Targeted deletion of ERK2 in cardiomyocytes attenuates hypertrophic response but provokes pathological stress induced cardiac dysfunction.
ABSTRACT: Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are involved in the regulation of cardiac hypertrophy and myocyte survival. Extracellular signal regulated protein kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) are key components in the MAPK signaling pathways. Dysfunction of ERK1/2 in congenital heart diseases (Noonan syndrome and LEOPARD syndrome) leads to cardiac hypertrophy. ERK2 contributes 70% of protein content to total ERK1/2 content in myocardium; however, the specific role of ERK2 in regulating cardiac hypertrophy is yet to be further defined. To investigate the specific role of ERK2 played in the cardiomyocytes, we generated and examined mice with cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of the erk2 gene (ERK2(cko) mice). Following short-term pathological hypertrophic stresses, the mutant mice showed attenuated hypertrophic remodeling characterized by a blunted increase in the cross-sectional area of individual myocytes, downregulation of hypertrophic foetal gene markers (ANP and BNP), and less interstitial fibrosis. However, increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis was observed. Upon prolonged stimulation, ERK2(cko) mice developed deterioration in cardiac function. However, absence of ERK2 did not affect physiological hypertrophy induced by 4weeks of swimming exercise. These results revealed an essential role for ERK2 in cardiomyocytes in the development of pathological hypertrophic remodeling and resistance to cell death.
Project description:Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways provide a critical connection between extrinsic and intrinsic signals to cardiac hypertrophy. Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK)5, an atypical MAPK is activated in the heart by pressure overload. However, the role of ERK5 plays in regulating hypertrophic growth and hypertrophy-induced apoptosis is not completely understood.Herein, we investigate the in vivo role and signaling mechanism whereby ERK5 regulates cardiac hypertrophy and hypertrophy-induced apoptosis.We generated and examined the phenotypes of mice with cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of the erk5 gene (ERK5(cko)). In response to hypertrophic stress, ERK5(cko) mice developed less hypertrophic growth and fibrosis than controls. However, increased apoptosis together with upregulated expression levels of p53 and Bad were observed in the mutant hearts. Consistently, we found that silencing ERK5 expression or specific inhibition of its kinase activity using BIX02189 in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs) reduced myocyte enhancer factor (MEF)2 transcriptional activity and blunted hypertrophic responses. Furthermore, the inhibition of MEF2 activity in NRCMs using a non-DNA binding mutant form of MEF2 was found to attenuate the ERK5-regulated hypertrophic response.These results reveal an important function of ERK5 in cardiac hypertrophic remodeling and cardiomyocyte survival. The role of ERK5 in hypertrophic remodeling is likely to be mediated via the regulation of MEF2 activity.
Project description:Stress-induced hypertrophic remodeling is a critical pathogenetic process leading to heart failure. Although many signal transduction cascades are demonstrated as important regulators to facilitate the induction of cardiac hypertrophy, the signaling pathways for suppressing hypertrophic remodeling remain largely unexplored. In this study, we identified p21-activated kinase 1 (Pak1) as a novel signaling regulator that antagonizes cardiac hypertrophy.Hypertrophic stress applied to primary neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs) or murine hearts caused the activation of Pak1. Analysis of NRCMs expressing constitutively active Pak1 or in which Pak1 was silenced disclosed that Pak1 played an antihypertrophic role. To investigate the in vivo role of Pak1 in the heart, we generated mice with a cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of Pak1 (Pak1(cko)). When subjected to 2 weeks of pressure overload, Pak1(cko) mice developed greater cardiac hypertrophy with attendant blunting of JNK activation compared with controls, and these knockout mice underwent the transition into heart failure when prolonged stress was applied. Chronic angiotensin II infusion also caused increased cardiac hypertrophy in Pak1(cko) mice. Moreover, we discovered that the Pak1 activator FTY720, a sphingosine-like analog, was able to prevent pressure overload-induced hypertrophy in wild-type mice without compromising their cardiac functions. Meanwhile, FTY720 failed to exert such an effect on Pak1(cko) mice, suggesting that the antihypertrophic effect of FTY720 likely acts through Pak1 activation.These results, for the first time, establish Pak1 as a novel antihypertrophic regulator and suggest that it may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
Project description:Pressure overload-induced cardiac stress induces left ventricular hypertrophy driven by increased cardiomyocyte mass. The increased energetic demand and cardiomyocyte size during hypertrophy necessitate increased fuel and oxygen delivery and stimulate angiogenesis in the left ventricular wall. We have previously shown that the transcriptional regulator steroid receptor coactivator-2 (SRC-2) controls activation of several key cardiac transcription factors and that SRC-2 loss results in extensive cardiac transcriptional remodeling. Pressure overload in mice lacking SRC-2 induces an abrogated hypertrophic response and decreases sustained cardiac function, but the cardiomyocyte-specific effects of SRC-2 in these changes are unknown. Here, we report that cardiomyocyte-specific loss of SRC-2 (SRC-2 CKO) results in a blunted hypertrophy accompanied by a rapid, progressive decrease in cardiac function. We found that SRC-2 CKO mice exhibit markedly decreased left ventricular vasculature in response to transverse aortic constriction, corresponding to decreased expression of the angiogenic factor VEGF. Of note, SRC-2 knockdown in cardiomyocytes decreased VEGF expression and secretion to levels sufficient to blunt in vitro tube formation and proliferation of endothelial cells. During pressure overload, both hypertrophic and hypoxic signals can stimulate angiogenesis, both of which stimulated SRC-2 expression in vitro Furthermore, SRC-2 coactivated the transcription factors GATA-binding protein 4 (GATA-4) and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1? and -2? in response to angiotensin II and hypoxia, respectively, which drive VEGF expression. These results suggest that SRC-2 coordinates cardiomyocyte secretion of VEGF downstream of the two major angiogenic stimuli occurring during pressure overload bridging both hypertrophic and hypoxia-stimulated paracrine signaling.
Project description:Extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) are central mediators of cardiac hypertrophy and are discussed as potential therapeutic targets. However, direct inhibition of ERK1/2 leads to exacerbated cardiomyocyte death and impaired heart function. We have previously identified ERK(Thr188) autophosphorylation as a regulatory phosphorylation of ERK1/2 that is a key factor in cardiac hypertrophy. Here, we investigated whether interference with ERK(Thr188) phosphorylation permits the impairment of ERK1/2-mediated cardiac hypertrophy without increasing cardiomyocyte death. The impact of ERK(Thr188) phosphorylation on cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and cell survival was analyzed in isolated cells and in mice using the mutant ERK2(T188A), which is dominant-negative for ERK(Thr188) signaling. ERK2(T188A) efficiently attenuated cardiomyocyte hypertrophic responses to phenylephrine and to chronic pressure overload, but it affected neither antiapoptotic ERK1/2 signaling nor overall physiological cardiac function. In contrast to its inhibition of pathological hypertrophy, ERK2(T188A) did not interfere with physiological cardiac growth occurring with age or upon voluntary exercise. A preferential role of ERK(Thr188) phosphorylation in pathological types of hypertrophy was also seen in patients with aortic valve stenosis: ERK(Thr188) phosphorylation was increased 8.5 ± 1.3-fold in high-gradient, rapidly progressing cases (?40 mmHg gradient), whereas in low-gradient, slowly progressing cases, the increase was not significant. Because interference with ERK(Thr188) phosphorylation (i) inhibits pathological hypertrophy and (ii) does not impair antiapoptotic ERK1/2 signaling and because ERK(Thr188) phosphorylation shows strong prevalence for aortic stenosis patients with rapidly progressing course, we conclude that interference with ERK(Thr188) phosphorylation offers the possibility to selectively address pathological types of cardiac hypertrophy.
Project description:The adult heart is composed primarily of terminally differentiated, mature cardiomyocytes that express signature genes related to contraction. In response to mechanical or pathological stress, the heart undergoes hypertrophic growth, a process defined as an increase in cardiomyocyte cell size without an increase in cell number. However, the molecular mechanism of cardiac hypertrophy is not fully understood.To identify and characterize microRNAs that regulate cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling.Screening for muscle-expressed microRNAs that are dynamically regulated during muscle differentiation and hypertrophy identified microRNA-22 (miR-22) as a cardiac- and skeletal muscle-enriched microRNA that is upregulated during myocyte differentiation and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Overexpression of miR-22 was sufficient to induce cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. We generated mouse models with global and cardiac-specific miR-22 deletion, and we found that cardiac miR-22 was essential for hypertrophic cardiac growth in response to stress. miR-22-null hearts blunted cardiac hypertrophy and cardiac remodeling in response to 2 independent stressors: isoproterenol infusion and an activated calcineurin transgene. Loss of miR-22 sensitized mice to the development of dilated cardiomyopathy under stress conditions. We identified Sirt1 and Hdac4 as miR-22 targets in the heart.Our studies uncover miR-22 as a critical regulator of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and cardiac remodeling.
Project description:Adipose tissue is a key endocrine organ that governs systemic homeostasis. PPAR? is a master regulator of adipose tissue signaling that plays an essential role in insulin sensitivity, making it an important therapeutic target. The selective PPAR? agonist rosiglitazone (RSG) has been used to treat diabetes. However, adverse cardiovascular effects have seriously hindered its clinical application. Experimental models have revealed that PPAR? activation increases cardiac hypertrophy. RSG stimulates cardiac hypertrophy and oxidative stress in cardiomyocyte-specific PPAR? knockout mice, implying that RSG might stimulate cardiac hypertrophy independently of cardiomyocyte PPAR?. However, candidate cell types responsible for RSG-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy remain unexplored. Utilizing cocultures of adipocytes and cardiomyocytes, we found that stimulation of PPAR? signaling in adipocytes increased miR-200a expression and secretion. Delivery of miR-200a in adipocyte-derived exosomes to cardiomyocytes resulted in decreased TSC1 and subsequent mTOR activation, leading to cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Treatment with an antagomir to miR-200a blunted this hypertrophic response in cardiomyocytes. In vivo, specific ablation of PPAR? in adipocytes was sufficient to blunt hypertrophy induced by RSG treatment. By delineating mechanisms by which RSG elicits cardiac hypertrophy, we have identified pathways that mediate the crosstalk between adipocytes and cardiomyocytes to regulate cardiac remodeling.
Project description:Pathological cardiomyocyte hypertrophy is associated with significantly increased risk of heart failure, one of the leading medical causes of mortality worldwide. MicroRNAs are known to be involved in pathological cardiac remodeling. However, whether miR-99a participates in the signaling cascade leading to cardiac hypertrophy is unknown. To evaluate the role of miR-99a in cardiac hypertrophy, we assessed the expression of miR-99a in hypertrophic cardiomyocytes induced by isoprenaline (ISO)/angiotensin-II (Ang II) and in mice model of cardiac hypertrophy induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Expression of miR-99a was evaluated in these hypertrophic cells and hearts. We also found that miR-99a expression was highly correlated with cardiac function of mice with heart failure (8 weeks after TAC surgery). Overexpression of miR-99a attenuated cardiac hypertrophy in TAC mice and cellular hypertrophy in stimuli treated cardiomyocytes through down-regulation of expression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). These results indicate that miR-99a negatively regulates physiological hypertrophy through mTOR signaling pathway, which may provide a new therapeutic approach for pressure-overload heart failure.
Project description:Pathological growth of cardiomyocytes (hypertrophy) is a major determinant for the development of heart failure, one of the leading medical causes of mortality worldwide. Here we show that the microRNA (miRNA)-212/132 family regulates cardiac hypertrophy and autophagy in cardiomyocytes. Hypertrophic stimuli upregulate cardiomyocyte expression of miR-212 and miR-132, which are both necessary and sufficient to drive the hypertrophic growth of cardiomyocytes. MiR-212/132 null mice are protected from pressure-overload-induced heart failure, whereas cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression of the miR-212/132 family leads to pathological cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure and death in mice. Both miR-212 and miR-132 directly target the anti-hypertrophic and pro-autophagic FoxO3 transcription factor and overexpression of these miRNAs leads to hyperactivation of pro-hypertrophic calcineurin/NFAT signalling and an impaired autophagic response upon starvation. Pharmacological inhibition of miR-132 by antagomir injection rescues cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure in mice, offering a possible therapeutic approach for cardiac failure.
Project description:BACKGROUND:N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) methylation is the most prevalent internal posttranscriptional modification on mammalian mRNA. The role of m6A mRNA methylation in the heart is not known. METHODS:To determine the role of m6A methylation in the heart, we isolated primary cardiomyocytes and performed m6A immunoprecipitation followed by RNA sequencing. We then generated genetic tools to modulate m6A levels in cardiomyocytes by manipulating the levels of the m6A RNA methylase methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) both in culture and in vivo. We generated cardiac-restricted gain- and loss-of-function mouse models to allow assessment of the METTL3-m6A pathway in cardiac homeostasis and function. RESULTS:We measured the level of m6A methylation on cardiomyocyte mRNA, and found a significant increase in response to hypertrophic stimulation, suggesting a potential role for m6A methylation in the development of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Analysis of m6A methylation showed significant enrichment in genes that regulate kinases and intracellular signaling pathways. Inhibition of METTL3 completely abrogated the ability of cardiomyocytes to undergo hypertrophy when stimulated to grow, whereas increased expression of the m6A RNA methylase METTL3 was sufficient to promote cardiomyocyte hypertrophy both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, cardiac-specific METTL3 knockout mice exhibit morphological and functional signs of heart failure with aging and stress, showing the necessity of RNA methylation for the maintenance of cardiac homeostasis. CONCLUSIONS:Our study identified METTL3-mediated methylation of mRNA on N6-adenosines as a dynamic modification that is enhanced in response to hypertrophic stimuli and is necessary for a normal hypertrophic response in cardiomyocytes. Enhanced m6A RNA methylation results in compensated cardiac hypertrophy, whereas diminished m6A drives eccentric cardiomyocyte remodeling and dysfunction, highlighting the critical importance of this novel stress-response mechanism in the heart for maintaining normal cardiac function.
Project description:Cyclins/retinoblastoma protein (pRb) pathway participates in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), the endogenous small non-coding RNAs, were recognized to play significant roles in cardiac hypertrophy. But, it remains unknown whether cyclin/Rb pathway is modulated by miRNAs during cardiac hypertrophy. This study investigates the potential role of microRNA-16 (miR-16) in modulating cyclin/Rb pathway during cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. An animal model of hypertrophy was established in a rat with abdominal aortic constriction (AAC), and in a mouse with transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and in a mouse with subcutaneous injection of phenylephrine (PE) respectively. In addition, a cell model of hypertrophy was also achieved based on PE-promoted neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocyte and based on Ang-II-induced neonatal mouse ventricular cardiomyocyte respectively. We demonstrated that miR-16 expression was markedly decreased in hypertrophic myocardium and hypertrophic cardiomyocytes in rats and mice. Overexpression of miR-16 suppressed rat cardiac hypertrophy and hypertrophic phenotype of cultured cardiomyocytes, and inhibition of miR-16 induced a hypertrophic phenotype in cardiomyocytes. Expressions of cyclins D1, D2 and E1, and the phosphorylated pRb were increased in hypertrophic myocardium and hypertrophic cardiomyocytes, but could be reversed by enforced expression of miR-16. Cyclins D1, D2 and E1, not pRb, were further validated to be modulated post-transcriptionally by miR-16. In addition, the signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 and c-Myc were activated during myocardial hypertrophy, and inhibitions of them prevented miR-16 attenuation. Therefore, attenuation of miR-16 provoke cardiomyocyte hypertrophy via derepressing the cyclins D1, D2 and E1, and activating cyclin/Rb pathway, revealing that miR-16 might be a target to manage cardiac hypertrophy.