Cardiac hypertrophy is a common response to pressure overload and is associated with increased mortality. Mechanical stress in the heart can result in the integrin-mediated activation of focal adhesion kinase and the subsequent recruitment of the Grb2 adapter molecule. Grb2, in turn, can activate MAPK cascades via an interaction with the Ras guanine nucleotide exchange factor SOS and with other signaling intermediates. We analyzed the role of the Grb2 adapter protein and p38 MAPK in cardiac hypertrophy. Mice with haploinsufficiency of the Grb2 gene (Grb2+/– mice) appear normal at birth but have defective T cell signaling. In response to pressure overload, cardiac p38 MAPK and JNK activation was inhibited and cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis was blocked in Grb2+/– mice. Next, transgenic mice with cardiac-specific expression of dominant negative forms of p38α (DN-p38α) and p38β (DN-p38β) MAPK were examined. DN-p38α and DN-p38β mice developed cardiac hypertrophy but were resistant to cardiac fibrosis in response to pressure overload. These results establish that Grb2 action is essential for cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis in response to pressure overload, and that different signaling pathways downstream of Grb2 regulate fibrosis, fetal gene induction, and cardiomyocyte growth.
Shaosong Zhang, Carla Weinheimer, Michael Courtois, Attila Kovacs, Cindy E. Zhang, Alec M. Cheng, Yibin Wang, Anthony J. Muslin
Cardiac hypertrophy, either compensated or decompensated, is associated with cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction from depressed sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ cycling. Normalization of Ca2+ cycling by ablation or inhibition of the SR inhibitor phospholamban (PLN) has prevented cardiac failure in experimental dilated cardiomyopathy and is a promising therapeutic approach for human heart failure. However, the potential benefits of restoring SR function on primary cardiac hypertrophy, a common antecedent of human heart failure, are unknown. We therefore tested the efficacy of PLN ablation to correct hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction in two well-characterized and highly relevant genetic mouse models of hypertrophy and cardiac failure, Gαq overexpression and human familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy mutant myosin binding protein C (MyBP-CMUT) expression. In both models, PLN ablation normalized the characteristically prolonged cardiomyocyte Ca2+ transients and enhanced unloaded fractional shortening with no change in SR Ca2+ pump content. However, there was no parallel improvement in in vivo cardiac function or hypertrophy in either model. Likewise, the activation of JNK and calcineurin associated with Gαq overexpression was not affected. Thus, PLN ablation normalized contractility in isolated myocytes, but failed to rescue the cardiomyopathic phenotype elicited by activation of the Gαq pathway or MyBP-C mutations.
Qiujing Song, Albrecht G. Schmidt, Harvey S. Hahn, Andrew N. Carr, Beate Frank, Luke Pater, Mike Gerst, Karen Young, Brian D. Hoit, Bradley K. McConnell, Kobra Haghighi, Christine E. Seidman, Jonathan G. Seidman, Gerald W. Dorn II, Evangelia G. Kranias
In human disease and experimental animal models, depressed Ca2+ handling in failing cardiomyocytes is widely attributed to impaired sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) function. In mice, disruption of the PLN gene encoding phospholamban (PLN) or expression of dominant-negative PLN mutants enhances SR and cardiac function, but effects of PLN mutations in humans are unknown. Here, a T116G point mutation, substituting a termination codon for Leu-39 (L39stop), was identified in two families with hereditary heart failure. The heterozygous individuals exhibited hypertrophy without diminished contractile performance. Strikingly, both individuals homozygous for L39stop developed dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure, requiring cardiac transplantation at ages 16 and 27. An over 50% reduction in PLN mRNA and no detectable PLN protein were noted in one explanted heart. The expression of recombinant PLN-L39stop in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells and adult rat cardiomyocytes showed no PLN inhibition of SR Ca2+-ATPase and the virtual absence of stable PLN expression; where PLN was expressed, it was misrouted to the cytosol or plasma membrane. These findings describe a naturally-occurring loss-of-function human PLN mutation (PLN null). In contrast to reported benefits of PLN ablation in mouse heart failure, humans lacking PLN develop lethal dilated cardiomyopathy.
Kobra Haghighi, Fotis Kolokathis, Luke Pater, Roy A. Lynch, Michio Asahi, Anthony O. Gramolini, Guo-Chang Fan, Dimitris Tsiapras, Harvey S. Hahn, Stamatis Adamopoulos, Stephen B. Liggett, Gerald W. Dorn II, David H. MacLennan, Dimitrios T. Kremastinos, Evangelia G. Kranias
Jens Mogensen, Toru Kubo, Mauricio Duque, William Uribe, Anthony Shaw, Ross Murphy, Juan R. Gimeno, Perry Elliott, William J. McKenna
Elevation of lung capillary pressure causes exocytosis of the leukocyte adhesion receptor P-selectin in endothelial cells (ECs), indicating that lung ECs generate a proinflammatory response to pressure-induced stress. To define underlying mechanisms, we followed the EC signaling sequence leading to P-selectin exocytosis through application of real-time, in situ fluorescence microscopy in lung capillaries. Pressure elevation increased the amplitude of cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations that triggered increases in the amplitude of mitochondrial Ca2+ oscillations and in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Responses to blockers of the Ca2+ oscillations and of mitochondrial electron transport indicated that the ROS production was Ca2+ dependent and of mitochondrial origin. A new proinflammatory mechanism was revealed in that pressure-induced exocytosis of P-selectin was inhibited by both antioxidants and mitochondrial inhibitors, indicating that the exocytosis was driven by mitochondrial ROS. In this signaling pathway mitochondria coupled pressure-induced Ca2+ oscillations to the production of ROS that in turn acted as diffusible messengers to activate P-selectin exocytosis. These findings implicate mitochondrial mechanisms in the lung’s proinflammatory response to pressure elevation and identify mitochondrial ROS as critical to P-selectin exocytosis in lung capillary ECs.
Hideo Ichimura, Kaushik Parthasarathi, Sadiqa Quadri, Andrew C. Issekutz, Jahar Bhattacharya
Signaling by hormones and neurotransmitters that activate G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) maintains blood pressure within the normal range despite large changes in cardiac output that can occur within seconds. This implies that blood pressure regulation requires precise kinetic control of GPCR signaling. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed mice deficient in RGS2, a GTPase-activating protein that greatly accelerates the deactivation rate of heterotrimeric G proteins in vitro. Both rgs2+/– and rgs2–/– mice exhibited a strong hypertensive phenotype, renovascular abnormalities, persistent constriction of the resistance vasculature, and prolonged response of the vasculature to vasoconstrictors in vivo. Analysis of P2Y receptor–mediated Ca2+ signaling in vascular smooth muscle cells in vitro indicated that loss of RGS2 increased agonist potency and efficacy and slowed the kinetics of signal termination. These results establish that abnormally prolonged signaling by G protein–coupled vasoconstrictor receptors can contribute to the onset of hypertension, and they suggest that genetic defects affecting the function or expression of RGS2 may be novel risk factors for development of hypertension in humans.
Scott P. Heximer, Russell H. Knutsen, Xiaoguang Sun, Kevin M. Kaltenbronn, Man-Hee Rhee, Ning Peng, Antonio Oliveira-dos-Santos, Josef M. Penninger, Anthony J. Muslin, Thomas H. Steinberg, J. Michael Wyss, Robert P. Mecham, Kendall J. Blumer
Enteroviral infections of the heart are among the most commonly identified causes of acute myocarditis in children and adults and have been implicated in dilated cardiomyopathy. Although there is considerable information regarding the cellular immune response in myocarditis, little is known about innate signaling mechanisms within the infected cardiac myocyte that contribute to the host defense against viral infection. Here we show the essential role of Janus kinase (JAK) signaling in cardiac myocyte antiviral defense and a negative role of an intrinsic JAK inhibitor, the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS), in the early disease process. Cardiac myocyte–specific transgenic expression of SOCS1 inhibited enterovirus-induced signaling of JAK and the signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT), with accompanying increases in viral replication, cardiomyopathy, and mortality in coxsackievirus-infected mice. Furthermore, the inhibition of SOCS in the cardiac myocyte through adeno-associated virus–mediated (AAV-mediated) expression of a dominant-negative SOCS1 increased the myocyte resistance to the acute cardiac injury caused by enteroviral infection. These results indicate that strategies directed at inhibition of SOCS in the heart and perhaps other organs can augment the host-cell antiviral system, thus preventing viral-mediated end-organ damage during the early stages of infection.
Hideo Yasukawa, Toshitaka Yajima, Hervé Duplain, Mitsuo Iwatate, Masakuni Kido, Masahiko Hoshijima, Matthew D. Weitzman, Tomoyuki Nakamura, Sarah Woodard, Dingding Xiong, Akihiko Yoshimura, Kenneth R. Chien, Kirk U. Knowlton
A new member of the lipase gene family, initially termed endothelial lipase (gene nomenclature, LIPG; protein, EL), is expressed in a variety of different tissues, suggesting a general role in lipid metabolism. To assess the hypothesis that EL plays a physiological role in lipoprotein metabolism in vivo, we have used gene targeting of the native murine locus and transgenic introduction of the human LIPG locus in mice to modulate the level of EL expression. Evaluation of these alleles in a C57Bl/6 background revealed an inverse relationship between HDL cholesterol level and EL expression. Fasting plasma HDL cholesterol was increased by 57% in LIPG–/– mice and 25% in LIPG+/– mice and was decreased by 19% in LIPG transgenic mice as compared with syngeneic controls. Detailed analysis of lipoprotein particle composition indicated that this increase was due primarily to an increased number of HDL particles. Phospholipase assays indicated that EL is a primary contributor to phospholipase activity in mouse. These data indicate that expression levels of this novel lipase have a significant effect on lipoprotein metabolism.
Tatsuro Ishida, Sungshin Choi, Ramendra K. Kundu, Ken-ichi Hirata, Edward M. Rubin, Allen D. Cooper, Thomas Quertermous
Lipoprotein lipase is the principal enzyme that hydrolyzes circulating triglycerides and liberates free fatty acids that can be used as energy by cardiac muscle. Although lipoprotein lipase is expressed by and is found on the surface of cardiomyocytes, its transfer to the luminal surface of endothelial cells is thought to be required for lipoprotein lipase actions. To study whether nontransferable lipoprotein lipase has physiological actions, we placed an α-myosin heavy-chain promoter upstream of a human lipoprotein lipase minigene construct with a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchoring sequence on the carboxyl terminal region. Hearts of transgenic mice expressed the altered lipoprotein lipase, and the protein localized to the surface of cardiomyocytes. Hearts, but not postheparin plasma, of these mice contained human lipoprotein lipase activity. More lipid accumulated in hearts expressing the transgene; the myocytes were enlarged and exhibited abnormal architecture. Hearts of transgenic mice were dilated, and left ventricular systolic function was impaired. Thus, lipoprotein lipase expressed on the surface of cardiomyocytes can increase lipid uptake and produce cardiomyopathy.
Hiroaki Yagyu, Guangping Chen, Masayoshi Yokoyama, Kumiko Hirata, Ayanna Augustus, Yuko Kako, Toru Seo, Yunying Hu, E. Peer Lutz, Martin Merkel, André Bensadoun, Shunichi Homma, Ira J. Goldberg
Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) is an uncommon heart muscle disorder characterized by impaired filling of the ventricles with reduced volume in the presence of normal or near normal wall thickness and systolic function. The disease may be associated with systemic disease but is most often idiopathic. We recognized a large family in which individuals were affected by either idiopathic RCM or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Linkage analysis to selected sarcomeric contractile protein genes identified cardiac troponin I (TNNI3) as the likely disease gene. Subsequent mutation analysis revealed a novel missense mutation, which cosegregated with the disease in the family (lod score: 4.8). To determine if idiopathic RCM is part of the clinical expression of TNNI3 mutations, genetic investigations of the gene were performed in an additional nine unrelated RCM patients with restrictive filling patterns, bi-atrial dilatation, normal systolic function, and normal wall thickness. TNNI3 mutations were identified in six of these nine RCM patients. Two of the mutations identified in young individuals were de novo mutations. All mutations appeared in conserved and functionally important domains of the gene.
Jens Mogensen, Toru Kubo, Mauricio Duque, William Uribe, Anthony Shaw, Ross Murphy, Juan R. Gimeno, Perry Elliott, William J. McKenna