The interaction of Ca2+ with sarcomeric proteins: role in function and dysfunction of the heart.
ABSTRACT: The hallmarks of the normal heartbeat are both rapid onset of contraction and rapid relaxation as well as an inotropic response to both increased end-diastolic volume and increased heart rate. At the microscopic level, Ca(2+) plays a crucial role in normal cardiac contraction. This paper reviews the cycle of Ca(2+) fluxes during the normal heartbeat, which underlie the coupling between excitation and contraction and permit a highly synchronized action of cardiac sarcomeres. Length dependence of the response of the regulatory sarcomeric proteins mediates the Frank-Starling Law of the heart. However, Ca(2+) transport may go astray in heart disease such as in congestive heart failure, and both jeopardize systole and diastole and triggering arrhythmias. The interaction between weak and strong segments in nonuniform cardiac muscle allows partial preservation of force of contraction but may further lead to mechanoelectric feedback or reverse excitation-contraction coupling mediating an early diastolic Ca(2+) transient caused by the rapid force decrease during the relaxation phase. These rapid force changes in nonuniform muscle may cause arrhythmogenic Ca(2+) waves to propagate by the activation of neighboring sarcoplasmic reticulum by diffusing Ca(2+) ions.
Project description:Cardiac hypertrophy is a growth response of the heart to increased hemodynamic demand or damage. Accompanying this heart enlargement is a remodeling of Ca(2+) signaling. Due to its fundamental role in controlling cardiomyocyte contraction during every heartbeat, modifications in Ca(2+) fluxes significantly impact on cardiac output and facilitate the development of arrhythmias. Using cardiomyocytes from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), we demonstrate that an increase in Ca(2+) release through inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (InsP(3)Rs) contributes to the larger excitation contraction coupling (ECC)-mediated Ca(2+) transients characteristic of hypertrophic myocytes and underlies the more potent enhancement of ECC-mediated Ca(2+) transients and contraction elicited by InsP(3) or endothelin-1 (ET-1). Responsible for this is an increase in InsP(3)R expression in the junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum. Due to their close proximity to ryanodine receptors (RyRs) in this region, enhanced Ca(2+) release through InsP(3)Rs served to sensitize RyRs, thereby increasing diastolic Ca(2+) levels, the incidence of extra-systolic Ca(2+) transients, and the induction of ECC-mediated Ca(2+) elevations. Unlike the increase in InsP(3)R expression and Ca(2+) transient amplitude in the cytosol, InsP(3)R expression and ECC-mediated Ca(2+) transients in the nucleus were not altered during hypertrophy. Elevated InsP(3)R2 expression was also detected in hearts from human patients with heart failure after ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, as well as in aortic-banded hypertrophic mouse hearts. Our data establish that increased InsP(3)R expression is a general mechanism that underlies remodeling of Ca(2+) signaling during heart disease, and in particular, in triggering ventricular arrhythmia during hypertrophy.
Project description:S-Nitrosylation is a ubiquitous post-translational modification that regulates diverse biologic processes. In skeletal muscle, hypernitrosylation of the ryanodine receptor (RyR) causes sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) calcium leak, but whether abnormalities of cardiac RyR nitrosylation contribute to dysfunction of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling remains controversial. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that cardiac RyR2 is hyponitrosylated in heart failure, because of nitroso-redox imbalance. We evaluated excitation-contraction coupling and nitroso-redox balance in spontaneously hypertensive heart failure rats with dilated cardiomyopathy and age-matched Wistar-Kyoto rats. Spontaneously hypertensive heart failure myocytes were characterized by depressed contractility, increased diastolic Ca(2+) leak, hyponitrosylation of RyR2, and enhanced xanthine oxidase derived superoxide. Global S-nitrosylation was decreased in failing hearts compared with nonfailing. Xanthine oxidase inhibition restored global and RyR2 nitrosylation and reversed the diastolic SR Ca(2+) leak, improving Ca(2+) handling and contractility. Together these findings demonstrate that nitroso-redox imbalance causes RyR2 oxidation, hyponitrosylation, and SR Ca(2+) leak, a hallmark of cardiac dysfunction. The reversal of this phenotype by inhibition of xanthine oxidase has important pathophysiologic and therapeutic implications.
Project description:To define the necessity of calcineurin (Cn) signaling for cardiac maturation and function, the postnatal phenotype of mice with cardiac-specific targeted ablation of the Cn B1 regulatory subunit (Ppp3r1) gene (csCnb1(-/-) mice) was characterized. csCnb1(-/-) mice develop a lethal cardiomyopathy, characterized by impaired postnatal growth of the heart and combined systolic and diastolic relaxation abnormalities, despite a lack of structural derangements. Notably, the csCnb1(-/-) hearts did not exhibit diastolic dilatation, despite the severe functional phenotype. Myocytes isolated from the mutant mice exhibited reduced rates of contraction/relaxation and abnormalities in calcium transients, consistent with altered sarcoplasmic reticulum loading. Levels of sarco(endo) plasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase 2a (Atp2a2) and phospholamban were normal, but phospholamban phosphorylation was markedly reduced at Ser(16) and Thr(17). In addition, levels of the Na/Ca exchanger (Slc8a1) were modestly reduced. These results define a novel mouse model of cardiac-specific Cn deficiency and demonstrate novel links between Cn signaling, postnatal growth of the heart, pathological ventricular remodeling, and excitation-contraction coupling.
Project description:The heart is an excitable organ that undergoes spontaneous force generation and relaxation cycles driven by excitation-contraction (EC) coupling. A fraction of the oscillating cytosolic Ca(2+) during each heartbeat is taken up by mitochondria to stimulate mitochondrial metabolism, the major source of energy in the heart. Whether the mitochondrial metabolism is regulated individually during EC coupling and whether this heterogeneous regulation bears any physiological or pathological relevance have not been studied. Here, we developed a novel approach to determine the regulation of individual mitochondrial metabolism during cardiac EC coupling. Through monitoring superoxide flashes, which are stochastic and bursting superoxide production events arising from increased metabolism in individual mitochondria, we found that EC coupling stimulated the metabolism in individual mitochondria as indicated by significantly increased superoxide flash activity during electrical stimulation of the cultured intact myocytes or perfused heart. Mechanistically, cytosolic calcium transients promoted individual mitochondria to take up calcium via mitochondrial calcium uniporter, which subsequently triggered transient opening of the permeability transition pore and stimulated metabolism and bursting superoxide flash in that mitochondrion. The bursting superoxide, in turn, promoted local calcium release. In the early stage of heart failure, EC coupling regulation of superoxide flashes was compromised. This study highlights the heterogeneity in the regulation of cardiac mitochondrial metabolism, which may contribute to local redox signaling.
Project description:L-type Ca(2+) currents determine the shape of cardiac action potentials (AP) and the magnitude of the myoplasmic Ca(2+) signal, which regulates the contraction force. The auxiliary Ca(2+) channel subunits alpha(2)delta-1 and beta(2) are important regulators of membrane expression and current properties of the cardiac Ca(2+) channel (Ca(V)1.2). However, their role in cardiac excitation-contraction coupling is still elusive. Here we addressed this question by combining siRNA knockdown of the alpha(2)delta-1 subunit in a muscle expression system with simulation of APs and Ca(2+) transients by using a quantitative computer model of ventricular myocytes. Reconstitution of dysgenic muscle cells with Ca(V)1.2 (GFP-alpha(1C)) recapitulates key properties of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling. Concomitant depletion of the alpha(2)delta-1 subunit did not perturb membrane expression or targeting of the pore-forming GFP-alpha(1C) subunit into junctions between the outer membrane and the sarcoplasmic reticulum. However, alpha(2)delta-1 depletion shifted the voltage dependence of Ca(2+) current activation by 9 mV to more positive potentials, and it slowed down activation and inactivation kinetics approximately 2-fold. Computer modeling revealed that the altered voltage dependence and current kinetics exert opposing effects on the function of ventricular myocytes that in total cause a 60% prolongation of the AP and a 2-fold increase of the myoplasmic Ca(2+) concentration during each contraction. Thus, the Ca(2+) channel alpha(2)delta-1 subunit is not essential for normal Ca(2+) channel targeting in muscle but is a key determinant of normal excitation and contraction of cardiac muscle cells, and a reduction of alpha(2)delta-1 function is predicted to severely perturb normal heart function.
Project description:Cardiac myocyte function is dependent on the synchronized movements of Ca(2+) into and out of the cell, as well as between the cytosol and sarcoplasmic reticulum. These movements determine cardiac rhythm and regulate excitation-contraction coupling. Ca(2+) cycling is mediated by a number of critical Ca(2+)-handling proteins and transporters, such as L-type Ca(2+) channels (LTCCs) and sodium/calcium exchangers in the sarcolemma, and sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2a (SERCA2a), ryanodine receptors, and cardiac phospholamban in the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The entry of Ca(2+) into the cytosol through LTCCs activates the release of Ca(2+) from the sarcoplasmic reticulum through ryanodine receptor channels and initiates myocyte contraction, whereas SERCA2a and cardiac phospholamban have a key role in sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) sequesteration and myocyte relaxation. Excitation-contraction coupling is regulated by phosphorylation of Ca(2+)-handling proteins. Abnormalities in sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) cycling are hallmarks of heart failure and contribute to the pathophysiology and progression of this disease. Correcting impaired intracellular Ca(2+) cycling is a promising new approach for the treatment of heart failure. Novel therapeutic strategies that enhance myocyte Ca(2+) homeostasis could prevent and reverse adverse cardiac remodeling and improve clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure.
Project description:Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a major advance for treatment of patients with dyssynchronous heart failure (DHF). However, our understanding of DHF-associated remodeling of subcellular structure and function and their restoration after CRT remains incomplete.We investigated subcellular heterogeneity of remodeling of structures and proteins associated with excitation-contraction coupling in cardiomyocytes in DHF and after CRT. Three-dimensional confocal microscopy revealed subcellular heterogeneity of ryanodine receptor (RyR) density and the transverse tubular system (t-system) in a canine model of DHF. RyR density at the ends of lateral left ventricular cardiomyocytes was higher than that in cell centers, whereas the t-system was depleted at cell ends. In anterior left ventricular cardiomyocytes, however, we found a similar degree of heterogeneous RyR remodeling, despite preserved t-system. Synchronous heart failure was associated with marginal heterogeneity of RyR density. We used rapid scanning confocal microscopy to investigate effects of heterogeneous structural remodeling on calcium signaling. In DHF, diastolic Ca(2+) spark density was smaller at cell ends versus centers. After CRT, subcellular heterogeneity of structures and function was reduced.RyR density exhibits remarkable subcellular heterogeneity in DHF. RyR remodeling occurred in lateral and anterior cardiomyocytes, but remodeling of t-system was confined to lateral myocytes. These findings indicate that different mechanisms underlie remodeling of RyRs and t-system. Furthermore, we suggest that ventricular dyssynchrony exacerbates subcellular remodeling in heart failure. CRT efficiently reduced subcellular heterogeneity. These results will help to explain remodeling of excitation-contraction coupling in disease and restoration after CRT.
Project description:Adrenoceptor stimulation is a key determinant of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling mainly through the activation of serine/threonine kinases. However, little is known about the role of protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) activated by adrenergic signaling on cardiac excitation-contraction coupling. A cytoplasmic tyrosine residue in ?1-adrenoceptor is estimated to regulate Gs-protein binding affinity from crystal structure studies, but the signaling pathway leading to the phosphorylation of these residues is unknown. Here we show ?1-adrenergic signaling inhibits ?-adrenergically activated Ca(2+) current, Ca(2+) transients and contractile force through phosphorylation of tyrosine residues in ?1-adrenoceptor by PTK. Our results indicate that inhibition of ?-adrenoceptor-mediated Ca(2+) elevation by ?1-adrenoceptor-PTK signaling serves as an important regulatory feedback mechanism when the catecholamine level increases to protect cardiomyocytes from cytosolic Ca(2+) overload.
Project description:Hypoxia is a common component of many developmental insults and has been studied in early-stage chicken development. However, its impact on cardiac function and arterial-ventricular coupling in late-stage chickens is relatively unknown. To test the hypothesis that hypoxic incubation would reduce baseline cardiac function but protect the heart during acute hypoxia in late-stage chickens, white Leghorn eggs were incubated at 21% O2 or 15% O2. At 90% of incubation (19 days), hypoxic incubation caused growth restriction (-20%) and increased the LV-to-body ratio (+41%). Left ventricular (LV) pressure-volume loops were measured in anesthetized chickens in normoxia and acute hypoxia (10% O2). Hypoxic incubation lowered the maximal rate of pressure generation (?P/?tMax; -22%) and output (-57%), whereas increasing end-systolic elastance (ELV; +31%) and arterial elastance (EA; +122%) at similar heart rates to normoxic incubation. Both hypoxic incubation and acute hypoxia lengthened the half-time of relaxation (?; +24%). Acute hypoxia reduced heart rate (-8%) and increased end-diastolic pressure (+35%). Hearts were collected for mRNA analysis. Hypoxic incubation was marked by decreased mRNA expression of sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase 2, Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger 1, phospholamban, and ryanodine receptor. In summary, hypoxic incubation reduces LV function in the late-stage chicken by slowing pressure generation and relaxation, which may be driven by altered intracellular excitation-contraction coupling. Cardiac efficiency is greatly reduced after hypoxic incubation. In both incubation groups acute hypoxia reduced diastolic function.
Project description:Many current pharmaceutical therapies for systolic heart failure target intracellular [Ca(2+)] ([Ca(2+)]i) metabolism, or cardiac troponin C (cTnC) on thin filaments, and can have significant side-effects, including arrhythmias or adverse effects on diastolic function. In this study, we tested the feasibility of directly increasing the Ca(2+) binding properties of cTnC to enhance contraction independent of [Ca(2+)]i in intact cardiomyocytes from healthy and myocardial infarcted (MI) hearts. Specifically, cardiac thin filament activation was enhanced through adenovirus-mediated over-expression of a cardiac troponin C (cTnC) variant designed to have increased Ca(2+) binding affinity conferred by single amino acid substitution (L48Q). In skinned cardiac trabeculae and myofibrils we and others have shown that substitution of L48Q cTnC for native cTnC increases Ca(2+) sensitivity of force and the maximal rate of force development. Here we introduced L48Q cTnC into myofilaments of intact cardiomyocytes via adeno-viral transduction to deliver cDNA for the mutant or wild type (WT) cTnC protein. Using video-microscopy to monitor cell contraction, relaxation, and intracellular Ca(2+) transients (Fura-2), we report that incorporation of L48Q cTnC significantly increased contractility of cardiomyocytes from healthy and MI hearts without adversely affecting Ca(2+) transient properties or relaxation. The improvements in contractility from L48Q cTnC expression are likely the result of enhanced contractile efficiency, as intracellular Ca(2+) transient amplitudes were not affected. Expression and incorporation of L48Q cTnC into myofilaments was confirmed by Western blot analysis of myofibrils from transduced cardiomyocytes, which indicated replacement of 18±2% of native cTnC with L48Q cTnC. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of directly targeting cardiac thin filament proteins to enhance cardiomyocyte contractility that is impaired following MI.