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1.  Redox State of Pentraxin 3 as a Novel Biomarker for Resolution of Inflammation and Survival in Sepsis* 
Molecular & Cellular Proteomics : MCP  2014;13(10):2545-2557.
In an endotoxaemic mouse model of sepsis, a tissue-based proteomics approach for biomarker discovery identified long pentraxin 3 (PTX3) as the lead candidate for inflamed myocardium. When the redox-sensitive oligomerization state of PTX3 was further investigated, PTX3 accumulated as an octamer as a result of disulfide-bond formation in heart, kidney, and lung—common organ dysfunctions seen in patients with sepsis. Oligomeric moieties of PTX3 were also detectable in circulation. The oligomerization state of PTX3 was quantified over the first 11 days in critically ill adult patients with sepsis. On admission day, there was no difference in the oligomerization state of PTX3 between survivors and non-survivors. From day 2 onward, the conversion of octameric to monomeric PTX3 was consistently associated with a greater survival after 28 days of follow-up. For example, by day 2 post-admission, octameric PTX3 was barely detectable in survivors, but it still constituted more than half of the total PTX3 in non-survivors (p < 0.001). Monomeric PTX3 was inversely associated with cardiac damage markers NT-proBNP and high-sensitivity troponin I and T. Relative to the conventional measurements of total PTX3 or NT-proBNP, the oligomerization of PTX3 was a superior predictor of disease outcome.
doi:10.1074/mcp.M114.039446
PMCID: PMC4188985  PMID: 24958171
2.  Four-and-a-half LIM domains proteins are novel regulators of the protein kinase D pathway in cardiac myocytes 
Biochemical Journal  2014;457(Pt 3):451-461.
PKD (protein kinase D) is a serine/threonine kinase implicated in multiple cardiac roles, including the phosphorylation of the class II HDAC5 (histone deacetylase isoform 5) and thereby de-repression of MEF2 (myocyte enhancer factor 2) transcription factor activity. In the present study we identify FHL1 (four-and-a-half LIM domains protein 1) and FHL2 as novel binding partners for PKD in cardiac myocytes. This was confirmed by pull-down assays using recombinant GST-fused proteins and heterologously or endogenously expressed PKD in adult rat ventricular myocytes or NRVMs (neonatal rat ventricular myocytes) respectively, and by co-immunoprecipitation of FHL1 and FHL2 with GFP–PKD1 fusion protein expressed in NRVMs. In vitro kinase assays showed that neither FHL1 nor FHL2 is a PKD1 substrate. Selective knockdown of FHL1 expression in NRVMs significantly inhibited PKD activation and HDAC5 phosphorylation in response to endothelin 1, but not to the α1-adrenoceptor agonist phenylephrine. In contrast, selective knockdown of FHL2 expression caused a significant reduction in PKD activation and HDAC5 phosphorylation in response to both stimuli. Interestingly, neither intervention affected MEF2 activation by endothelin 1 or phenylephrine. We conclude that FHL1 and FHL2 are novel cardiac PKD partners, which differentially facilitate PKD activation and HDAC5 phosphorylation by distinct neurohormonal stimuli, but are unlikely to regulate MEF2-driven transcriptional reprogramming.
Protein kinase D has multiple roles in cardiac myocytes, where its regulatory mechanisms remain incompletely defined. In the present study we identify four-and-a-half LIM domains proteins 1 and 2 as novel binding partners and regulators of protein kinase D in this cell type.
doi:10.1042/BJ20131026
PMCID: PMC3927927  PMID: 24219103
cardiac myocyte; four-and-a-half LIM (FHL); histone deacetylase; neurohormonal stimulation; protein kinase; signal transduction; ARVM, adult rat ventricular myocyte; BPKDi, bipyridyl PKD inhibitor; CaMK, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase; caPKD, constitutively active catalytic domain of PKD; cMyBP-C, cardiac myosin-binding protein C; CRM1, chromosome region maintenance 1; cTnI, inhibitory subunit of cardiac troponin; ERK, extracellular-signal-regulated kinase; ET1, endothelin 1; FHL, four-and-a-half LIM domains; HDAC, histone deacetylase; IVK, in vitro kinase; MEF2, myocyte enhancer factor 2; MOI, multiplicity of infection; MuRF, muscle RING finger; NRVM, neonatal rat ventricular myocyte; PE, phenylephrine; pfu, plaque-forming unit; PKC, protein kinase C; PKD, protein kinase D; TAC, transverse aortic constriction
3.  Phosphoregulation of the Titin-cap Protein Telethonin in Cardiac Myocytes* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2013;289(3):1282-1293.
Background: Telethonin mutations are associated with cardiomyopathy through unknown mechanisms.
Results: Telethonin is a substrate for CaMK family kinases and exists in a bis-phosphorylated state in cardiomyocytes, in which non-phosphorylated telethonin disrupts transverse tubule organization and intracellular calcium transients.
Conclusion: Telethonin phosphorylation is critical for the maintenance of normal cardiomyocyte morphology and calcium handling.
Significance: Disruption of phospho-telethonin functions may contribute to pathogenesis in cardiomyopathy.
Telethonin (also known as titin-cap or t-cap) is a muscle-specific protein whose mutation is associated with cardiac and skeletal myopathies through unknown mechanisms. Our previous work identified cardiac telethonin as an interaction partner for the protein kinase D catalytic domain. In this study, kinase assays used in conjunction with MS and site-directed mutagenesis confirmed telethonin as a substrate for protein kinase D and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II in vitro and identified Ser-157 and Ser-161 as the phosphorylation sites. Phosphate affinity electrophoresis and MS revealed endogenous telethonin to exist in a constitutively bis-phosphorylated form in isolated adult rat ventricular myocytes and in mouse and rat ventricular myocardium. Following heterologous expression in myocytes by adenoviral gene transfer, wild-type telethonin became bis-phosphorylated, whereas S157A/S161A telethonin remained non-phosphorylated. Nevertheless, both proteins localized predominantly to the sarcomeric Z-disc, where they partially replaced endogenous telethonin. Such partial replacement with S157A/S161A telethonin disrupted transverse tubule organization and prolonged the time to peak of the intracellular Ca2+ transient and increased its variance. These data reveal, for the first time, that cardiac telethonin is constitutively bis-phosphorylated and suggest that such phosphorylation is critical for normal telethonin function, which may include maintenance of transverse tubule organization and intracellular Ca2+ transients.
doi:10.1074/jbc.M113.479030
PMCID: PMC3894314  PMID: 24280220
CaMKII; Cardiac Muscle; Cardiomyopathy; Excitation-Contraction Coupling; Protein Kinase D (PKD); Protein Phosphorylation
4.  Evidence for an intracellular localization of the adenosine A2B receptor in rat cardiomyocytes 
Basic research in cardiology  2011;106(3):385-396.
Aim
Protection achieved by ischemic preconditioning is dependent on A2B adenosine receptors (A2BAR) in rabbit and mouse hearts and, predictably, an A2BAR agonist protects them. But it is controversial whether cardiomyocytes themselves actually express A2BAR. The present study tested whether A2BAR could be demonstrated on rat cardiomyocytes.
Methods and Results
Isolated rat hearts experienced 30 min of ischemia and 120 min of reperfusion. The highly selective, cell-permeant A2BAR agonist BAY60-6583 (500 nM) infused at reperfusion reduced infarct size from 40.4±2.0 % of the risk zone in control hearts to 19.9±2.8 % indicating that A2BAR are protective in rat heart as well. Furthermore, BAY60-6583 reduced calcium-induced mitochondrial permeability transition in isolated rat cardiomyocytes. A2BAR protein could be demonstrated in isolated cardiomyocytes by western blotting. In addition, message for A2BAR was found in individual cardiomyocytes using quantitative RT-PCR. Surprisingly, immunofluorescence microscopy did not show A2BAR on the cardiomyocyte's sarcolemma but rather at intracellular sites. Co-staining with MitoTracker Red in isolated cardiomyocytes revealed A2BAR are localized to mitochondria. Western blot analysis of a mitochondrial fraction from either rat heart biopsies or isolated cardiomyocytes revealed a strong A2BAR band.
Conclusions
Thus the present study demonstrates that activation of A2BAR is strongly cardioprotective in rat heart and suppresses transition pores in isolated cardiomyocytes, and A2BAR are expressed in individual cardiomyocytes. However, surprisingly, A2BAR are present in or near mitochondria rather than on the sarcolemma as are other adenosine receptors. Because A2BAR signalling is thought to result in inhibition of mitochondrial transition pores, this convenient location may be important.
doi:10.1007/s00395-011-0151-6
PMCID: PMC3533442  PMID: 21246204
adenosine A2B receptors; cardioprotection; mitochondria
5.  A Critical Function for Ser-282 in Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C Phosphorylation and Cardiac Function 
Circulation research  2011;109(2):141-150.
Rationale
Cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C) phosphorylation at Ser-273, Ser-282 and Ser-302 regulates myocardial contractility. In vitro and in vivo experiments suggest the nonequivalence of these sites and the potential importance of Ser-282 phosphorylation in modulating the protein's overall phosphorylation and myocardial function.
Objective
To determine whether complete cMyBP-C phosphorylation is dependent on Ser-282 phosphorylation and to define its role in myocardial function. We hypothesized that Ser-282 regulates Ser-302 phosphorylation and cardiac function during β-adrenergic (β-AR) stimulation.
Methods and Results
Using recombinant human C1-M-C2 peptides in vitro, we determined that protein kinase A can phosphorylate Ser-273, Ser-282 and Ser-302. Protein kinase Cε can also phosphorylate Ser-273 and Ser-302. In contrast, Ca2+-calmodulin-activated kinase II (CaMKII) targets Ser-302 but can also target Ser-282 at non-physiological calcium concentrations. Strikingly, Ser-302 phosphorylation by CaMKII was abolished by ablating Ser-282's ability to be phosphorylated via alanine substitution. To determine the sites’ functional roles in vivo, three transgenic lines, which expressed cMyBP-C containing either Ser-273-Ala-282-Ser-302 (cMyBP-CSAS), Ala-273-Asp-282-Ala-302 (cMyBP-CADA) or Asp-273-Ala-282-Asp-302 (cMyBP-CDAD), were generated. Mutant protein was completely substituted for endogenous cMyBP-C by breeding each mouse line into a cMyBP-C null (t/t) background. Serine to alanine substitutions were used to ablate the residues’ abilities to be phosphorylated while serine to aspartate substitutions were used to mimic the charged state conferred by phosphorylation. Compared to control non-transgenic mice, as well as transgenic mice expressing wild-type cMyBP-C, the transgenic cMyBP-CSAS(t/t), cMyBP-CADA(t/t) and cMyBP-CDAD(t/t) mice showed no increases in morbidity and mortality and partially rescued the cMyBP-C(t/t) phenotype. The loss of cMyBP-C phosphorylation at Ser-282 led to an altered β-adrenergic response. In vivo hemodynamic studies revealed that contractility was unaffected but that cMyBP-CSAS(t/t) hearts showed decreased diastolic function at baseline. However, the normal increases in cardiac function (increased contractility/relaxation) as a result of infusion of β-agonist was significantly decreased in all of the mutants, suggesting that competency for phosphorylation at multiple sites in cMyBP-C is a prerequisite for normal β-adrenergic responsiveness.
Conclusions
Ser-282 has a unique regulatory role in that its phosphorylation is critical for the subsequent phosphorylation of Ser-302. However, each residue plays a role in regulating the contractile response to β-agonist stimulation.
doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.111.242560
PMCID: PMC3132348  PMID: 21597010
Myofilament Phosphorylation; Contractile Function; Myosin Binding Protein-C
6.  Increased myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity and diastolic dysfunction as early consequences of Mybpc3 mutation in heterozygous knock-in mice 
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is frequently caused by mutations in MYBPC3 encoding cardiac myosin-binding protein C (cMyBP-C). The mechanisms leading from gene mutations to the HCM phenotype remain incompletely understood, partially because current mouse models of HCM do not faithfully reflect the human situation and early hypertrophy confounds the interpretation of functional alterations. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether myofilament Ca2+ sensitization and diastolic dysfunction are associated or precede the development of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in HCM. We evaluated the function of skinned and intact cardiac myocytes, as well as the intact heart in a recently developed Mybpc3-targeted knock-in mouse model carrying a point mutation frequently associated with HCM. Compared to wild-type, 10-week old homozygous knock-in mice exhibited i) higher myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity in skinned ventricular trabeculae, ii) lower diastolic sarcomere length, and faster Ca2+ transient decay in intact myocytes, and iii) LVH, reduced fractional shortening, lower E/A and E′/A′, and higher E/E′ ratios by echocardiography and Doppler analysis, suggesting systolic and diastolic dysfunction. In contrast, heterozygous knock-in mice, which mimic the human HCM situation, did not exhibit LVH or systolic dysfunction, but exhibited higher myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity, faster Ca2+ transient decay, and diastolic dysfunction. These data demonstrate that myofilament Ca2+ sensitization and diastolic dysfunction are early phenotypic consequences of Mybpc3 mutations independent of LVH. The accelerated Ca2+ transients point to compensatory mechanisms directed towards normalization of relaxation. We propose that HCM is a model for diastolic heart failure and this mouse model could be valuable in studying mechanisms and treatment modalities.
Highlights
► Absence of left ventricular hypertrophy in heterozygous Mybpc3-targeted knock-in mice. ► Myofilament Ca2+ sensitization in heterozygous Mybpc3-targeted knock-in mice. ► Diastolic dysfunction independent of left ventricular hypertrophy. ► Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as a model of diastolic heart failure.
doi:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2012.03.009
PMCID: PMC3370652  PMID: 22465693
cMyBP-C, cardiac myosin-binding protein C; cTnI, cardiac troponin I; CSQ, calsequestrin; HCM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Het, heterozygous Mybpc3-targeted knock-in mice; KI, homozygous Mybpc3-targeted knock-in mice; KO, homozygous Mybpc3-targeted knock-out mice; LVH, left ventricular hypertrophy; max F, maximal Ca2+-activated force; MYBPC3, human cardiac myosin-binding protein C gene; Mybpc3, mouse cardiac myosin-binding protein C gene; NCX, Na+/Ca2+ exchanger; nH, Hill coefficient; pCa50, log of [Ca2+] required for 50% of maximal activation; PKA, cAMP-dependent protein kinase A; PLB, phospholamban; SERCA2, SR-Ca2+ ATPase; SL, sarcomere length; SR, sarcoplasmic reticulum; Ca2+ sensitivity; Ca2+ transient; Diastolic dysfunction; Hypertrophy; Mouse model
7.  Phospholemman Ser69 phosphorylation contributes to sildenafil-induced cardioprotection against reperfusion injury 
The phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitor sildenafil has powerful cardioprotective effects against ischemia-reperfusion injury. PKG-mediated signaling has been implicated in this protection, although the mechanism and the downstream targets of this kinase remain to be fully elucidated. In this study we assessed the role of phospholemman (PLM) phosphorylation, which activates the Na+/K+-ATPase, in cardioprotection afforded by sildenafil administered during reperfusion. Isolated perfused mouse hearts were optimally protected against infarction (indexed by tetrazolium staining) by 0.1 μM sildenafil treatment during the first 10 min of reperfusion. Extended sildenafil treatment (30, 60, or 120 min at reperfusion) did not alter the degree of protection provided. This protection was PKG dependent, since it was blocked by KT-5823. Western blot analysis using phosphospecific antibodies to PLM showed that sildenafil at reperfusion did not modulate PLM Ser63 or Ser68 phosphorylation but significantly increased Ser69 phosphorylation. The treatment of isolated rat ventricular myocytes with sildenafil or 8-bromo-cGMP (PKG agonist) enhanced PLM Ser69 phosphorylation, which was bisindolylmaleimide (PKC inhibitor) sensitive. Patch-clamp studies showed that sildenafil treatment also activated the Na+/K+-ATPase, which is anticipated in light of PLM Ser69 phosphorylation. Na+/K+-ATPase activation during reperfusion would attenuate Na+ overload at this time, providing a molecular explanation of how sildenafil guards against injury at this time. Indeed, using flame photometry and rubidium uptake into isolated mouse hearts, we found that sildenafil enhanced Na+/K+-ATPase activity during reperfusion. In this study we provide a molecular explanation of how sildenafil guards against myocardial injury during postischemic reperfusion.
doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00129.2010
PMCID: PMC2944484  PMID: 20543084
protein kinase G; sodium/potassium-adenosine 5′-triphosphatase; ischemia; heart
8.  Regulation by phosphodiesterase isoforms of protein kinase A-mediated attenuation of myocardial protein kinase D activation 
Basic Research in Cardiology  2010;106(1):51-63.
Protein kinase D (PKD) targets several proteins in the heart, including cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and class II histone deacetylases, and regulates cardiac contraction and hypertrophy. In adult rat ventricular myocytes (ARVM), PKD activation by endothelin-1 (ET1) occurs via protein kinase Cε and is attenuated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). Intracellular compartmentalisation of cAMP, arising from localised activity of distinct cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) isoforms, may result in spatially constrained regulation of the PKA activity that inhibits PKD activation. We have investigated the roles of the predominant cardiac PDE isoforms, PDE2, PDE3 and PDE4, in PKA-mediated inhibition of PKD activation. Pretreatment of ARVM with the non-selective PDE inhibitor isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX) attenuated subsequent PKD activation by ET1. However, selective inhibition of PDE2 [by erythro-9-(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl) adenine, EHNA], PDE3 (by cilostamide) or PDE4 (by rolipram) individually had no effect on ET1-induced PKD activation. Selective inhibition of individual PDE isoforms also had no effect on the phosphorylation status of the established cardiac PKA substrates phospholamban (PLB; at Ser16) and cTnI (at Ser22/23), which increased markedly with IBMX. Combined administration of cilostamide and rolipram, like IBMX alone, attenuated ET1-induced PKD activation and increased PLB and cTnI phosphorylation, while combined administration of EHNA and cilostamide or EHNA and rolipram was ineffective. Thus, cAMP pools controlled by PDE3 and PDE4, but not PDE2, regulate the PKA activity that inhibits ET1-induced PKD activation. Furthermore, PDE3 and PDE4 play redundant roles in this process, such that inhibition of both isoforms is required to achieve PKA-mediated attenuation of PKD activation.
doi:10.1007/s00395-010-0116-1
PMCID: PMC3012212  PMID: 20725733
Cardiac myocyte; PKD; Phosphodiesterase; PKA; Histone deacetylase
9.  Proteomics Analysis of the Cardiac Myofilament Subproteome Reveals Dynamic Alterations in Phosphatase Subunit Distribution* 
Myofilament proteins are responsible for cardiac contraction. The myofilament subproteome, however, has not been comprehensively analyzed thus far. In the present study, cardiomyocytes were isolated from rodent hearts and stimulated with endothelin-1 and isoproterenol, potent inducers of myofilament protein phosphorylation. Subsequently, cardiomyocytes were “skinned,” and the myofilament subproteome was analyzed using a high mass accuracy ion trap tandem mass spectrometer (LTQ Orbitrap XL) equipped with electron transfer dissociation. As expected, a small number of myofilament proteins constituted the majority of the total protein mass with several known phosphorylation sites confirmed by electron transfer dissociation. More than 600 additional proteins were identified in the cardiac myofilament subproteome, including kinases and phosphatase subunits. The proteomic comparison of myofilaments from control and treated cardiomyocytes suggested that isoproterenol treatment altered the subcellular localization of protein phosphatase 2A regulatory subunit B56α. Immunoblot analysis of myocyte fractions confirmed that β-adrenergic stimulation by isoproterenol decreased the B56α content of the myofilament fraction in the absence of significant changes for the myosin phosphatase target subunit isoforms 1 and 2 (MYPT1 and MYPT2). Furthermore, immunolabeling and confocal microscopy revealed the spatial redistribution of these proteins with a loss of B56α from Z-disc and M-band regions but increased association of MYPT1/2 with A-band regions of the sarcomere following β-adrenergic stimulation. In summary, we present the first comprehensive proteomics data set of skinned cardiomyocytes and demonstrate the potential of proteomics to unravel dynamic changes in protein composition that may contribute to the neurohormonal regulation of myofilament contraction.
doi:10.1074/mcp.M900275-MCP200
PMCID: PMC2849712  PMID: 20037178

Results 1-9 (9)