Transition metals are essential to many biological processes in almost all organisms from bacteria to humans. Their versatility, which arises from an ability to undergo reduction–oxidation chemistry, enables them to act as critical cofactors of enzymes throughout the cell. Accumulation of metals, however, can also lead to oxidative stress and cellular damage. The importance of metals to both enzymatic reactions and oxidative stress makes them key players in mitochondria. Mitochondria are the primary energy-generating organelles of the cell that produce ATP through a chain of enzymatic complexes that require transition metals, and are highly sensitive to oxidative damage. Moreover, the heart is one of the most mitochondrially-rich tissues in the body, making metals of particular importance to cardiac function. In this review, we focus on the current knowledge about the role of transition metals (specifically iron, copper, and manganese) in mitochondrial metabolism in the heart. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘Focus on Cardiac Metabolism’.
Transition metals; Heart; Mitochondria; Iron; Copper; Manganese
Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced cardiac cell injury via expression changes of multiple genes plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of numerous heart diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) comprise a novel class of endogenous, small, noncoding RNAs that negatively regulate about 30% of the genes in a cell via degradation or translational inhibition of their target mRNAs. Currently, the effects of ROS on miRNA expression and the roles of miRNAs in ROS-mediated injury on cardiac myocytes are uncertain. Using quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), we demonstrated that microRNA-21 (miR-21) was upregulated in cardiac myocytes after treatment with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). To determine the potential roles of miRNAs in H2O2-mediated gene regulation and cellular injury, miR-21 expression was downregulated by miR-21 inhibitor and upregulated by pre-miR-21. H2O2-induced cardiac cell death and apoptosis were increased by miR-21 inhibitor and was decreased by pre-miR-21. Programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) that was regulated by miR-21 and was a direct target of miR-21 in cardiac myocytes. Pre-miR-21-mediated protective effect on cardiac myocyte injury was inhibited in H2O2-treated cardiac cells via adenovirus-mediated overexpression of PDCD4 without miR-21 binding site. Moreover, Activator protein 1 (AP-1) was a downstream signaling molecule of PDCD4 that was involved in miR-21-mediated effect on cardiac myocytes. The results suggest that miR-21 is sensitive to H2O2 stimulation. miR-21 participates in H2O2-mediated gene regulation and functional modulation in cardiac myocytes. miR-21 might play an essential role in heart diseases related to ROS such as cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, myocardial infarction, and myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury.
MicroRNAs; Cardiac myocytes; Apoptosis; Cell death; Reactive oxygen species
Oxidative stress is presumed to be involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease. However, oxidants are also generated in healthy cells, and increasing evidence suggests that they can work as signaling molecules. Intracellular reduction-oxidation (redox) status is tightly regulated by oxidant and antioxidant systems. Imbalance between them causes oxidative or reductive stress which triggers cellular damage or aberrant signaling, leading to dysregulation. In this review, we will briefly summarize the aspects of ROS generation and neutralization mechanisms in the cardiovascular system. ROS can regulate cell signaling through oxidation and reduction of specific amino acids within proteins. Structural changes during post-translational modification allow modification of protein activity which can result in alteration of cellular function. We will focus on the molecular basis of redox protein modification and how this regulatory mechanism affects signal transduction in the cardiovascular system. Finally, we will discuss some techniques applied to monitoring redox status and identifying redox-sensitive proteins in the heart.
Oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; posttranslational oxidative modification; thiol; heart
Reversible protein S-glutathiolation has emerged as an important mechanism of post-translational modification. Under basal conditions several proteins remain adducted to glutathione, and physiological glutathiolation of proteins has been shown to regulate protein function. Enzymes that promote glutathiolation (e.g., glutathione-S-transferase-P) or those that remove glutathione from proteins (e.g., glutaredoxin) have been identified. Modification by glutathione has been shown to affect protein catalysis, ligand binding, oligomerization and protein-protein interactions. Conditions associated with oxidative or nitrosative stress, such as ischemia-reperfusion, hypertension and tachycardia increase protein glutathiolation via changes in the glutathione redox status (GSH/GSSG) or through the formation of sulfenic acid (SOH) or nitrosated (SNO) cysteine intermediates. These “activated” thiols promote reversible S-glutathiolation of key proteins involved in cell signaling, energy production, ion transport, and cell death. Hence, S-glutathiolation is ideally suited for integrating and mounting fine-tuned responses to changes in the redox state. S-glutathiolation also provides a temporary glutathione “cap” to protect protein thiols from irreversible oxidation and it could be an important mechanism of protein “encryption” to maintain proteins in a functionally silent state until they are needed during conditions of stress. Current evidence suggests that the glutathiolation-deglutathiolation cycle integrates and interacts with other post-translational mechanisms to regulate signal transduction, metabolism, inflammation, and apoptosis.
glutathionylation; protein-mixed disulfides; nitric oxide; oxidative stress; heart; vasculature
In this review, the role of S-nitrosylation (SNO) in cardioprotection will be discussed. This review will cover the methodology used to measure SNO levels, and the mechanisms by which SNO serves to modulate cell function and mediate protection. We will also consider whether SNO acts through many targets or whether there are a few key SNO proteins that mediate protection. Issues regarding the percentage of the total protein which is SNO and how this plays a role in the modulation of cell function will also be discussed. The role of nitric oxide synthase uncoupling in cardioprotection will also be addressed.
Awareness of the regulation of cell signaling by post-translational ubiquitination has emerged over the past 2 decades. Like phosphorylation, post-translational modification of proteins with ubiquitin can result in the regulation of numerous cellular functions, for example, the DNA damage response, apoptosis, cell growth, and the innate immune response. In this review, we discuss recently published mechanisms by which the ubiquitin proteasome system regulates key signal transduction pathways in the heart, including MAPK JNK, calcineurin, FOXO, p53, and estrogen receptors α and β. We then explore how ubiquitin proteasome system-specific regulation of these signal transduction pathways plays a role in the pathophysiology of common cardiac diseases, such as cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, ischemia reperfusion injury, and diabetes.
Ubiquitin; proteasome; JNK; c-Jun; calcineurin; FOXO; p53; estrogen receptor; cardiac hypertrophy; ischemia; diabetes
Although acetyl-modification of protein lysine residues has been recognized for many decades, the appreciation that this post-translational modification is highly prevalent in mitochondria and plays a pivotal regulatory role in mitochondrial function has only become apparent since 2006. The classical biological stressors that modulate mitochondrial protein acetylation include alterations in caloric levels and redox signaling and the major enzyme orchestrating deacetylation is the mitochondrial enriched sirtuin SIRT3. Overall the action of SIRT3 modulates mitochondrial homeostasis and SIRT3 target proteins include mediators of energy metabolism and mitochondrial redox stress adaptive program proteins. Given these effects, it is not surprising that the role of SIRT3 has begun to be implicated in cardiac biology. This review gives a brief overview of sirtuin biology and then focuses on the role of the SIRT3 regulatory program in the control of cardiac hypertrophy and aging.
Mitochondria; SIRT3; Cardiac Hypertrophy; MnSOD
Studies of human diseased aortic valves have demonstrated increased expression of genetic markers of valve progenitors and osteogenic differentiation associated with pathogenesis. Three potential mouse models of valve disease were examined for cellular pathology, morphology, and induction of valvulogenic, chondrogenic, and osteogenic markers. Osteogenesis imperfecta murine (Oim) mice, with a mutation in Col1a2, have distal leaflet thickening and increased proteoglycan composition characteristic of myxomatous valve disease. Periostin null mice also exhibit dysregulation of the ECM with thickening in the aortic midvalve region, but do not have an overall increase in valve leaflet surface area. Klotho null mice are a model for premature aging and exhibit calcific nodules in the aortic valve hinge-region, but do not exhibit leaflet thickening, ECM disorganization, or inflammation. Oim/oim mice have increased expression of valve progenitor markers Twist1, Col2a1, Mmp13, Sox9 and Hapln1, in addition to increased Col10a1 and Asporin expression, consistent with increased proteoglycan composition. Periostin null aortic valves exhibit relatively normal gene expression with slightly increased expression of Mmp13 and Hapln1. In contrast, Klotho null aortic valves have increased expression of Runx2, consistent with the calcified phenotype, in addition to increased expression of Sox9, Col10a1, and osteopontin. Together these studies demonstrate that oim/oim mice exhibit histological and molecular characteristics of myxomatous valve disease and Klotho null mice are a new model for calcific aortic valve disease.
Aortic valve disease; valvular interstitial cells; calcification; extracellular matrix; Mouse models of human disease
Since ion channels move electrical charge during their activity, they have traditionally been studied using electrophysiological approaches. This was sometimes combined with mathematical models, for example with the description of the ionic mechanisms underlying the initiation and propagation of action potentials in the squid giant axon by Hodgkin and Huxley. The methods for studying ion channels also have strong roots in protein chemistry (limited proteolysis, the use of antibodies, etc). The advent of the molecular cloning and the identification of genes coding for specific ion channel subunits in the late 1980’s introduced a multitude of new techniques with which to study ion channels and the field has been rapidly expanding ever since (e.g. antibody development against specific peptide sequences, mutagenesis, the use of gene targeting in animal models, determination of their protein structures) and new methods are still in development. This review focuses on techniques commonly employed to examine ion channel function in a electrophysiological laboratory. The focus is on the KATP channel, but many of the techniques described are also used to study other ion channels.
Elevated plasma homocysteine (Hcy) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. While Hcy has been shown to promote endothelial dysfunction by decreasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide and increasing oxidative stress in the vasculature, the effects of Hcy on cardiomyocytes remain less understood. In this study we explored the effects of hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) on myocardial function ex vivo and examined the direct effects of Hcy on cardiomyocyte function and survival in vitro. Studies with isolated hearts from wild type and HHcy mice (heterozygous cystathionine-beta synthase deficient mice) demonstrated that HHcy mouse hearts had more severely impaired cardiac relaxation and contractile function and increased cell death following ischemia reperfusion (I/R). In isolated cultured adult rat ventricular myocytes, exposure to Hcy for 24 hours impaired cardiomyocyte contractility in a concentration-dependent manner, and promoted apoptosis as revealed by terminal dUTP nick-end labeling and cleaved caspase-3 immunoblotting. These effects were associated with activation of p38 MAPK, decreased expression of thioredoxin (TRX) protein, and increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Inhibition of p38 MAPK by the selective inhibitor SB203580 (5 µM) prevented all of these Hcy-induced changes. Furthermore, adenovirus-mediated overexpression of TRX in cardiomyocytes significantly attenuated Hcy-induced ROS generation, apoptosis, and impairment of myocyte contractility. Thus, Hcy may increase the risk for CVD not only by causing endothelial dysfunction, but also by directly exerting detrimental effects on cardiomyocytes.
homocysteine; hyperhomocysteinemia; cardiomyocytes; contractility; apoptosis; antioxidant; ischemia reperfusion injury; oxidative stress
Sumoylation is a posttranslational modification implicated in a variety of cellular activities, and its role in a number of human pathogeneses such as cleft lip/palate has been well documented. However, the importance of the SUMO conjugation pathway in cardiac development and functional disorders is newly emerging. We previously reported that knockout of SUMO-1 in mice led to congenital heart diseases (CHDs). To further investigate the effects of imbalanced SUMO conjugation on heart development and function and its underlying mechanisms, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice with cardiac-specific expression of SENP2, a SUMO-specific protease that deconjugates sumoylated proteins, to evaluate the impact of desumoylation on heart development and function. Overexpression of SENP2 resulted in premature death of mice with CHDs—atrial septal defects (ASDs) and/or ventricular septal defects (VSDs). Immunobiochemistry revealed diminished cardiomyocyte proliferation in SENP2-Tg mouse hearts compared with that in wild type (WT) hearts. Surviving SENP2-Tg mice showed growth retardation, and developed cardiomyopathy with impaired cardiac function with aging. Cardiac-specific overexpression of the SUMO-1 transgene reduced the incidence of cardiac structural phenotypes in the sumoylation defective mice. Moreover, cardiac overexpression of SENP2 in the mice with Nkx2.5 haploinsufficiency promoted embryonic lethality and severity of CHDs, indicating the functional interaction between SENP2 and Nkx2.5 in vivo. Our findings indicate the indispensability of a balanced SUMO pathway for proper cardiac development and function.
SUMO; SENP2; congenital heart defects; cardiomyopathy; Nkx2.5
Human studies indicate augmented myocardial lipid metabolism in females, and that sex and obesity interact to predict myocardial fatty acid oxidation and storage. Altered lipid dynamics precede cardiomyopathies, and many studies now address high fat diets. Conversely, caloric restriction (CR), is the most studied model for longevity and stress resistance, including protection against myocardial ischemia. However, no information exists on the effects of long-term caloric restriction (CR) on triacylglyceride (TAG) content and dynamics in the heart. This study explored the effects of CR, sex and age on TAG dynamics in mouse hearts. Male and female SVJ129 mice were fed either normal (ND) or CR diet for 3 or 10 months. In 5-month-old mice, CR similarly decreased cardiac TAG in males (ND: 25.5 +/− 4.5 nanomoles/mg protein; CR: 12.6 +/− 2.7, P<0.05) and females (ND: 30.1 +/− 4.4; CR: 13.7 +/− 1.2) (no significant differences in TAG content were seen between sexes). CR reduced the contribution of exogenous palmitate to oxidative metabolism in males and females, by 15% and 11% respectively, versus ND, without affecting cardiac workload. CR also induced a larger reduction in TAG turnover in male (68%) than female hearts (38%). Interestingly, in 5 month old male mice, CR reproduced the lower TAG turnover rates of middle-aged males (ND 13-month-old male = 423 +/−76 nanomoles/mg protein/min). Thus, long term CR reduces TAG pool dynamics. Despite reduced content, hearts of female mice subjected to CR retained a more dynamic TAG pool than males, while males respond with greater metabolic remodeling of cardiac lipid dynamics.
long term caloric restriction; triacylglyceride; long-chain fatty acids
We previously demonstrated a cardiac mitochondrial biogenic response in insulin resistant mice that requires the nuclear receptor transcription factor PPARα. We hypothesized that the PPARα coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1 alpha (PGC-1α) is necessary for mitochondrial biogenesis in insulin resistant hearts and that this response was adaptive. Mitochondrial phenotype was assessed in insulin resistant mouse models in wild-type (WT) versus PGC-1α deficient (PGC-1α−/−) backgrounds. Both high fat-fed (HFD) WT and 6 week-old Ob/Ob animals exhibited a significant increase in myocardial mitochondrial volume density compared to standard chow fed or WT controls. In contrast, HFD PGC-1α−/− and Ob/Ob-PGC-1α−/− hearts lacked a mitochondrial biogenic response. PGC-1α gene expression was increased in 6 week-old Ob/Ob animals, followed by a decline in 8 week-old Ob/Ob animals with more severe glucose intolerance. Mitochondrial respiratory function was increased in 6 week-old Ob/Ob animals, but not in Ob/Ob-PGC-1α−/− mice and not in 8 week-old Ob/Ob animals, suggesting a loss of the early adaptive response, consistent with the loss of PGC-1α upregulation. Animals that were deficient for PGC-1α and heterozygous for the related coactivator PGC-1β (PGC-1α−/−β+/−) were bred to the Ob/Ob mice. Ob/Ob-PGC-1α−/−β+/− hearts exhibited dramatically reduced mitochondrial respiratory capacity. Finally, the mitochondrial biogenic response was triggered in H9C2 myotubes by exposure to oleate, an effect that was blunted with shRNA-mediated PGC-1 “knockdown”. We conclude that PGC-1 signaling is important for the adaptive cardiac mitochondrial biogenic response that occurs during the early stages of insulin resistance. This response occurs in a cell autonomous manner and likely involves exposure to high levels of free fatty acids.
diabetes; insulin resistance; cardiomyopathy; mitochondria; heart failure; metabolism
Depressed Ca-handling in cardiomyocytes is frequently attributed to impaired sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) function in human and experimental heart failure. Phospholamban (PLN) is a key regulator of SR and cardiac function, and PLN mutations in humans have been associated with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We previously reported the deletion of the highly conserved amino acid residue arginine 14 (nucleic acids 39, 40 and 41) in DCM patients. This basic amino acid is important in maintaining the upstream consensus sequence for PKA phosphorylation of Ser 16 in PLN. To assess the function of this mutant PLN, we introduced the PLN-R14Del in cardiac myocytes of the PLN null mouse. Transgenic lines expressing mutant PLN-R14Del at similar protein levels to wild types exhibited no inhibition of the initial rates of oxalate-facilitated SR Ca uptake compared to PLN-knockouts (PLN-KO). The contractile parameters and Ca-kinetics also remained highly stimulated in PLN-R14Del cardiomyocytes, similar to PLN-KO, and isoproterenol did not further stimulate these hyper-contractile basal parameters. Consistent with the lack of inhibition on SR Ca-transport and contractility, confocal microscopy indicated that the PLN-R14Del failed to co-localize with SERCA2a. Moreover, PLN-R14Del did not co-immunoprecipitate with SERCA2a (as did WT-PLN), but rather co-immunoprecipitated with the sarcolemmal Na/K-ATPase (NKA) and stimulated NKA activity. In addition, studies in HEK cells indicated significant fluorescence resonance energy transfer between PLN-R14Del-YFP and NKAα1-CFP, but not with the NKA regulator phospholemman. Despite the enhanced cardiac function in PLN-R14Del hearts (as in PLN-knockouts), there was cardiac hypertrophy (unlike PLN-KO) coupled with activation of Akt and the MAPK pathways. Thus, human PLN-R14Del is misrouted to the sarcolemma, in the absence of endogenous PLN, and alters NKA activity, leading to cardiac remodeling.
Heart failure; Mutation; Calcium cycling; Phospholamban; SERCA
The transcription factor Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NF-κB) has been shown to be cardioprotective after permanent coronary occlusion (PO) and late ischemic preconditioning (IPC), and yet it is cell injurious after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in the heart. There is limited information regarding NF-κB-dependent cardioprotection, and the NF-κB-dependent genes that contribute to the cardioprotection after PO are completely unknown. The objective of the study was to identify NF-κB-dependent genes that contribute to cardioprotection after PO. Microarray analysis was used to delineate genes that potentially contribute to the NF-κB-dependent cardioprotection by determining the overlap between the set of PO regulated genes and genes regulated by NF-κB, using mice with genetic abrogation of NF-κB activation in the heart. This analysis identified 16 genes as candidates for NF-κB-dependent effects after PO. This set of genes overlaps with, but is significantly different from the set of genes we previously identified as regulated by NF-κB after IPC. The genes encoding heat shock protein 70.3 (hspa1a) and heat shock protein 70.1 (hspa1b) were the most significantly regulated genes after PO and were up-regulated by NF-κB. Results using knockout mice show that Hsp70.1 contributes to NF-κB-dependent cardioprotection after PO and likely underlies, at least in part, the NF-κB-dependent cardioprotective effect. Our previous results show that Hsp70.1 is injurious after I/R injury. This demonstrates that, like NF-κB itself, Hsp70.1 has antithetical effects on myocardial survival and suggests that this may underlie the similar antithetical effects of NF-κB after different ischemic stimuli. The significance of the research is that understanding the gene network regulated by NF-κB after ischemic insult may lead to identification of therapeutic targets more appropriate for clinical development.
nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB); heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70); permanent coronary occlusion (PO); myocardial infarction (MI); microarray; gene expression; cardioprotection
It has been shown that the transcription factor NF-κB is necessary for late phase cardioprotection after ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in the heart, and yet is injurious after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). However the downstream gene expression programs that underlie the contribution of NF-κB to cardioprotection after late IPC are incompletely understood.
To delineate the specific genes that are regulated by NF-κB immediately after a late IPC stimulus and validate the methodology for identification of NF-κB-dependent genes that contribute to cardioprotection.
Methods and Results
A directed microarray analysis identified 238 genes as up or down regulated in an NF-κB-dependent manner 3.5 h after late IPC. Among these are several genes previously implicated in late IPC. Gene ontological analysis showed that the most significant group of NF-κB-dependent genes are heat shock response genes, including the genes encoding Hsp70.1 and Hsp70.3. Though an Hsp70.1/70.3 double knockout failed to exhibit cardioprotection, late IPC was intact in the Hsp70.1 single knockout. After I/R, the Hsp70.1/70.3 double knockout and the Hsp70.1 single knockout had significantly increased and reduced infarct size, respectively.
These results delineate the immediate NF-κB-dependent transcriptome after late IPC. One of the major categories of NF-κB-dependent genes induced by late IPC is the heat shock response. The results of infarct studies confirm that Hsp70.3 is protective after IPC. However, though Hsp70.1 and Hsp70.3 are coordinately regulated, their functions are opposing after I/R injury.
Cardioprotection; late ischemic preconditioning; NF-κB; gene expression; Heat shock protein 70
The cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) is targeted to specific compartments in the cardiac myocyte by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs), a diverse set of scaffold proteins that have been implicated in the regulation of excitation-contraction coupling and cardiac remodeling. AKAPs bind not only PKA, but also a large variety of structural and signaling molecules. In this review, we discuss the basic concepts underlying compartmentation of cAMP and PKA signaling, as well as a few of the individual AKAPs that have been shown to be functionally relevant in the heart.
PKA; AKAP; cAMP; compartmentation; scaffold; signaling
Evidence obtained in recent years indicates that, in cardiac myocytes, release of Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) is regulated by changes in the concentration of Ca2+ within the SR. In this review, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of this regulatory role, with a particular emphasis on dynamic and local changes in SR [Ca2+]. We focus on five important questions that are to some extent unresolved and controversial. These questions concern: (1) the importance of SR [Ca2+] depletion in the termination of Ca2+ release; (2) the quantitative extent of depletion during local release events such as Ca2+ sparks; (3) the influence of SR [Ca2+] refilling on release refractoriness and the propensity for pathological Ca2+ release; (4) dynamic changes in SR [Ca2+] during propagating Ca2+ waves; and (5) the speed of Ca2+ diffusion within the SR. With each issue, we discuss data supporting alternative viewpoints, and we identify fundamental questions that are being actively investigated. We conclude with a discussion of experimental and computational advances that will help to resolve controversies.
Ca2+ spark; Ca2+ wave; Ca2+ transient; arrhythmia; triggered activity; ventricular myocyte; mathematical modeling
Calmodulin (CaM) acts as a common Ca2+ sensor for many signaling pathways, transducing local Ca2+ signals into specific cellular outcomes. Many of CaM’s signaling functions can be explained by its unique biochemical properties, including high and low affinity Ca2+-binding sites with slow and fast kinetics, respectively. CaM is expected to have a limited spatial range of action, emphasizing its role in local Ca2+ signaling. Interactions with target proteins further fine-tune CaM signal transduction. Here, we focus on only three specific cellular targets for CaM signaling in cardiac myocytes: the L-type Ca2+ channel, the ryanodine receptor, and the IP3 receptor. We elaborate a working hypothesis that each channel is regulated by two distinct functional populations of CaM: dedicated CaM and promiscuous CaM. Dedicated CaM is typically tethered to each channel and directly regulates channel activity. In addition, a local pool of promiscuous CaM appears poised to sense local Ca2+ signals and trigger downstream pathways such as Ca2+/CaM dependent-protein kinase II and calcineurin. Understanding how promiscuous CaM coordinates multiple distinct signaling pathways remains a challenge, but is aided by the use of mathematical modeling and a new generation of fluorescent biosensors.
AMPK is an important sensor of cellular energy levels.
The aim of these studies was to investigate whether cardiac KATP channels, which couple cellular energy metabolism to membrane excitability, are regulated by AMPK activity.
Research Design and Methods
We investigated effects of AMPK on rat ventricular KATP channels using electrophysiological and biochemical approaches
Whole-cell KATP channel current was activated by metabolic inhibition; this occurred more rapidly in the presence of AICAR (an AMPK activator). AICAR had no effects on KATP channel activity recorded in the inside-out patch clamp configuration, but ZMP (the intracellular intermediate of AICAR) strongly activated KATP channels. An AMPK-mediated effect is demonstrated by the finding that ZMP had no effect on KATP channels in the presence of Compound C (an AMPK inhibitor). Recombinant AMPK activated Kir6.2/SUR2A channels in a manner that was dependent on the AMP concentration, whereas heat-inactivated AMPK was without effect. Using mass-spectrometry and co-immunoprecipitation approaches, we demonstrate that the AMPK α-subunit physically associates with KATP channel subunits.
Our data demonstrate that the cardiac KATP channel function is directly regulated by AMPK activation. During metabolic stress, a small change in cellular AMP that activates AMPK can be a potential trigger for KATP channel opening.
ATP-sensitive K+ channels; AMP-activated protein kinase; Potassium channels
Mitochondria are highly metabolically active cell organelles that not only act as the powerhouse of the cell by supplying energy through ATP production, but also play a destructive role by initiating cell death pathways. Growing evidence recognizes that mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease. Under de-energized conditions, slowing of adenine nucleotide transport in and out of the mitochondria significantly attenuates myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. The purpose of this review is to elaborate on and update the mechanistic pathways which may explain how altered adenine nucleotide transport can influence cardiovascular function.
Mitochondria; Adenine nucleotide transport; Cardioprotection
Adiponectin is a cardioprotective adipokine derived predominantly from visceral fat. We recently demonstrated that exogenous adiponectin induces vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) differentiation via repression of mTORC1 and FoxO4. Here we report for the first time that VSMC express and secrete adiponectin, which acts in an autocrine and paracrine manner to regulate VSMC contractile phenotype. Adiponectin was found to be expressed in human coronary artery and mouse aortic VSMC. Importantly, siRNA knock-down of endogenous adiponectin in VSMC significantly reduced the expression of VSMC contractile proteins. Contractile protein deficiency was also observed in primary VSMC isolated from Adiponectin-/- mice. This deficiency could be rescued by culturing Adiponectin-/- VSMC in conditioned media from wild type (WT) VSMC. Moreover, the paracrine effect of VSMC-derived adiponectin was confirmed as adiponectin neutralizing antibody blocked the rescue. Overexpressed adiponectin also exerted paracrine effects on neighboring untransfected VSMC, which was also blocked by adiponectin neutralizing antibody. Interestingly, adiponectin expression was inducible by the PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone. Our data support an important role for VSMC-derived adiponectin in maintaining VSMC contractile phenotype, contributing to critical cardioprotective functions in the vascular wall.
Adiponectin; vascular smooth muscle; contractile proteins; contractile phenotype; autocrine; paracrine
Influx of Ca2+ through L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCCs) contributes to numerous cellular processes in cardiomyocytes including excitation-contraction (EC) coupling, membrane excitability, and transcriptional regulation. Distinct subpopulations of LTCCs have been identified in cardiac myocytes, including those at dyadic junctions and within different plasma membrane microdomains such as lipid rafts and caveolae. These subpopulations of LTCCs exhibit regionally distinct functional properties and regulation, affording precise spatiotemporal modulation of L-type Ca2+ current (ICa,L). Different subcellular LTCC populations demonstrate variable rates of Ca2+-dependent inactivation and sometimes coupled gating of neighboring channels, which can lead to focal, persistent ICa,L. In addition, the assembly of spatially defined macromolecular signaling complexes permits compartmentalized regulation of ICa,L by a variety of neurohormonal pathways. For example, β-adrenergic receptor subtypes signal to different LTCC subpopulations, with β2-adrenergic activation leading to enhanced ICa,L through caveolar LTCCs and β1-adrenergic stimulation modulating LTCCs outside of caveolae. Disruptions in the normal subcellular targeting of LTCCs and associated signaling proteins may contribute to the pathophysiology of a variety of cardiac diseases including heart failure and certain arrhythmias. Further identifying the characteristic functional properties and array of regulatory molecules associated with specific LTCC subpopulations will provide a mechanistic framework to understand how LTCCs contribute to diverse cellular processes in normal and diseased myocardium.
Cardiomyocyte; Calcium channel; Subcellular localization; Microdomain; Calcium signaling
Cardiac arrhythmias can cause sudden cardiac death (SCD) and add to the current heart failure (HF) health crisis. Nevertheless, the pathological processes underlying arrhythmias are unclear. Arrhythmic conditions are associated with systemic and cardiac oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In excitable cardiac cells, ROS regulate both cellular metabolism and ion homeostasis. Increasing evidence suggests that elevated cellular ROS can cause alterations of the cardiac sodium channel (Nav1.5), abnormal Ca2+ handling, changes of mitochondrial function, and gap junction remodeling, leading to arrhythmogenesis. This review summarizes our knowledge of the mechanisms by which ROS may cause arrhythmias and discusses potential therapeutic strategies to prevent arrhythmias by targeting ROS and its consequences.
reactive oxygen species; sodium channel; Ca2+ handling; mitochondria; connexin; arrhythmia
Perhexiline is a potent anti-anginal drug used for treatment of refractory angina and other forms of heart disease. It provides an oxygen sparing effect in the myocardium by creating a switch from fatty acid to glucose metabolism through partial inhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 and 2. However, the precise molecular mechanisms underlying the cardioprotective effects elicited by perhexiline are not fully understood. The present study employed a combined proteomics, metabolomics and computational approach to characterise changes in murine hearts upon treatment with perhexiline. According to results based on difference in-gel electrophoresis, the most profound change in the cardiac proteome related to the activation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Metabolomic analysis by high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed lower levels of total creatine and taurine in hearts of perhexiline-treated mice. Creatine and taurine levels were also significantly correlated in a cross-correlation analysis of all metabolites. Computational modelling suggested that far from inducing a simple shift from fatty acid to glucose oxidation, perhexiline may cause complex rebalancing of carbon and nucleotide phosphate fluxes, fuelled by increased lactate and amino acid uptake, to increase metabolic flexibility and to maintain cardiac output. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Focus on Cardiac Metabolism".
► Mice were fed perhexiline to achieve steady state concentrations. ► Hearts were analysed using a combined proteomic and metabolomic approach. ► Computer modelling was used to cross-validate the findings. ► Perhexiline has more wide-ranging and complex metabolic effects than previously thought.
CPT, carnitine palmitoyltransferase; DIGE, difference in-gel electrophoresis; FCS, foetal calf serum; FDR, false discovery rate; GO, Gene ontology; 1H NMR, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; LC-MS/MS, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; TCA, tricarboxylic acid; Metabolomics; Proteomics; Cardioprotection; Metabolism; Heart failure