Cardiac hypertrophy, as a response to hemodynamic stress, is associated with cardiac dysfunction and death, but whether hypertrophy itself represents a pathological process remains unclear. Hypertrophy is driven by changes in myocardial gene expression that require the MEF2 family of DNA-binding transcription factors, as well as the nuclear lysine acetyltransferase p300. Here we used genetic and small-molecule probes to determine the effects of preventing MEF2 acetylation on cardiac adaptation to stress. Both nonacetylatable MEF2 mutants and 8MI, a molecule designed to interfere with MEF2-coregulator binding, prevented hypertrophy in cultured cardiac myocytes. 8MI prevented cardiac hypertrophy in 3 distinct stress models, and reversed established hypertrophy in vivo, associated with normalization of myocardial structure and function. The effects of 8MI were reversible, and did not prevent training effects of swimming. Mechanistically, 8MI blocked stress-induced MEF2 acetylation, nuclear export of class II histone deacetylases HDAC4 and -5, and p300 induction, without impeding HDAC4 phosphorylation. Correspondingly, 8MI transformed the transcriptional response to pressure overload, normalizing almost all 232 genes dysregulated by hemodynamic stress. We conclude that MEF2 acetylation is required for development and maintenance of pathological cardiac hypertrophy, and that blocking MEF2 acetylation can permit recovery from hypertrophy without impairing physiologic adaptation.
Jianqin Wei, Shaurya Joshi, Svetlana Speransky, Christopher Crowley, Nimanthi Jayathilaka, Xiao Lei, Yongqing Wu, David Gai, Sumit Jain, Michael Hoosien, Yan Gao, Lin Chen, Nanette H. Bishopric
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide, highlighting a pressing need to identify novel regulators of cardiomyocyte (CM) function that could be therapeutically targeted. The mammalian Hippo/Tead pathway is critical in embryonic cardiac development and perinatal CM proliferation. However, the requirement of Tead1, the transcriptional effector of this pathway, in the adult heart is unknown. Here, we show that tamoxifen-inducible adult CM–specific Tead1 ablation led to lethal acute-onset dilated cardiomyopathy, associated with impairment in excitation-contraction coupling. Mechanistically, we demonstrate Tead1 is a cell-autonomous, direct transcriptional activator of SERCA2a and SR-associated protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit, Inhibitor-1 (I-1). Thus, Tead1 deletion led to a decrease in SERCA2a and I-1 transcripts and protein, with a consequent increase in PP1-activity, resulting in accumulation of dephosphorylated phospholamban (Pln) and decreased SERCA2a activity. Global transcriptomal analysis in Tead1-deleted hearts revealed significant changes in mitochondrial and sarcomere-related pathways. Additional studies demonstrated there was a trend for correlation between protein levels of TEAD1 and I-1, and phosphorylation of PLN, in human nonfailing and failing hearts. Furthermore, TEAD1 activity was required to maintain PLN phosphorylation and expression of SERCA2a and I-1 in human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived (iPS-derived) CMs. To our knowledge, taken together, this demonstrates a nonredundant, novel role of Tead1 in maintaining normal adult heart function.
Ruya Liu, Jeongkyung Lee, Byung S. Kim, Qiongling Wang, Samuel K. Buxton, Nikhil Balasubramanyam, Jean J. Kim, Jianrong Dong, Aijun Zhang, Shumin Li, Anisha A. Gupte, Dale J. Hamilton, James F. Martin, George G. Rodney, Cristian Coarfa, Xander H.T. Wehrens, Vijay K. Yechoor, Mousumi Moulik
Transcriptionally activated monocytes are recruited to the heart after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). After AMI in mice and humans, the number of extracellular vesicles (EVs) increased acutely. In humans, EV number correlated closely with the extent of myocardial injury. We hypothesized that EVs mediate splenic monocyte mobilization and program transcription following AMI. Some plasma EVs bear endothelial cell (EC) integrins, and both proinflammatory stimulation of ECs and AMI significantly increased VCAM-1–positive EV release. Injected EC-EVs localized to the spleen and interacted with, and mobilized, splenic monocytes in otherwise naive, healthy animals. Analysis of human plasma EV-associated miRNA showed 12 markedly enriched miRNAs after AMI; functional enrichment analyses identified 1,869 putative mRNA targets, which regulate relevant cellular functions (e.g., proliferation and cell movement). Furthermore, gene ontology termed positive chemotaxis as the most enriched pathway for the miRNA-mRNA targets. Among the identified EV miRNAs, EC-associated miRNA-126-3p and -5p were highly regulated after AMI. miRNA-126-3p and -5p regulate cell adhesion– and chemotaxis-associated genes, including the negative regulator of cell motility, plexin-B2. EC-EV exposure significantly downregulated plexin-B2 mRNA in monocytes and upregulated motility integrin ITGB2. These findings identify EVs as a possible novel signaling pathway by linking ischemic myocardium with monocyte mobilization and transcriptional activation following AMI.
Naveed Akbar, Janet E. Digby, Thomas J. Cahill, Abhijeet N. Tavare, Alastair L. Corbin, Sushant Saluja, Sam Dawkins, Laurienne Edgar, Nadiia Rawlings, Klemen Ziberna, Eileen McNeill, Oxford Acute Myocardial Infarction (OxAMI) Study, Errin Johnson, Alaa A. Aljabali, Rebecca A. Dragovic, Mala Rohling, T. Grant Belgard, Irina A. Udalova, David R. Greaves, Keith M. Channon, Paul R. Riley, Daniel C. Anthony, Robin P. Choudhury
Cardiomyopathy frequently complicates sepsis and is associated with increased mortality. Increased cardiac oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been observed during sepsis, but the mechanisms responsible for these abnormalities have not been determined. We hypothesized that NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) activation could be responsible for sepsis-induced oxidative stress and cardiomyopathy. Treatment of isolated adult mouse cardiomyocytes with low concentrations of the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) increased total cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial superoxide. Elevated mitochondrial superoxide was accompanied by depolarization of the mitochondrial inner membrane potential, an indication of mitochondrial dysfunction, and mitochondrial calcium overload. NOX2 inhibition decreased LPS-induced superoxide and prevented mitochondrial dysfunction. Further, cardiomyocytes from mice with genetic ablation of NOX2 did not have LPS-induced superoxide or mitochondrial dysfunction. LPS decreased contractility and calcium transient amplitude in isolated cardiomyocytes, and these abnormalities were prevented by inhibition of NOX2. LPS decreased systolic function in mice, measured by echocardiography. NOX2 inhibition was cardioprotective in 2 mouse models of sepsis, preserving systolic function after LPS injection or cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). These data show that inhibition of NOX2 decreases oxidative stress, preserves intracellular calcium handling and mitochondrial function, and alleviates sepsis-induced systolic dysfunction in vivo. Thus, NOX2 is a potential target for pharmacotherapy of sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy.
Leroy C. Joseph, Dimitra Kokkinaki, Mesele-Christina Valenti, Grace J. Kim, Emanuele Barca, Dhanendra Tomar, Nicholas E. Hoffman, Prakash Subramanyam, Henry M. Colecraft, Michio Hirano, Adam J. Ratner, Muniswamy Madesh, Konstantinos Drosatos, John P. Morrow
Ventricular chamber growth and development during perinatal circulatory transition is critical for functional adaptation of the heart. However, the chamber-specific programs of neonatal heart growth are poorly understood. We used integrated systems genomic and functional biology analyses of the perinatal chamber specific transcriptome and we identified Wnt11 as a prominent regulator of chamber-specific proliferation. Importantly, downregulation of Wnt11 expression was associated with cyanotic congenital heart defect (CHD) phenotypes and correlated with O2 saturation levels in hypoxemic infants with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). Perinatal hypoxia treatment in mice suppressed Wnt11 expression and induced myocyte proliferation more robustly in the right ventricle, modulating Rb1 protein activity. Wnt11 inactivation was sufficient to induce myocyte proliferation in perinatal mouse hearts and reduced Rb1 protein and phosphorylation in neonatal cardiomyocytes. Finally, downregulated Wnt11 in hypoxemic TOF infantile hearts was associated with Rb1 suppression and induction of proliferation markers. This study revealed a previously uncharacterized function of Wnt11-mediated signaling as an important player in programming the chamber-specific growth of the neonatal heart. This function influences the chamber-specific development and pathogenesis in response to hypoxia and cyanotic CHDs. Defining the underlying regulatory mechanism may yield chamber-specific therapies for infants born with CHDs.
Marlin Touma, Xuedong Kang, Fuying Gao, Yan Zhao, Ashley A. Cass, Reshma Biniwale, Xinshu Xiao, Mansuoreh Eghbali, Giovanni Coppola, Brian Reemtsen, Yibin Wang
A cure for heart failure remains a major unmet clinical need, and current therapies targeting neurohomonal and hemodynamic regulation have limited efficacy. The pathological remodeling of the myocardium has been associated with a stereotypical gene expression program, which had long been viewed as the consequence and not the driver of the disease until very recently. Despite the advance, there is no therapy available to reverse the already committed gene program. Here, we demonstrate that transcriptional repressor REV-ERB binds near driver transcription factors across the genome. Pharmacological activation of REV-ERB selectively suppresses aberrant pathologic gene expression and prevents cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. In vivo, REV-ERBα activation prevents development of cardiac hypertrophy, reduces fibrosis, and halts progression of advanced heart failure in mouse models. Thus, to our knowledge, modulation of gene networks by targeting REV-ERBα represents a novel approach to heart failure therapy.
Lilei Zhang, Rongli Zhang, Chih-Liang Tien, Ricky E. Chan, Keiki Sugi, Chen Fu, Austin C. Griffin, Yuyan Shen, Thomas P. Burris, Xudong Liao, Mukesh K. Jain
The oncoprotein Mdm2 is a RING domain–containing E3 ubiquitin ligase that ubiquitinates G protein–coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) and β-arrestin2, thereby regulating β-adrenergic receptor (βAR) signaling and endocytosis. Previous studies showed that cardiac Mdm2 expression is critical for controlling p53-dependent apoptosis during early embryonic development, but the role of Mdm2 in the developed adult heart is unknown. We aimed to identify if Mdm2 affects βAR signaling and cardiac function in adult mice. Using Mdm2/p53–KO mice, which survive for 9–12 months, we identified a critical and potentially novel role for Mdm2 in the adult mouse heart through its regulation of cardiac β1AR signaling. While baseline cardiac function was mostly similar in both Mdm2/p53–KO and wild-type (WT) mice, isoproterenol-induced cardiac contractility in Mdm2/p53–KO was significantly blunted compared with WT mice. Isoproterenol increased cAMP in left ventricles of WT but not of Mdm2/p53–KO mice. Additionally, while basal and forskolin-induced calcium handling in isolated Mdm2/p53–KO and WT cardiomyocytes were equivalent, isoproterenol-induced calcium handling in Mdm2/p53–KO was impaired. Mdm2/p53–KO hearts expressed 2-fold more GRK2 than WT. GRK2 polyubiquitination via lysine-48 linkages was significantly reduced in Mdm2/p53–KO hearts. Tamoxifen-inducible cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of Mdm2 in adult mice also led to a significant increase in GRK2, and resulted in severely impaired cardiac function, high mortality, and no detectable βAR responsiveness. Gene delivery of either Mdm2 or GRK2-CT in vivo using adeno-associated virus 9 (AAV9) effectively rescued β1AR-induced cardiac contractility in Mdm2/p53–KO. These findings reveal a critical p53-independent physiological role of Mdm2 in adult hearts, namely, regulation of GRK2-mediated desensitization of βAR signaling.
Pierre-Yves Jean-Charles, Samuel Mon-Wei Yu, Dennis Abraham, Reddy Peera Kommaddi, Lan Mao, Ryan T. Strachan, Zhu-Shan Zhang, Dawn E. Bowles, Leigh Brian, Jonathan A. Stiber, Stephen N. Jones, Walter J. Koch, Howard A. Rockman, Sudha K. Shenoy
Myocardial infarction causes sympathetic activation and parasympathetic dysfunction, which increase risk of sudden death due to ventricular arrhythmias. Mechanisms underlying parasympathetic dysfunction are unclear. The aim of this study was to delineate consequences of myocardial infarction on parasympathetic myocardial neurotransmitter levels and the function of parasympathetic cardiac ganglia neurons, and to assess electrophysiological effects of vagal nerve stimulation on ventricular arrhythmias in a chronic porcine infarct model. While norepinephrine levels decreased, cardiac acetylcholine levels remained preserved in border zones and viable myocardium of infarcted hearts. In vivo neuronal recordings demonstrated abnormalities in firing frequency of parasympathetic neurons of infarcted animals. Neurons that were activated by parasympathetic stimulation had low basal firing frequency, while neurons that were suppressed by left vagal nerve stimulation had abnormally high basal activity. Myocardial infarction increased sympathetic inputs to parasympathetic convergent neurons. However, the underlying parasympathetic cardiac neuronal network remained intact. Augmenting parasympathetic drive with vagal nerve stimulation reduced ventricular arrhythmia inducibility by decreasing ventricular excitability and heterogeneity of repolarization of infarct border zones, an area with known proarrhythmic potential. Preserved acetylcholine levels and intact parasympathetic neuronal pathways can explain the electrical stabilization of infarct border zones with vagal nerve stimulation, providing insight into its antiarrhythmic benefit.
Marmar Vaseghi, Siamak Salavatian, Pradeep S. Rajendran, Daigo Yagishita, William R. Woodward, David Hamon, Kentaro Yamakawa, Tadanobu Irie, Beth A. Habecker, Kalyanam Shivkumar
Among children with the most severe presentation of Marfan syndrome (MFS), an inherited disorder of connective tissue caused by a deficiency of extracellular fibrillin-1, heart failure is the leading cause of death. Here, we show that, while MFS mice (Fbn1C1039G/+ mice) typically have normal cardiac function, pressure overload (PO) induces an acute and severe dilated cardiomyopathy in association with fibrosis and myocyte enlargement. Failing MFS hearts show high expression of TGF-β ligands, with increased TGF-β signaling in both nonmyocytes and myocytes; pathologic ERK activation is restricted to the nonmyocyte compartment. Informatively, TGF-β, angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R), or ERK antagonism (with neutralizing antibody, losartan, or MEK inhibitor, respectively) prevents load-induced cardiac decompensation in MFS mice, despite persistent PO. In situ analyses revealed an unanticipated axis of activation in nonmyocytes, with AT1R-dependent ERK activation driving TGF-β ligand expression that culminates in both autocrine and paracrine overdrive of TGF-β signaling. The full compensation seen in wild-type mice exposed to mild PO correlates with enhanced deposition of extracellular fibrillin-1. Taken together, these data suggest that fibrillin-1 contributes to cardiac reserve in the face of hemodynamic stress, critically implicate nonmyocytes in disease pathogenesis, and validate ERK as a therapeutic target in MFS-related cardiac decompensation.
Rosanne Rouf, Elena Gallo MacFarlane, Eiki Takimoto, Rahul Chaudhary, Varun Nagpal, Peter P. Rainer, Julia G. Bindman, Elizabeth E. Gerber, Djahida Bedja, Christopher Schiefer, Karen L. Miller, Guangshuo Zhu, Loretha Myers, Nuria Amat-Alarcon, Dong I. Lee, Norimichi Koitabashi, Daniel P. Judge, David A. Kass, Harry C. Dietz
Widespread changes in cardiac gene expression occur during heart failure, yet the mechanisms responsible for coordinating these changes remain poorly understood. The Mediator complex represents a nodal point for modulating transcription by bridging chromatin-bound transcription factors with RNA polymerase II activity; it is reversibly regulated by its cyclin-dependent kinase 8 (Cdk8) kinase submodule. Here, we identified increased Cdk8 protein expression in human failing heart explants and determined the consequence of this increase in cardiac-specific Cdk8-expressing mice. Transgenic Cdk8 overexpression resulted in progressive dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and premature lethality. Prior to functional decline, left ventricular cardiomyocytes were dramatically elongated, with disorganized transverse tubules and dysfunctional calcium handling. RNA sequencing results showed that myofilament gene isoforms not typically expressed in adult cardiomyocytes were enriched, while oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid biosynthesis genes were downregulated. Interestingly, candidate upstream transcription factor expression levels and MAPK signaling pathways thought to determine cardiomyocyte size remained relatively unaffected, suggesting that Cdk8 functions within a novel growth regulatory pathway. Our findings show that manipulating cardiac gene expression through increased Cdk8 levels is detrimental to the heart by establishing a transcriptional program that induces pathological remodeling and eccentric hypertrophy culminating in heart failure.
Duane D. Hall, Jessica M. Ponce, Biyi Chen, Kathryn M. Spitler, Adrianne Alexia, Gavin Y. Oudit, Long-Sheng Song, Chad E. Grueter
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