Muscle LIM Protein (MLP) has emerged as a key regulator of striated muscle physiology and pathophysiology. Mutations in cysteine and glycine-rich protein 3 (CSRP3), the gene encoding MLP, are causative of human cardiomyopathies, whereas altered expression patterns are observed in human failing heart and skeletal myopathies. In vitro and in vivo evidences reveal a complex and diverse functional role of MLP in striated muscle, which is determined by its multiple interacting partners and subcellular distribution. Experimental evidence suggests that MLP is implicated in both myogenic differentiation and myocyte cytoarchitecture, although the full spectrum of its intracellular roles still unfolds.
BACKGROUND: Aberrant calcium signaling is considered one of the key mechanisms contributing to arrhythmias, especially in the context of heart failure. In human heart failure, there is significant down-regulation of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) protein junctin, and junctin deficiency in mice is associated with stress-induced arrhythmias. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the increased SR Ca(2+) leak and arrhythmias associated with junctin ablation may be associated with increased calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) activity and phosphorylation of the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) and whether pharmacologic inhibition of CaMKII activity may prevent these arrhythmias. METHODS: Using a combination of biochemical, cellular, and in vivo approaches, we tested the ability of KN-93 to reverse aberrant CaMKII phosphorylation of RyR2. Specifically, we performed protein phosphorylation analysis, in vitro cardiomyocyte contractility and Ca(2+) kinetics, and in vivo ECG analysis in junctin-deficient mice. RESULTS: In the absence of junctin, RyR2 channels displayed CaMKII-dependent hyperphosphorylation. Notably, CaMKII inhibition by KN-93 reduced the in vivo incidence of stress-induced ventricular tachycardia by 65% in junctin null mice. At the cardiomyocyte level, KN-93 reduced the percentage of junctin null cells exhibiting spontaneous Ca(2+) aftertransients and aftercontractions under stress conditions by 35% and 37%, respectively. At the molecular level, KN-93 blunted the CaMKII-mediated hyperphosphorylation of RyR2 and phospholamban under stress conditions. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that CaMKII inhibition is effective in preventing arrhythmogenesis in the setting of junctin ablation through modulation of both SR Ca(2+) release and uptake. Thus, it merits further investigation as promising molecular therapy.
A number of genetic mutations is associated with cardiomyopathies. A mutation in the coding region of the phospholamban (PLN) gene (R14del) is identified in families with hereditary heart failure. Heterozygous patients exhibit left ventricular dilation and ventricular arrhythmias. Here we generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a patient harbouring the PLN R14del mutation and differentiate them into cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs). We find that the PLN R14del mutation induces Ca(2+) handling abnormalities, electrical instability, abnormal cytoplasmic distribution of PLN protein and increases expression of molecular markers of cardiac hypertrophy in iPSC-CMs. Gene correction using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) ameliorates the R14del-associated disease phenotypes in iPSC-CMs. In addition, we show that knocking down the endogenous PLN and simultaneously expressing a codon-optimized PLN gene reverses the disease phenotype in vitro. Our findings offer novel strategies for targeting the pathogenic mutations associated with cardiomyopathies.
INTRODUCTION: Heart failure (HF) treatment attracts a share of intensive research because of its poor HF prognosis. In the past decades, the prognosis of HF has improved considerably, mainly as a consequence of the progress that has been made in the pharmacological management of HF. AREAS COVERED: This article reviews the outpatient pharmacological management of chronic HF due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction and offers recommendations on the use of various drugs. In addition, the present article attempts to provide practical therapeutic algorithms based on current clinical strategies. EXPERT OPINION: Continued research directed toward identifying factors associated with high pharmacotherapy guideline adherence and understanding of variants that influence response to drugs will hopefully halt or reverse the major pathophysiological mechanisms involved in this syndrome.
Prions induce lethal neurodegeneration and consist of PrPSc, an aggregated conformer of the cellular prion protein PrPC. Antibody-derived ligands to the globular domain of PrPC (collectively termed GDL) are also neurotoxic. Here we show that GDL and prion infections activate the same pathways. Firstly, both GDL and prion infection of cerebellar organotypic cultured slices (COCS) induced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Accordingly, ROS scavenging, which counteracts GDL toxicity in vitro and in vivo, prolonged the lifespan of prion-infected mice and protected prion-infected COCS from neurodegeneration. Instead, neither glutamate receptor antagonists nor inhibitors of endoplasmic reticulum calcium channels abolished neurotoxicity in either model. Secondly, antibodies against the flexible tail (FT) of PrPC reduced neurotoxicity in both GDL-exposed and prion-infected COCS, suggesting that the FT executes toxicity in both paradigms. Thirdly, the PERK pathway of the unfolded protein response was activated in both models. Finally, 80% of transcriptionally downregulated genes overlapped between prion-infected and GDL-treated COCS. We conclude that GDL mimic the interaction of PrPSc with PrPC, thereby triggering the downstream events characteristic of prion infection.
A hallmark of human and experimental heart failure is deficient sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca-uptake reflecting impaired contractile function. This is at least partially attributed to dephosphorylation of phospholamban by increased protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) activity. Indeed inhibition of PP1 by transgenic overexpression or gene-transfer of constitutively active inhibitor-1 improved Ca-cycling, preserved function and decreased fibrosis in small and large animal models of heart failure, suggesting that inhibitor-1 may represent a potential therapeutic target. We recently identified a novel human polymorphism (G109E) in the inhibitor-1 gene with a frequency of 7% in either normal or heart failure patients. Transgenic mice, harboring cardiac-specific expression of G109E inhibitor-1, exhibited decreases in contractility, Ca-kinetics and SR Ca-load. These depressive effects were relieved by isoproterenol stimulation. Furthermore, stress conditions (2Hz +/- Iso) induced increases in Ca-sparks, Ca-waves (60% of G109E versus 20% in wild types) and after-contractions (76% of G109E versus 23% of wild types) in mutant cardiomyocytes. Similar findings were obtained by acute expression of the G109E variant in adult cardiomyocytes in the absence or presence of endogenous inhibitor-1. The underlying mechanisms included reduced binding of mutant inhibitor-1 to PP1, increased PP1 activity, and dephosphorylation of phospholamban at Ser16 and Thr17. However, phosphorylation of the ryanodine receptor at Ser2808 was not altered while phosphorylation at Ser2814 was increased, consistent with increased activation of Ca/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), promoting aberrant SR Ca-release. Parallel in vivo studies revealed that mutant mice developed ventricular ectopy and complex ventricular arrhythmias (including bigeminy, trigeminy and ventricular tachycardia), when challenged with isoproterenol. Inhibition of CaMKII activity by KN-93 prevented the increased propensity to arrhythmias. These findings suggest that the human G109E inhibitor-1 variant impairs SR Ca-cycling and promotes arrhythmogenesis under stress conditions, which may present an additional insult in the compromised function of heart failure carriers.
AIMS: H2S is known to confer cardioprotection; however, the pathways mediating its effects in vivo remain incompletely understood. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the contribution of cGMP-regulated pathways in the infarct-limiting effect of H2S in vivo. METHODS AND RESULTS: Anaesthetized rabbits were subjected to myocardial ischaemia (I)/reperfusion (R), and infarct size was determined in control or H2S-exposed groups. The H2S donor sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS, an agent that generates H2S) increased cardiac cGMP and reduced the infarct size. The cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG)-I inhibitor DT2 abrogated the protective effect of NaHS, whereas the control peptide TAT or l-nitroarginine methyl ester (l-NAME) did not alter the effect of NaHS. Moreover, the KATP channel inhibitor, glibenclamide, partially reversed the effects of NaHS, whereas inhibition of mitochondrial KATP did not modify the NaHS response. NaHS enhanced phosphorylation of phospholamban (PLN), in a PKG-dependent manner. To further investigate the role of PLN in H2S-mediated cardioprotection, wild-type and PLN KO mice underwent I/R. NaHS did not exert cardioprotection in PLN KO mice. Unlike what was observed in rabbits, genetic or pharmacological inhibition of eNOS abolished the infarct-limiting effect of NaHS in mice. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate (i) that administration of NaHS induces cardioprotection via a cGMP/PKG/PLN pathway and (ii) contribution of nitric oxide to the H2S response is species-specific.
mailing address: Medical School National and Kapodistrian University of Athens 75 Mikras Asias (Building 15) Athens, 115-27 Greece