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See detailSelective inhibition of plasma membrane calcium ATPase 4 improves angiogenesis and vascular reperfusion
Kurusamy, Sathishkumar; López-Maderuelo, Dolores; Little, Robert et al

in Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology (2017), (109), 38-47

AIMS: Ischaemic cardiovascular disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite promising results from pre-clinical animal models, VEGF-based strategies for therapeutic angiogenesis ... [more ▼]

AIMS: Ischaemic cardiovascular disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite promising results from pre-clinical animal models, VEGF-based strategies for therapeutic angiogenesis have yet to achieve successful reperfusion of ischaemic tissues in patients. Failure to restore efficient VEGF activity in the ischaemic organ remains a major problem in current pro-angiogenic therapeutic approaches. Plasma membrane calcium ATPase 4 (PMCA4) negatively regulates VEGF-activated angiogenesis via inhibition of the calcineurin/NFAT signalling pathway. PMCA4 activity is inhibited by the small molecule aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA). We hypothesize that inhibition of PMCA4 with ATA might enhance VEGF-induced angiogenesis. METHODS AND RESULTS: We show that inhibition of PMCA4 with ATA in endothelial cells triggers a marked increase in VEGF-activated calcineurin/NFAT signalling that translates into a strong increase in endothelial cell motility and blood vessel formation. ATA enhances VEGF-induced calcineurin signalling by disrupting the interaction between PMCA4 and calcineurin at the endothelial-cell membrane. ATA concentrations at the nanomolar range, that efficiently inhibit PMCA4, had no deleterious effect on endothelial-cell viability or zebrafish embryonic development. However, high ATA concentrations at the micromolar level impaired endothelial cell viability and tubular morphogenesis, and were associated with toxicity in zebrafish embryos. In mice undergoing experimentally-induced hindlimb ischaemia, ATA treatment significantly increased the reperfusion of post-ischaemic limbs. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides evidence for the therapeutic potential of targeting PMCA4 to improve VEGF-based pro-angiogenic interventions. This goal will require the development of refined, highly selective versions of ATA, or the identification of novel PMCA4 inhibitors. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Plasma Membrane Calcium ATPases and Their Role as Major New Players in Human Disease.
Stafford, Nicholas; Wilson, Claire; Oceandy, Delvac et al

in Physiological reviews (2017), 97(3), 1089-1125

The Ca2+ extrusion function of the four mammalian isoforms of the plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs) is well established. There is also ever-increasing detail known of their roles in global and local ... [more ▼]

The Ca2+ extrusion function of the four mammalian isoforms of the plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs) is well established. There is also ever-increasing detail known of their roles in global and local Ca2+ homeostasis and intracellular Ca2+ signaling in a wide variety of cell types and tissues. It is becoming clear that the spatiotemporal patterns of expression of the PMCAs and the fact that their abundances and relative expression levels vary from cell type to cell type both reflect and impact on their specific functions in these cells. Over recent years it has become increasingly apparent that these genes have potentially significant roles in human health and disease, with PMCAs1-4 being associated with cardiovascular diseases, deafness, autism, ataxia, adenoma, and malarial resistance. This review will bring together evidence of the variety of tissue-specific functions of PMCAs and will highlight the roles these genes play in regulating normal physiological functions and the considerable impact the genes have on human disease. [less ▲]

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See detailPlasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs) as potential targets for the treatment of essential hypertension.
Little, Robert; Cartwright, Elizabeth J.; Neyses, Ludwig UL et al

in Pharmacology & therapeutics (2016), 159

The incidence of hypertension, the major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, is increasing. Thus, there is a pressing need for the development of new and more effective strategies to ... [more ▼]

The incidence of hypertension, the major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, is increasing. Thus, there is a pressing need for the development of new and more effective strategies to prevent and treat hypertension. Development of these relies on a continued evolution of our understanding of the mechanisms which control blood pressure (BP). Resistance arteries are important in the regulation of total peripheral resistance and BP; changes in their structure and function are strongly associated with hypertension. Anti-hypertensives which both reduce BP and reverse changes in resistance arterial structure reduce cardiovascular risk more than therapies which reduce BP alone. Hence, identification of novel potential vascular targets which modify BP is important. Hypertension is a multifactorial disorder which may include a genetic component. Genome wide association studies have identified ATP2B1, encoding the calcium pump plasma membrane calcium ATPase 1 (PMCA1), as having a strong association with BP and hypertension. Knockdown or reduced PMCA1 expression in mice has confirmed a physiological role for PMCA1 in BP and resistance arterial regulation. Altered expression or inhibition of PMCA4 has also been shown to modulate these parameters. The mechanisms whereby PMCA1 and 4 can modulate vascular function remain to be fully elucidated but may involve regulation of intracellular calcium homeostasis and/or comprise a structural role. However, clear physiological links between PMCA and BP, coupled with experimental studies directly linking PMCA1 and 4 to changes in BP and arterial function, suggest that they may be important targets for the development of new pharmacological modulators of BP. [less ▲]

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See detailDeletion of the intestinal plasma membrane calcium pump, isoform 1, Atp2b1, in mice is associated with decreased bone mineral density and impaired responsiveness to 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.
Ryan, Zachary C.; Craig, Theodore A.; Filoteo, Adelaida G. et al

in Biochemical and biophysical research communications (2015), 467(1), 152-6

The physiological importance of the intestinal plasma membrane calcium pump, isoform 1, (Pmca1, Atp2b1), in calcium absorption and homeostasis has not been previously demonstrated in vivo. Since global ... [more ▼]

The physiological importance of the intestinal plasma membrane calcium pump, isoform 1, (Pmca1, Atp2b1), in calcium absorption and homeostasis has not been previously demonstrated in vivo. Since global germ-line deletion of the Pmca1 in mice is associated with embryonic lethality, we selectively deleted the Pmca1 in intestinal absorptive cells. Mice with loxP sites flanking exon 2 of the Pmca1 gene (Pmca1(fl/fl)) were crossed with mice expressing Cre recombinase in the intestine under control of the villin promoter to give mice in which the Pmca1 had been deleted in the intestine (Pmca1(EKO) mice). Pmca1(EKO) mice were born at a reduced frequency and were small at the time of birth when compared to wild-type (Wt) littermates. At two months of age, Pmca1(EKO) mice fed a 0.81% calcium, 0.34% phosphorus, normal vitamin D diet had reduced whole body bone mineral density (P < 0.037), and reduced femoral bone mineral density (P < 0.015). There was a trend towards lower serum calcium and higher serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) and 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1alpha,25(OH)2D3) concentrations in Pmca1(EKO) mice compared to Wt mice but the changes were not statistically significant. The urinary phosphorus/creatinine ratio was increased in Pmca1(EKO) mice (P < 0.004). Following the administration of 200 ng of 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 intraperitoneally to Wt mice, active intestinal calcium transport increased approximately 2-fold, whereas Pmca1(EKO) mice administered an equal amount of 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 failed to show an increase in active calcium transport. Deletion of the Pmca1 in the intestine is associated with reduced growth and bone mineralization, and a failure to up-regulate calcium absorption in response to 1alpha,25(OH)2D3. [less ▲]

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See detailThe tumour suppressor Ras-association domain family protein 1A (RASSF1A) regulates TNF-alpha signalling in cardiomyocytes.
Mohamed, Tamer M. A.; Zi, Min; Prehar, Sukhpal et al

in Cardiovascular research (2014), 103(1), 47-59

AIMS: Tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) plays a key role in the regulation of cardiac contractility. Although cardiomyocytes are known to express the TNF-alpha receptors (TNFRs), the mechanism of ... [more ▼]

AIMS: Tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) plays a key role in the regulation of cardiac contractility. Although cardiomyocytes are known to express the TNF-alpha receptors (TNFRs), the mechanism of TNF-alpha signal transmission is incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the tumour suppressor Ras-association domain family protein 1 isoform A (RASSF1A) modulates TNF-alpha signalling in cardiomyocytes. METHODS AND RESULTS: We used RASSF1A knockout (RASSF1A(-/-)) mice and wild-type (WT) littermates in this study. Acute stimulation with a low dose of TNF-alpha (10 microg/kg iv) increased cardiac contractility and intracellular calcium transients' amplitude in WT mice. In contrast, RASSF1A(-/-) mice showed a blunted contractile response. Mechanistically, RASSF1A was essential in the formation of the TNFR complex (TNFRC), where it functions as an adaptor molecule to facilitate the recruitment of TNFR type 1-associated death domain protein and TNFR-associated factor 2 to form the TNF-alpha receptor complex. In the absence of RASSF1A, signal transmission from the TNF-alpha receptor complex to the downstream effectors, such as cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 and protein kinase A, was attenuated leading to the reduction in the activation of calcium handling molecules, such as L-type Ca(2+) channel and ryanodine receptors. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate an essential role of RASSF1A in regulating TNF-alpha signalling in cardiomyocytes, with RASSF1A being key in the formation of the TNFRC and in signal transmission to the downstream targets. [less ▲]

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See detailThe mammalian Ste20-like kinase 2 (Mst2) modulates stress-induced cardiac hypertrophy.
Zi, Min; Maqsood, Arfa; Prehar, Sukhpal et al

in The Journal of biological chemistry (2014), 289(35), 24275-88

The Hippo signaling pathway has recently moved to center stage in cardiac research because of its key role in cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration of the embryonic and newborn heart. However, its ... [more ▼]

The Hippo signaling pathway has recently moved to center stage in cardiac research because of its key role in cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration of the embryonic and newborn heart. However, its role in the adult heart is incompletely understood. We investigate here the role of mammalian Ste20-like kinase 2 (Mst2), one of the central regulators of this pathway. Mst2(-/-) mice showed no alteration in cardiomyocyte proliferation. However, Mst2(-/-) mice exhibited a significant reduction of hypertrophy and fibrosis in response to pressure overload. Consistently, overexpression of MST2 in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes significantly enhanced phenylephrine-induced cellular hypertrophy. Mechanistically, Mst2 positively modulated the prohypertrophic Raf1-ERK1/2 pathway. However, activation of the downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway (Yes-associated protein) was not affected by Mst2 ablation. An initial genetic study in mitral valve prolapse patients revealed an association between a polymorphism in the human MST2 gene and adverse cardiac remodeling. These results reveal a novel role of Mst2 in stress-dependent cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling in the adult mouse and likely human heart. [less ▲]

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See detailPlasma membrane calcium ATPase isoform 4 inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated angiogenesis through interaction with calcineurin.
Baggott, Rhiannon R.; Alfranca, Arantzazu; Lopez-Maderuelo, Dolores et al

in Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology (2014), 34(10), 2310-20

OBJECTIVE: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been identified as a crucial regulator of physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Among the intracellular signaling pathways triggered by VEGF ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been identified as a crucial regulator of physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Among the intracellular signaling pathways triggered by VEGF, activation of the calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) signaling axis has emerged as a critical mediator of angiogenic processes. We and others previously reported a novel role for the plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) as an endogenous inhibitor of the calcineurin/NFAT pathway, via interaction with calcineurin, in cardiomyocytes and breast cancer cells. However, the functional significance of the PMCA/calcineurin interaction in endothelial pathophysiology has not been addressed thus far. APPROACH AND RESULTS: Using in vitro and in vivo assays, we here demonstrate that the interaction between PMCA4 and calcineurin in VEGF-stimulated endothelial cells leads to downregulation of the calcineurin/NFAT pathway and to a significant reduction in the subsequent expression of the NFAT-dependent, VEGF-activated, proangiogenic genes RCAN1.4 and Cox-2. PMCA4-dependent inhibition of calcineurin signaling translates into a reduction in endothelial cell motility and blood vessel formation that ultimately impairs in vivo angiogenesis by VEGF. CONCLUSIONS: Given the importance of the calcineurin/NFAT pathway in the regulation of pathological angiogenesis, targeted modulation of PMCA4 functionality might open novel therapeutic avenues to promote or attenuate new vessel formation in diseases that occur with angiogenesis. [less ▲]

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See detailA novel immunomodulator, FTY-720 reverses existing cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis from pressure overload by targeting NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T-cells) signaling and periostin.
Liu, Wei; Zi, Min; Tsui, Hoyee et al

in Circulation. Heart failure (2013), 6(4), 833-44

BACKGROUND: Hypertension or aortic stenosis causes pressure overload, which evokes hypertrophic myocardial growth. Sustained cardiac hypertrophy eventually progresses to heart failure. Growing evidence ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Hypertension or aortic stenosis causes pressure overload, which evokes hypertrophic myocardial growth. Sustained cardiac hypertrophy eventually progresses to heart failure. Growing evidence indicates that restraining hypertrophy could be beneficial; here, we discovered that FTY-720, an immunomodulator for treating multiple sclerosis, can reverse existing cardiac hypertrophy/fibrosis. METHODS AND RESULTS: Male C57/Bl6 mice underwent transverse aortic constriction (TAC) for 1 week followed by FTY-720 treatment for 2 weeks under continuing TAC. Compared with vehicle-treated TAC hearts, FTY-720 significantly reduced ventricular mass, ameliorated fibrosis, and improved cardiac performance. Mechanistic studies led us to discover that FTY-720 appreciably inhibited nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) activity. Moreover, we found that in primary cardiomyocytes (rat and human) pertussis toxin (Gi-coupled receptor inhibitor) substantially blocked the antihypertrophic effect of FTY-720. This observation was confirmed in a mouse model of pressure overload. Interestingly, gene array analysis of TAC hearts revealed that FTY-720 profoundly decreased gene expression of a group of matricellular proteins, of which periostin was prominent. Analysis of periostin protein expression in TAC-myocardium, as well as in rat and human cardiac fibroblasts, confirmed the array data. Moreover, we found that FTY-720 treatment or knockdown of periostin protein was able to inhibit transforming growth factor-beta responsiveness and decrease collagen expression. CONCLUSIONS: FTY-720 alleviates existing cardiac hypertrophy/fibrosis through mechanisms involving negative regulation of NFAT activity in cardiomyocytes and reduction of periostin expression allowing for a more homeostatic extracellular compartment milieu. Together, FTY-720 or its analogues could be a promising new approach for treating hypertrophic/fibrotic heart disease. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and characterization of a novel fluorescent indicator protein PMCA4-GCaMP2 in cardiomyocytes.
Mohamed, Tamer M. A.; Abou-Leisa, Riham; Baudoin, Florence et al

in Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology (2013), 63

Isoform 4 of the plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin dependent ATPase (PMCA4) has recently emerged as an important regulator of several key pathophysiological processes in the heart, such as contractility ... [more ▼]

Isoform 4 of the plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin dependent ATPase (PMCA4) has recently emerged as an important regulator of several key pathophysiological processes in the heart, such as contractility and hypertrophy. However, direct monitoring of PMCA4 activity and assessment of calcium dynamics in its vicinity in cardiomyocytes are difficult due to the lack of molecular tools. In this study, we developed novel calcium fluorescent indicators by fusing the GCaMP2 calcium sensor to the N-terminus of PMCA4 to generate the PMCA4-GCaMP2 fusion molecule. We also identified a novel specific inhibitor of PMCA4, which might be useful for studying the role of this molecule in cardiomyocytes and other cell types. Using an adenoviral system we successfully expressed PMCA4-GCaMP2 in both neonatal and adult rat cardiomyocytes. This fusion molecule was correctly targeted to the plasma membrane and co-localised with caveolin-3. It could monitor signal oscillations in electrically stimulated cardiomyocytes. The PMCA4-GCaMP2 generated a higher signal amplitude and faster signal decay rate compared to a mutant inactive PMCA4(mut)GCaMP2 fusion protein, in electrically stimulated neonatal and adult rat cardiomyocytes. A small molecule library screen enabled us to identify a novel selective inhibitor for PMCA4, which we found to reduce signal amplitude of PMCA4-GCaMP2 and prolong the time of signal decay (Tau) to a level comparable with the signal generated by PMCA4(mut)GCaMP2. In addition, PMCA4-GCaMP2 but not the mutant form produced an enhanced signal in response to beta-adrenergic stimulation. Together, the PMCA4-GCaMP2 and PMCA4(mut)GCaMP2 demonstrate calcium dynamics in the vicinity of the pump under active or inactive conditions, respectively. In summary, the PMCA4-GCaMP2 together with the novel specific inhibitor provides new means with which to monitor calcium dynamics in the vicinity of a calcium transporter in cardiomyocytes and may become a useful tool to further study the biological functions of PMCA4. In addition, similar approaches could be useful for studying the activity of other calcium transporters during excitation-contraction coupling in the heart. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimisation and validation of a high throughput screening compatible assay to identify inhibitors of the plasma membrane calcium ATPase pump--a novel therapeutic target for contraception and malaria.
Mohamed, Tamer M. A.; Zakeri, Simon A.; Baudoin, Florence et al

in Journal of pharmacy & pharmaceutical sciences : a publication of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Societe canadienne des sciences pharmaceutiques (2013), 16(2), 217-30

PURPOSE: ATPases, which constitute a major category of ion transporters in the human body, have a variety of significant biological and pathological roles. However, the lack of high throughput assays for ... [more ▼]

PURPOSE: ATPases, which constitute a major category of ion transporters in the human body, have a variety of significant biological and pathological roles. However, the lack of high throughput assays for ATPases has significantly limited drug discovery in this area. We have recently found that the genetic deletion of the ATP dependent calcium pump PMCA4 (plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin dependent ATPase, isoform 4) results in infertility in male mice due to a selective defect in sperm motility. In addition, recent discoveries in humans have indicated that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the PMCA4 gene determines the susceptibility towards malaria plasmodium infection. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop specific PMCA4 inhibitors. In the current study, we aim to optimise and validate a high throughput screening compatible assay using recombinantly expressed PMCA4 and the HTRF(R) Transcreener(R) ADP (TR-FRET) assay to screen a drug library. METHODS AND RESULTS: PMCA4 membrane microsomes were prepared from HEK293 cells overexpressing PMCA4. Western blot quantification revealed nearly nine-fold increased expression of PMCA4 compared to LacZ (control virus)-infected cells. Maximal PMCA4 microsomal activity was achieved in the TR-FRET assay with 15ng/mul microsomal concentration, 30-minute pre-incubation with compounds at 37 degrees C, and calcium buffering with 1mM EGTA providing 1muM free-calcium. Finally a dose-response curve for carboxyeosin (a non-specific PMCA inhibitor) under optimised conditions showed significant PMCA4 inhibition. Upon confirmation that the assay was suitable for high-throughput screening, we have screened the ChemBioNet small molecule library (~21,000 compounds) against the PMCA4 assay to identify those that are its apparent inhibitors. This screening yielded 1,494 primary hits. CONCLUSIONS: We have optimised the HTRF(R) Transcreener(R) ADP assay for high-throughput screening to identify PMCA4 inhibitors. The output of the screening campaign has provided preliminary chemical starting points that could be further developed to specific PMCA4 inhibitors for non-hormonal contraception or anti-malaria therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailDisruption of the interaction between PMCA2 and calcineurin triggers apoptosis and enhances paclitaxel-induced cytotoxicity in breast cancer cells.
Baggott, Rhiannon R.; Mohamed, Tamer M. A.; Oceandy, Delvac et al

in Carcinogenesis (2012), 33(12), 2362-8

Cancer is caused by defects in the signalling mechanisms that govern cell proliferation and apoptosis. It is well known that calcium-dependent signalling pathways play a critical role in cell regulation ... [more ▼]

Cancer is caused by defects in the signalling mechanisms that govern cell proliferation and apoptosis. It is well known that calcium-dependent signalling pathways play a critical role in cell regulation. A tight control of calcium homeostasis by transporters and channel proteins is required to assure a proper functioning of the calcium-sensitive signal transduction pathways that regulate cell growth and apoptosis. The plasma membrane calcium ATPase 2 (PMCA2) has been recently identified as a negative regulator of apoptosis that can play a significant role in cancer progression by conferring cells resistance to apoptosis. We have previously reported an inhibitory interaction between PMCA2 and the calcium-activated signalling molecule calcineurin in breast cancer cells. Here, we demonstrate that disruption of the PMCA2/calcineurin interaction in a variety of human breast cancer cells results in activation of the calcineurin/NFAT pathway, upregulation in the expression of the pro-apoptotic protein Fas Ligand and in a concomitant loss of cell viability. Reduction in cell viability is the consequence of an increase in cell apoptosis. Impairment of the PMCA2/calcineurin interaction enhances paclitaxel-mediated cytotoxicity of breast tumoral cells. Our results suggest that therapeutic modulation of the PMCA2/calcineurin interaction might have important clinical applications to improve current treatments for breast cancer patients. [less ▲]

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See detailCalcium signaling dysfunction in heart disease.
Cartwright, Elizabeth J.; Mohamed, Tamer; Oceandy, Delvac et al

in BioFactors (Oxford, England) (2011), 37(3), 175-81

In the heart, Ca(2+) is crucial for the regulation of contraction and intracellular signaling, processes, which are vital to the functioning of the healthy heart. Ca(2+) -activated signaling pathways must ... [more ▼]

In the heart, Ca(2+) is crucial for the regulation of contraction and intracellular signaling, processes, which are vital to the functioning of the healthy heart. Ca(2+) -activated signaling pathways must function against a background of large, rapid, and tightly regulated changes in intracellular free Ca(2+) concentrations during each contraction and relaxation cycle. This review highlights a number of proteins that regulate signaling Ca(2+) in both normal and pathological conditions including cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, and discusses how these pathways are not regulated by the marked elevation in free intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+) ](i)) during contraction but require smaller sustained increases in Ca(2+) concentration. In addition, we present published evidence that the pool of Ca(2+) that regulates signaling is compartmentalized into distinct cellular microdomains and is thus distinct from that regulating contraction. [less ▲]

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See detailPak1 as a novel therapeutic target for antihypertrophic treatment in the heart.
Liu, Wei; Zi, Min; Naumann, Ronald et al

in Circulation (2011), 124(24), 2702-15

BACKGROUND: Stress-induced hypertrophic remodeling is a critical pathogenetic process leading to heart failure. Although many signal transduction cascades are demonstrated as important regulators to ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Stress-induced hypertrophic remodeling is a critical pathogenetic process leading to heart failure. Although many signal transduction cascades are demonstrated as important regulators to facilitate the induction of cardiac hypertrophy, the signaling pathways for suppressing hypertrophic remodeling remain largely unexplored. In this study, we identified p21-activated kinase 1 (Pak1) as a novel signaling regulator that antagonizes cardiac hypertrophy. METHODS AND RESULTS: Hypertrophic stress applied to primary neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs) or murine hearts caused the activation of Pak1. Analysis of NRCMs expressing constitutively active Pak1 or in which Pak1 was silenced disclosed that Pak1 played an antihypertrophic role. To investigate the in vivo role of Pak1 in the heart, we generated mice with a cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of Pak1 (Pak1(cko)). When subjected to 2 weeks of pressure overload, Pak1(cko) mice developed greater cardiac hypertrophy with attendant blunting of JNK activation compared with controls, and these knockout mice underwent the transition into heart failure when prolonged stress was applied. Chronic angiotensin II infusion also caused increased cardiac hypertrophy in Pak1(cko) mice. Moreover, we discovered that the Pak1 activator FTY720, a sphingosine-like analog, was able to prevent pressure overload-induced hypertrophy in wild-type mice without compromising their cardiac functions. Meanwhile, FTY720 failed to exert such an effect on Pak1(cko) mice, suggesting that the antihypertrophic effect of FTY720 likely acts through Pak1 activation. CONCLUSIONS: These results, for the first time, establish Pak1 as a novel antihypertrophic regulator and suggest that it may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. [less ▲]

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See detailPlasma membrane calcium pump (PMCA4)-neuronal nitric-oxide synthase complex regulates cardiac contractility through modulation of a compartmentalized cyclic nucleotide microdomain.
Mohamed, Tamer M. A.; Oceandy, Delvac; Zi, Min et al

in The Journal of biological chemistry (2011), 286(48), 41520-9

Identification of the signaling pathways that regulate cyclic nucleotide microdomains is essential to our understanding of cardiac physiology and pathophysiology. Although there is growing evidence that ... [more ▼]

Identification of the signaling pathways that regulate cyclic nucleotide microdomains is essential to our understanding of cardiac physiology and pathophysiology. Although there is growing evidence that the plasma membrane Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent ATPase 4 (PMCA4) is a regulator of neuronal nitric-oxide synthase, the physiological consequence of this regulation is unclear. We therefore tested the hypothesis that PMCA4 has a key structural role in tethering neuronal nitric-oxide synthase to a highly compartmentalized domain in the cardiac cell membrane. This structural role has functional consequences on cAMP and cGMP signaling in a PMCA4-governed microdomain, which ultimately regulates cardiac contractility. In vivo contractility and calcium amplitude were increased in PMCA4 knock-out animals (PMCA4(-/-)) with no change in diastolic relaxation or the rate of calcium decay, showing that PMCA4 has a function distinct from beat-to-beat calcium transport. Surprisingly, in PMCA4(-/-), over 36% of membrane-associated neuronal nitric-oxide synthase (nNOS) protein and activity was delocalized to the cytosol with no change in total nNOS protein, resulting in a significant decrease in microdomain cGMP, which in turn led to a significant elevation in local cAMP levels through a decrease in PDE2 activity (measured by FRET-based sensors). This resulted in increased L-type calcium channel activity and ryanodine receptor phosphorylation and hence increased contractility. In the heart, in addition to subsarcolemmal calcium transport, PMCA4 acts as a structural molecule that maintains the spatial and functional integrity of the nNOS signaling complex in a defined microdomain. This has profound consequences for the regulation of local cyclic nucleotide and hence cardiac beta-adrenergic signaling. [less ▲]

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See detailDeprivation of MKK7 in cardiomyocytes provokes heart failure in mice when exposed to pressure overload.
Liu, Wei; Zi, Min; Chi, Hongbo et al

in Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology (2011), 50(4), 702-11

There is little doubt that members of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) families play key roles in the transition from adaptive hypertrophic remodeling to heart failure. Mitogen-activated protein ... [more ▼]

There is little doubt that members of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) families play key roles in the transition from adaptive hypertrophic remodeling to heart failure. Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 7 (MKK7) is a critical component of stress-activated MAP kinase signaling pathway. The role of MKK7 plays in mediating cardiac remodeling in response to load stress has yet to be defined. Herein, we investigate the role of MKK7 in regulating cardiac remodeling in response to pressure overload. We generated and examined the phenotype of mice with cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of the mkk7 gene (MKK7(cko)). Following one week of pressure overload, MKK7(cko) mice exhibited characteristic phenotypes of heart failure evidenced by deterioration in ventricular function and pulmonary congestion. Cell death assays revealed an increased prevalence of cardiomyocyte apoptosis in the MKK7(cko) heart, in which elevated p53 levels and attenuated expression of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) were found. Moreover, extensive interstitial fibrosis was discovered in the knockout heart likely attributable to upregulation of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) signaling. These results reveal an essential role of MKK7 in cardiomyocytes for protecting the heart from hypertrophic insults thereby preventing the transition to heart failure. [less ▲]

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See detailCa2+ signalling in cardiovascular disease: the role of the plasma membrane calcium pumps.
Cartwright, Elizabeth J.; Oceandy, Delvac; Austin, Clare et al

in Science China Life Sciences (2011), 54(8), 691-8

The plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCA) are a family of genes which extrude Ca(2+) from the cell and are involved in the maintenance of intracellular free calcium levels and/or with Ca(2+) signalling ... [more ▼]

The plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCA) are a family of genes which extrude Ca(2+) from the cell and are involved in the maintenance of intracellular free calcium levels and/or with Ca(2+) signalling, depending on the cell type. In the cardiovascular system, Ca(2+) is not only essential for contraction and relaxation but also has a vital role as a second messenger in signal transduction pathways. A complex array of mechanisms regulate intracellular free calcium levels in the heart and vasculature and a failure in these systems to maintain normal Ca(2+) homeostasis has been linked to both heart failure and hypertension. This article focuses on the functions of PMCA, in particular isoform 4 (PMCA4), in the heart and vasculature and the reported links between PMCAs and contractile function, cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac rhythm and sudden cardiac death, and blood pressure control and hypertension. It is becoming clear that this family of calcium extrusion pumps have essential roles in both cardiovascular health and disease. [less ▲]

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See detailLocal signals with global impacts and clinical implications: lessons from the plasma membrane calcium pump (PMCA4).
Oceandy, Delvac; Mohamed, Tamer M. A.; Cartwright, Elizabeth J. et al

in Biochimica et biophysica acta (2011), 1813(5), 974-8

Calcium has been unequivocally regarded as a key signal messenger in almost every cell type. Calcium regulates a number of important cellular functions including cell growth, myofilament contraction, cell ... [more ▼]

Calcium has been unequivocally regarded as a key signal messenger in almost every cell type. Calcium regulates a number of important cellular functions including cell growth, myofilament contraction, cell survival and apoptosis as well as gene transcription. A complex regulatory mechanism of cellular calcium is needed to fine tune the precise calcium concentration in each subcellular location and also to transmit the signals carried by the calcium pool to the correct end target. In this article we will review the recently emerging role of the plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin dependent ATPase isoform 4 (PMCA4) in regulating calcium signalling. We will then focus on the function of this molecule in cardiomyocytes, in which PMCA4 forms protein-protein interactions with several key signalling molecules. Recent evidence has shown in vivo physiological functionalities and possible clinical implications of the PMCA4 signalling complex. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 11th European Symposium on Calcium. [less ▲]

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See detailMitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 deficiency in cardiomyocytes causes connexin 43 reduction and couples hypertrophic signals to ventricular arrhythmogenesis.
Zi, Min; Kimura, Tomomi E.; Liu, Wei et al

in The Journal of biological chemistry (2011), 286(20), 17821-30

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See detailTargeted deletion of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 5 attenuates hypertrophic response and promotes pressure overload-induced apoptosis in the heart.
Kimura, Tomomi E.; Jin, Jiawei; Zi, Min et al

in Circulation Research (2010), 106(5), 961-70

RATIONALE: Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways provide a critical connection between extrinsic and intrinsic signals to cardiac hypertrophy. Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK ... [more ▼]

RATIONALE: Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways provide a critical connection between extrinsic and intrinsic signals to cardiac hypertrophy. Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK)5, an atypical MAPK is activated in the heart by pressure overload. However, the role of ERK5 plays in regulating hypertrophic growth and hypertrophy-induced apoptosis is not completely understood. OBJECTIVE: Herein, we investigate the in vivo role and signaling mechanism whereby ERK5 regulates cardiac hypertrophy and hypertrophy-induced apoptosis. METHODS AND RESULTS: We generated and examined the phenotypes of mice with cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of the erk5 gene (ERK5(cko)). In response to hypertrophic stress, ERK5(cko) mice developed less hypertrophic growth and fibrosis than controls. However, increased apoptosis together with upregulated expression levels of p53 and Bad were observed in the mutant hearts. Consistently, we found that silencing ERK5 expression or specific inhibition of its kinase activity using BIX02189 in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs) reduced myocyte enhancer factor (MEF)2 transcriptional activity and blunted hypertrophic responses. Furthermore, the inhibition of MEF2 activity in NRCMs using a non-DNA binding mutant form of MEF2 was found to attenuate the ERK5-regulated hypertrophic response. CONCLUSIONS: These results reveal an important function of ERK5 in cardiac hypertrophic remodeling and cardiomyocyte survival. The role of ERK5 in hypertrophic remodeling is likely to be mediated via the regulation of MEF2 activity. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin-dependent ATPase isoform 4 as a potential target for fertility control.
Cartwright, Elizabeth J.; Neyses, Ludwig UL

in Handbook of experimental pharmacology (2010), (198), 79-95

The array of contraceptives currently available is clearly inadequate and does not meet consumer demands since it is estimated that up to a quarter of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended. There is ... [more ▼]

The array of contraceptives currently available is clearly inadequate and does not meet consumer demands since it is estimated that up to a quarter of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended. There is, therefore, an overwhelming global need to develop new effective, safe, ideally non-hormonal contraceptives for both male and female use. The contraceptive field, unlike other areas such as cancer, has a dearth of new targets. We have addressed this issue and propose that isoform 4 of the plasma membrane calcium ATPase is a potentially exciting novel target for fertility control. The plasma membrane calcium ATPase is a ubiquitously expressed calcium pump whose primary function in the majority of cells is to extrude calcium to the extracellular milieu. Two isoforms of this gene family, PMCA1 and PMCA4, are expressed in spermatozoa, with PMCA4 being the predominant isoform. Although this gene is ubiquitously expressed, its function is highly tissue-specific. Genetic deletion of PMCA4, in PMCA4 knockout mice, led to 100% infertility specifically in the male mutant mice due to a selective defect in sperm motility. It is important to note that the gene deletion did not affect normal mating characteristics in these mice. This phenotype was mimicked in wild-type sperm treated with the non-specific PMCA inhibitor 5-(and 6-) carboxyeosin diacetate succinimidyl ester; a proof-of-principle that inhibition of PMCA4 has potential importance in the control of fertility. This review outlines the potential for PMCA4 to be a novel target for fertility control by acting to inhibit sperm motility. It will outline the characteristics that make this target drugable and will describe methodologies to identify and validate novel inhibitors of this target. [less ▲]

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