  Loss or inactivation of GTPCH-1 results in decreased BH4 levels, which causes eNOS uncoupling.

How It Is Measured or Detected


The activity of GTPCH-1 can be detected through the quantification of neopterin by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) after the conversion of enzymatically formed dihydroneopterin triphosphate into neopterin by sequential iodine oxidation and dephosphorylation.

Domain of Applicability


Several studies showed decreased GTPCH-1 activity and/or protein expression in cardiac reperfusion patients, bovine endothelial cells, a mouse model of diabetes and a rat model of hypertension (Cervantes-Pérez et al., 2012; Abdelghany et al., 2017; Jayaram et al., 2015; Zhao et al., 2013).

Furthermore, mice deficient in GTPCH-1 demonstrate decreased BH4 bioavailability, increased eNOS uncoupling, pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary hypertension (Belik et al. 2011, Nandi et al. 2005, Khoo et al. 2005).



AbdelGhany, T., Ismail, R., Elmahdy, M., Mansoor F, Zweier J, Lowe, F., and Zweier, JL. (2017). Cigarette Smoke Constituents Cause Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Dysfunction and Uncoupling due to Depletion of Tetrahydrobiopterin with Degradation of GTP Cyclohydrolase.  Nitric Oxide (Under review).

Belik J, McIntyre BA, Enomoto M, Pan J, Grasemann H, Vasquez-Vivar J.  Pulmonary hypertension in the newborn GTP cyclohydrolase I-deficient mouse.  Free Radic Biol Med. 2011, 51(12):2227-33.

Cervantes-Pérez, L.G., Ibarra-Lara, M. de la L., Escalante, B., Del Valle-Mondragón, L., Vargas-Robles, H., Pérez-Severiano, F., Pastelín, G., and Sánchez-Mendoza, M.A. (2012). Endothelial nitric oxide synthase impairment is restored by clofibrate treatment in an animal model of hypertension. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 685, 108–115.

Chen, W., Li, L., Brod, T., Saeed, O., Thabet, S., Jansen, T., Dikalov, S., Weyand, C., Goronzy, J., and Harrison, D.G. (2011). Role of increased guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase-1 expression and tetrahydrobiopterin levels upon T cell activation. J. Biol. Chem. 286, 13846–13851.

Jayaram, R., Goodfellow, N., Zhang, M.H., Reilly, S., Crabtree, M., De Silva, R., Sayeed, R., and Casadei, B. (2015). Molecular mechanisms of myocardial nitroso-redox imbalance during on-pump cardiac surgery. Lancet Lond. Engl. 385 Suppl 1, S49.

Khoo JP, Zhao L, Alp NJ, Bendall JK, Nicoli T, Rockett K, et al. Pivotal role for endothelial tetrahydrobiopterin in pulmonary hypertension. Circulation. 2005;111:2126–33

Nandi M, Miller A, Stidwill R, Jacques TS, Lam AA, Haworth S, et al. Pulmonary hypertension in a GTP-cyclohydrolase 1-deficient mouse. Circulation. 2005;111:2086–90

Wang, S., Xu, J., Song, P., Wu, Y., Zhang, J., Chul Choi, H., and Zou, M.-H. (2008). Acute inhibition of guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase 1 uncouples endothelial nitric oxide synthase and elevates blood pressure. Hypertension 52, 484–490.

Zhao, Y., Wu, J., Zhu, H., Song, P., and Zou, M.-H. (2013). Peroxynitrite-dependent zinc release and inactivation of guanosine 5’-triphosphate cyclohydrolase 1 instigate its ubiquitination in diabetes. Diabetes 62, 4247–4256.