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1.  Late INa increases diastolic SR-Ca2+-leak in atrial myocardium by activating PKA and CaMKII 
Cardiovascular Research  2015;107(1):184-196.
Aims
Enhanced cardiac late Na current (late INa) and increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR)-Ca2+-leak are both highly arrhythmogenic. This study seeks to identify signalling pathways interconnecting late INa and SR-Ca2+-leak in atrial cardiomyocytes (CMs).
Methods and results
In murine atrial CMs, SR-Ca2+-leak was increased by the late INa enhancer Anemonia sulcata toxin II (ATX-II). An inhibition of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (Autocamide-2-related inhibitory peptide), protein kinase A (H89), or late INa (Ranolazine or Tetrodotoxin) all prevented ATX-II-dependent SR-Ca2+-leak. The SR-Ca2+-leak induction by ATX-II was not detected when either the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger was inhibited (KBR) or in CaMKIIδc-knockout mice. FRET measurements revealed increased cAMP levels upon ATX-II stimulation, which could be prevented by inhibition of adenylyl cyclases (ACs) 5 and 6 (NKY 80) but not by inhibition of phosphodiesterases (IBMX), suggesting PKA activation via an AC-dependent increase of cAMP levels. Western blots showed late INa-dependent hyperphosphorylation of CaMKII as well as PKA target sites at ryanodine receptor type-2 (-S2814 and -S2808) and phospholamban (-Thr17, -S16). Enhancement of late INa did not alter Ca2+-transient amplitude or SR-Ca2+-load. However, upon late INa activation and simultaneous CaMKII inhibition, Ca2+-transient amplitude and SR-Ca2+-load were increased, whereas PKA inhibition reduced Ca2+-transient amplitude and load and additionally slowed Ca2+ elimination. In atrial CMs from patients with atrial fibrillation, inhibition of late INa, CaMKII, or PKA reduced the SR-Ca2+-leak.
Conclusion
Late INa exerts distinct effects on Ca2+ homeostasis in atrial myocardium through activation of CaMKII and PKA. Inhibition of late INa represents a potential approach to attenuate CaMKII activation and decreases SR-Ca2+-leak in atrial rhythm disorders. The interconnection with the cAMP/PKA system further increases the antiarrhythmic potential of late INa inhibition.
doi:10.1093/cvr/cvv153
PMCID: PMC4476413  PMID: 25990311
Late Na current; Antiarrhythmic drugs; Atrial fibrillation; Protein kinases; SR-Ca2+-leak
2.  Inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 suppresses cocaine seeking by generating THP, a cocaine use–dependent inhibitor of dopamine synthesis 
Nature medicine  2010;16(9):1024-1028.
There is no effective treatment for cocaine addiction despite extensive knowledge of the neurobiology of drug addiction1–4. Here we show that a selective aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH-2) inhibitor, ALDH2i, suppresses cocaine self-administration in rats and prevents cocaine- or cue-induced reinstatement in a rat model of cocaine relapse-like behavior. We also identify a molecular mechanism by which ALDH-2 inhibition reduces cocaine-seeking behavior: increases in tetrahydropapaveroline (THP) formation due to inhibition of ALDH-2 decrease cocaine-stimulated dopamine production and release in vitro and in vivo. Cocaine increases extracellular dopamine concentration, which activates dopamine D2 autoreceptors to stimulate cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) in primary ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. PKA and PKC phosphorylate and activate tyrosine hydroxylase, further increasing dopamine synthesis in a positive-feedback loop. Monoamine oxidase converts dopamine to 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL), a substrate for ALDH-2. Inhibition of ALDH-2 enables DOPAL to condense with dopamine to form THP in VTA neurons. THP selectively inhibits phosphorylated (activated) tyrosine hydroxylase to reduce dopamine production via negative-feedback signaling. Reducing cocaine- and craving-associated increases in dopamine release seems to account for the effectiveness of ALDH2i in suppressing cocaine-seeking behavior. Selective inhibition of ALDH-2 may have therapeutic potential for treating human cocaine addiction and preventing relapse.
doi:10.1038/nm.2200
PMCID: PMC3191463  PMID: 20729865
3.  Dopamine and Ethanol Cause Translocation of εPKC Associated with εRACK: Cross-talk Between PKA and PKC Signaling Pathways 
Molecular pharmacology  2008;73(4):1105-1112.
Previously we found that neural responses to ethanol and the dopamine D2 receptor (D2) agonist NPA involve both epsilon protein kinase C (εPKC) and cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA). However, little is known about the mechanism underlying ethanol- and D2-mediated activation of εPKC and the relationship to PKA activation. In the present study, we used a new εPKC antibody, 14E6, that selectively recognizes active εPKC when not bound to its anchoring protein εRACK (receptor for activated C-kinase), and PKC isozyme-selective inhibitors and activators, to measure PKC translocation and catalytic activity. We show here that ethanol and NPA activated εPKC and also induced translocation of both εPKC and its anchoring protein, εRACK to a new cytosolic site. The selective εPKC agonist, pseudo-εRACK, activated εPKC but did not cause translocation of the εPKC/εRACK complex to the cytosol. These data suggest a step-wise activation and translocation of εPKC following NPA or ethanol treatment where εPKC first translocates and binds to its RACK and subsequently the εPKC/εRACK complex translocates to a new subcellular site. Direct activation of PKA by Sp-cAMPS, PGE1 or the adenosine A2A receptor is sufficient to cause εPKC translocation to the cytosolic compartment in a process that is dependent on PLC activation and requires PKA activity. These data demonstrate a novel cross-talk mechanism between εPKC and PKA signaling systems. PKA and PKC signaling have been implicated in alcohol rewarding properties in the mesolimbic dopamine system. Cross-talk between PKA and PKC may underlie some of the behaviors associated with alcoholism.
doi:10.1124/mol.107.042580
PMCID: PMC2692587  PMID: 18202306

Results 1-3 (3)