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See detailAging reduces the efficacy of estrogen substitution to attenuate cardiac hypertrophy in female spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Jazbutyte, Virginija; Hu, Kai; Kruchten, Patricia et al

in Hypertension (2006), 48(4), 579-86

Clinical trials failed to show a beneficial effect of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, whereas experimental studies in young animals reported a protective function of estrogen replacement in ... [more ▼]

Clinical trials failed to show a beneficial effect of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, whereas experimental studies in young animals reported a protective function of estrogen replacement in cardiovascular disease. Because these diverging results could in part be explained by aging effects, we compared the efficacy of estrogen substitution to modulate cardiac hypertrophy and cardiac gene expression among young (age 3 months) and senescent (age 24 months) spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), which were sham operated or ovariectomized and injected with placebo or identical doses of 17beta-estradiol (E2; 2 microg/kg body weight per day) for 6 weeks (n=10/group). Blood pressure was comparable among sham-operated senescent and young SHRs and not altered by ovariectomy or E2 treatment among young or among senescent rats. Estrogen substitution inhibited uterus atrophy and gain of body weight in young and senescent ovariectomized SHRs, but cardiac hypertrophy was attenuated only in young rats. Cardiac estrogen receptor-alpha expression was lower in intact and in ovariectomized senescent compared with young SHRs and increased with estradiol substitution in aged rats. Plasma estradiol and estrone levels were lower not only in sham-operated but surprisingly also in E2-substituted senescent SHRs and associated with a reduction of hepatic 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 enzyme activity, which converts weak (ie, estrone) into potent estrogens, such as E2. Aging attenuates the antihypertrophic effect of estradiol in female SHRs and is associated with profound alterations in cardiac estrogen receptor-alpha expression and estradiol metabolism. These observations contribute to explain the lower efficiency of estrogen substitution in senescent SHRs. [less ▲]

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See detailCurrent thinking regarding the use of diuretics in heart failure.
Gupta, Sanjay; Neyses, Ludwig UL

in Heart failure monitor (2006), 5(2), 50-3

The majority of therapies used in the contemporary management of chronic heart failure (CHF) have been rigorously evaluated by means of large-scale clinical trials to assess their beneficial effects on ... [more ▼]

The majority of therapies used in the contemporary management of chronic heart failure (CHF) have been rigorously evaluated by means of large-scale clinical trials to assess their beneficial effects on quality of life and prognosis. Such therapies include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta-blockers, and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Diuretics are the most commonly prescribed class of drugs in CHF patients and in the short term they remain the most efficacious treatment for relief from fluid congestion. There is, however, scant evidence to suggest that they confer any long term benefit in terms of disease progression or prognosis to the CHF sufferer. Injudicious use of diuretics has been demonstrated to be potentially harmful and consideration should be paid to avoiding dietary salt indiscretion as well as the pharmacokinetic properties of individual diuretics to achieve optimal diuretic response. In this article, we explore the current insight into the use of diuretics in CHF. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimization of gene transfer into neonatal rat cardiomyocytes and unmasking of cytomegalovirus promoter silencing.
Bauer, Sebastian; Maier, Sebastian K. G.; Neyses, Ludwig UL et al

in DNA and cell biology (2005), 24(6), 381-7

Cardiomyocytes are notoriously difficult to transfect using standard techniques unless viral vectors such as recombinant adenoviruses are used. Generation of recombinant adenoviruses is, however, a ... [more ▼]

Cardiomyocytes are notoriously difficult to transfect using standard techniques unless viral vectors such as recombinant adenoviruses are used. Generation of recombinant adenoviruses is, however, a complex and time-consuming procedure and not possible for every DNA construct. We therefore optimized DNA/polylysine/adenovirus complexing for efficient gene transfer in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes determining the critical parameters for this method. Importantly, not only the concentration of the various components but also the method used for plasmid purification is critical for this transfection technique. Cesium-chloride-purified DNA is inferior to anion-exchange methods for this purpose possibly because of altered ionic properties. In the second part of this study, we could demonstrate silent gene transfer into cardiomyocytes applying this optimized technique to plasmids encoding luciferase or beta-galactosidase cDNAs under the control of the cytomegalovirus immediate-early promoter. Phorbol myristate acetate and/or forskolin increased the amount of beta-galactosidase positive cells up to fivefold. Luciferase activity could even be increased as much as ninefold. These results demonstrate that the cytomegalovirus promoter is not maximally active in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes under basal conditions. In fact, a large proportion of cells is silently transfected and seems to express (an) inhibitor(s) of transcription from the CMV promoter that can be overcome by stimulation of cAMP- or protein kinase C-dependent pathways. [less ▲]

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See detailDiuretic usage in heart failure: a continuing conundrum in 2005.
Gupta, S.; Neyses, Ludwig UL

in European heart journal (2005), 26(7), 644-9

Several large well-designed clinical trials have shown that the use of diuretics is beneficial in patients with hypertension. However, similarly robust data regarding their role in chronic heart failure ... [more ▼]

Several large well-designed clinical trials have shown that the use of diuretics is beneficial in patients with hypertension. However, similarly robust data regarding their role in chronic heart failure are lacking. Historically, diuretics were developed for treatment of sodium and water retention in oedematous disorders and clinically, they remain the most potent drugs available to relieve symptoms and eliminate oedema in the congested patient with heart failure. In the non-congested patient, however, diuretics continue to be used on a purely clinical basis without sufficient characterization of benefits, adverse effects, and potential influence on mortality. There are also concerns that chronic diuretic usage can cause adverse vascular effects, unfavourable neuroendocrine activation, electrolyte imbalances, and life-threatening arrhythmias. In this article, we review the limited evidence available regarding the benefits and perils of using diuretics in heart failure. [less ▲]

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See detailIncreased mortality and aggravation of heart failure in estrogen receptor-beta knockout mice after myocardial infarction.
Pelzer, Theo; Loza, Paula-Anahi Arias; Hu, Kai et al

in Circulation (2005), 111(12), 1492-8

BACKGROUND: Lower mortality rates among women with chronic heart failure than among men may depend in part on the action of female sex hormones, especially estrogens. The biological effects of estrogens ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Lower mortality rates among women with chronic heart failure than among men may depend in part on the action of female sex hormones, especially estrogens. The biological effects of estrogens are mediated by 2 distinct estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes (ERalpha and ERbeta). The present study was undertaken to determine the role of ERbeta in the development of chronic heart failure after experimental myocardial infarction (MI). METHODS AND RESULTS: Female ERbeta null mice (BERKO(Chapel Hill)) and wild-type littermates (WT) were ovariectomized, given 17beta-estradiol, and subjected to chronic anterior MI (MI; BERKO n=31, WT n=30) or sham operation (sham; BERKO n=14, WT n=14). At 8 weeks after MI, both genotypes revealed left ventricular remodeling and impaired contractile function at similar average infarct size (BERKO-MI 32.9+/-5% versus WT-MI 33.0+/-4%); however, BERKO mice showed increased mortality (BERKO-MI 42% versus WT-MI 23%), increased body weight and fluid retention (P<0.01), higher ventricular pro-ANP expression (BERKO-MI 27.9-fold versus sham, WT-MI 5.2-fold versus sham; BERKO-MI versus WT-MI P<0.001), higher atrial natriuretic peptide serum levels, and increased phospholamban expression (P<0.05) compared with WT mice. CONCLUSIONS: Systemic deletion of ERbeta in female mice increases mortality, aggravates clinical and biochemical markers of heart failure, and contributes to impaired expression of Ca(2+)-handling proteins in chronic heart failure after MI. Further studies are required to delineate the relative importance of cardiac and vascular effects of ERbeta and the role of ERalpha in the development of heart failure. [less ▲]

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See detailPioglitazone reverses down-regulation of cardiac PPARgamma expression in Zucker diabetic fatty rats.
Pelzer, Theo; Jazbutyte, Virginija; Arias-Loza, Paula Anahi et al

in Biochemical and biophysical research communications (2005), 329(2), 726-32

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) plays a critical role in peripheral glucose homeostasis and energy metabolism, and inhibits cardiac hypertrophy in non-diabetic animal models ... [more ▼]

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) plays a critical role in peripheral glucose homeostasis and energy metabolism, and inhibits cardiac hypertrophy in non-diabetic animal models. The functional role of PPARgamma in the diabetic heart, however, is not fully understood. Therefore, we analyzed cardiac gene expression, metabolic control, and cardiac glucose uptake in male Zucker diabetic fatty rats (ZDF fa/fa) and lean ZDF rats (+/+) treated with the high affinity PPARgamma agonist pioglitazone or placebo from 12 to 24 weeks of age. Hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hypertriglyceridemia as well as lower cardiac PPARgamma, glucose transporter-4 and alpha-myosin heavy chain expression levels were detected in diabetic ZDF rats compared to lean animals. Pioglitazone increased body weight and improved metabolic control, cardiac PPARgamma, glut-4, and alpha-MHC expression levels in diabetic ZDF rats. Cardiac [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose uptake was not detectable by micro-PET studies in untreated and pioglitazone treated ZDF fa/fa rats but was observed after administration of insulin to pioglitazone treated ZDF fa/fa rats. PPARgamma agonists favorably affect cardiac gene expression in type-2 diabetic rats via activation and up-regulation of cardiac PPARgamma expression whereas improvement of impaired cardiac glucose uptake in advanced type-2 diabetes requires co-administration of insulin. [less ▲]

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See detailThe sarcolemmal calcium pump inhibits the calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cell pathway via interaction with the calcineurin A catalytic subunit.
Buch, Mamta H.; Pickard, Adam; Rodriguez, Antonio et al

in The Journal of biological chemistry (2005), 280(33), 29479-87

The calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cell (NFAT) pathway represents a crucial transducer of cellular function. There is increasing evidence placing the sarcolemmal calcium pump, or plasma ... [more ▼]

The calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cell (NFAT) pathway represents a crucial transducer of cellular function. There is increasing evidence placing the sarcolemmal calcium pump, or plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin ATPase pump (PMCA), as a potential modulator of signal transduction pathways. We demonstrate a novel interaction between PMCA and the calcium/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, calcineurin, in mammalian cells. The interaction domains were located to the catalytic domain of PMCA4b and the catalytic domain of the calcineurin A subunit. Endogenous calcineurin activity, assessed by measuring the transcriptional activity of its best characterized substrate, NFAT, was significantly inhibited by 60% in the presence of ectopic PMCA4b. This inhibition was notably reversed by the co-expression of the PMCA4b interaction domain, demonstrating the functional significance of this interaction. PMCA4b was, however, unable to confer its inhibitory effect in the presence of a calcium/calmodulin-independent constitutively active mutant calcineurin A suggesting a calcium/calmodulin-dependent mechanism. The modulatory function of PMCA4b is further supported by the observation that endogenous calcineurin moves from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane when PMCA4b is overexpressed. We suggest recruitment by PMCA4b of calcineurin to a low calcium environment as a possible explanation for these findings. In summary, our results offer strong evidence for a novel functional interaction between PMCA and calcineurin, suggesting a role for PMCA as a negative modulator of calcineurin-mediated signaling pathways in mammalian cells. This study reinforces the emerging role of PMCA as a molecular organizer and regulator of signaling transduction pathways. [less ▲]

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See detailTargeted proteolysis sustains calcineurin activation.
Burkard, Natalie; Becher, Jan; Heindl, Cornelia et al

in Circulation (2005), 111(8), 1045-53

BACKGROUND: Calcineurin (CnA) is important in the regulation of myocardial hypertrophy. We demonstrated that targeted proteolysis of the CnA autoinhibitory domain under pathological myocardial workload ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Calcineurin (CnA) is important in the regulation of myocardial hypertrophy. We demonstrated that targeted proteolysis of the CnA autoinhibitory domain under pathological myocardial workload leads to increased CnA activity in human myocardium. Here, we investigated the proteolytic mechanism leading to activation of CnA. METHODS AND RESULTS: In patients with diseased myocardium, we found strong nuclear translocation of CnA. In contrast, in normal human myocardium, there was a cytosolic distribution of CnA. Stimulation of rat cardiomyocytes with angiotensin (Ang) II increased calpain activity significantly (433+/-11%; P<0.01; n=6) and caused proteolysis of the autoinhibitory domain of CnA. Inhibition of calpain by a membrane-permeable calpain inhibitor prevented proteolysis. We identified the cleavage site of calpain in the human CnA sequence at amino acid 424. CnA activity was increased after Ang II stimulation (310+/-29%; P<0.01; n=6) and remained high after removal of Ang II (214+/-17%; P<0.01; n=6). Addition of a calpain inhibitor to the medium decreased CnA activity (110+/-19%; P=NS; n=6) after removal of Ang II. Ang II stimulation of cardiomyocytes also translocated CnA into the nucleus as demonstrated by immunohistochemical staining and transfection assays with GFP-tagged CnA. Calpain inhibition and therefore suppression of calpain-mediated proteolysis of CnA enabled CnA exit from the nucleus. CONCLUSIONS: Ang II stimulation of cardiomyocytes increased calpain activity, leading to proteolysis of the autoinhibitory domain of CnA. This causes an increase in CnA activity and results in nuclear translocation of CnA. Loss of the autoinhibitory domain renders CnA constitutively nuclear and active, even after removal of the hypertrophic stimulus. [less ▲]

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See detailThe estrogen receptor-alpha agonist 16alpha-LE2 inhibits cardiac hypertrophy and improves hemodynamic function in estrogen-deficient spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Pelzer, Theo; Jazbutyte, Virginija; Hu, Kai et al

in Cardiovascular research (2005), 67(4), 604-12

OBJECTIVE: Cardiac mass increases with age and with declining estradiol serum levels in postmenopausal women. Although the non-selective estrogen receptor-alpha and -beta agonist 17beta-estradiol ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Cardiac mass increases with age and with declining estradiol serum levels in postmenopausal women. Although the non-selective estrogen receptor-alpha and -beta agonist 17beta-estradiol attenuates cardiac hypertrophy in animal models and in observational studies, it remains unknown whether activation of a specific estrogen receptor subtype (ERalpha or ERbeta) might give similar or divergent results. Therefore, we analyzed myocardial hypertrophy as well as cardiac function and gene expression in ovariectomized, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) treated with the subtype-selective ERalpha agonist 16alpha-LE2 or 17beta-estradiol. METHODS AND RESULTS: Long-term administration of 16alpha-LE2 or 17beta-estradiol did not affect elevated blood pressure, but both agonists efficiently attenuated cardiac hypertrophy and increased cardiac output, left ventricular stroke volume, papillary muscle strip contractility, and cardiac alpha-myosin heavy chain expression. The observed effects of E2 and 16alpha-LE2 were abrogated by the ER antagonist ZM-182780. Improved left ventricular function upon 16alpha-LE2 treatment was also observed in cardiac MRI studies. In contrast to estradiol and 16alpha-LE2, tamoxifen inhibited cardiac hypertrophy but failed to increase alpha-myosin heavy chain expression and cardiac output. CONCLUSIONS: These results support the hypothesis that activation of ERalpha favorably affects cardiac hypertrophy, myocardial contractility, and gene expression in ovariectomized SHR. Further studies are required to determine whether activation ERbeta mediates redundant or divergent effects. [less ▲]

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See detailCalcium transport in cardiovascular health and disease--the sarcolemmal calcium pump enters the stage.
Cartwright, Elizabeth J.; Schuh, Kai; Neyses, Ludwig UL

in Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology (2005), 39(3), 403-6

Calcium is known to be one of the most important ionic regulators of the heart, where it has a crucial role in contraction-relaxation. Within a single beat of the cardiomyocyte there is a 100-fold ... [more ▼]

Calcium is known to be one of the most important ionic regulators of the heart, where it has a crucial role in contraction-relaxation. Within a single beat of the cardiomyocyte there is a 100-fold increase in the cytosolic free Ca(2+) level, this must be returned to its original concentration in order to maintain the normal physiological function of the cell. Two of the mechanisms involved in returning the Ca(2+) concentration back to resting levels are located at the sarcolemma; the sodium/calcium exchanger (NCX) and the sarcolemmal calcium pump. Compared to the NCX the sarcolemmal calcium pump extrudes significantly less calcium from the cardiomyocyte and has long been thought to be involved in the maintenance of low diastolic calcium levels. This review will outline recent evidence suggesting that the sarcolemmal calcium pump may in fact play a key role in signal transduction in the cardiovascular system. [less ▲]

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See detailPlasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase 4 is required for sperm motility and male fertility.
Schuh, Kai; Cartwright, Elizabeth J.; Jankevics, Eriks et al

in The Journal of biological chemistry (2004), 279(27), 28220-6

Calcium and Ca(2+)-dependent signals play a crucial role in sperm motility and mammalian fertilization, but the molecules and mechanisms underlying these Ca(2+)-dependent pathways are incompletely ... [more ▼]

Calcium and Ca(2+)-dependent signals play a crucial role in sperm motility and mammalian fertilization, but the molecules and mechanisms underlying these Ca(2+)-dependent pathways are incompletely understood. Here we show that homozygous male mice with a targeted gene deletion of isoform 4 of the plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin-dependent calcium ATPase (PMCA), which is highly enriched in the sperm tail, are infertile due to severely impaired sperm motility. Furthermore, the PMCA inhibitor 5-(and-6)-carboxyeosin diacetate succinimidyl ester reduced sperm motility in wild-type animals, thus mimicking the effects of PMCA4 deficiency on sperm motility and supporting the hypothesis of a pivotal role of the PMCA4 on the regulation of sperm function and intracellular Ca(2+) levels. [less ▲]

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See detailNovel functional interaction between the plasma membrane Ca2+ pump 4b and the proapoptotic tumor suppressor Ras-associated factor 1 (RASSF1).
Armesilla, Angel L.; Williams, Judith C.; Buch, Mamta H. et al

in The Journal of biological chemistry (2004), 279(30), 31318-28

Plasma membrane calmodulin-dependent calcium ATPases (PMCAs) are enzymatic systems implicated in the extrusion of calcium from the cell. We and others have previously identified molecular interactions ... [more ▼]

Plasma membrane calmodulin-dependent calcium ATPases (PMCAs) are enzymatic systems implicated in the extrusion of calcium from the cell. We and others have previously identified molecular interactions between the cytoplasmic COOH-terminal end of PMCA and PDZ domain-containing proteins. These interactions suggested a new role for PMCA as a modulator of signal transduction pathways. The existence of other intracellular regions in the PMCA molecule prompted us to investigate the possible participation of other domains in interactions with different partner proteins. A two-hybrid screen of a human fetal heart cDNA library, using the region 652-840 of human PMCA4b (located in the catalytic, second intracellular loop) as bait, revealed a novel interaction between PMCA4b and the tumor suppressor RASSF1, a Ras effector protein involved in H-Ras-mediated apoptosis. Immunofluorescence co-localization, immunoprecipitation, and glutathione S-transferase pull-down experiments performed in mammalian cells provided further confirmation of the physical interaction between the two proteins. The interaction domain has been narrowed down to region 74-123 of RASSF1C (144-193 in RASSF1A) and 652-748 of human PMCA4b. The functionality of this interaction was demonstrated by the inhibition of the epidermal growth factor-dependent activation of the Erk pathway when PMCA4b and RASSF1 were co-expressed. This inhibition was abolished by blocking PMCA/RASSSF1 association with an excess of a green fluorescent protein fusion protein containing the region 50-123 of RASSF1C. This work describes a novel protein-protein interaction involving a domain of PMCA other than the COOH terminus. It suggests a function for PMCA4b as an organizer of macromolecular protein complexes, where PMCA4b could recruit diverse proteins through interaction with different domains. Furthermore, the functional association with RASSF1 indicates a role for PMCA4b in the modulation of Ras-mediated signaling. [less ▲]

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See detailAT2 receptor activation regulates myocardial eNOS expression via the calcineurin-NF-AT pathway.
Ritter, Oliver; Schuh, Kai; Brede, Marc et al

in FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (2003), 17(2), 283-5

The role of AT2-receptors has recently been subject of considerable debate. We investigated the influence of AT2-stimulation/inhibition on myocardial endothelial NO-synthase (eNOS, NOS-III) promoter ... [more ▼]

The role of AT2-receptors has recently been subject of considerable debate. We investigated the influence of AT2-stimulation/inhibition on myocardial endothelial NO-synthase (eNOS, NOS-III) promoter activity and eNOS protein expression. Stimulation of rat cardiomyocytes with angiotensin II (AngII) increased eNOS protein expression 3.3-fold. This was blocked by Cyclosporin A (CsA). Inhibition of the AT1-receptor did not reduce AngII-mediated eNOS protein expression, whereas AT2 stimulation increased it 2.4-fold and AT2 inhibition suppressed it. The modulatory effects of the AT2-receptor on eNOS expression was confirmed in mice with a genetic deletion of the AT2-receptor (AT2-KO). In gel shift assays two putative NF-AT sites in a 1.6 kb eNOS promoter fragment showed NF-AT binding and a supershift by NF-AT2(-c1)-specific antibodies. Stimulation of transfected cells with AngII or specific AT2-receptor agonists resulted in a significant increase in eNOS promoter activity, which was blocked by CsA, MCIP1, and mutation of an upstream NF-AT site. CONCLUSION: 1) AngII-stimulation of the myocardium, both in vivo and in vitro, is accompanied by increased expression of eNOS. 2) This effect is mediated by the calcineurin pathway and is induced by the AT2-receptor. 3) These results define a calcineurin/NF-AT/eNOS pathway as downstream effector of AT2-receptor activation in the myocardium. [less ▲]

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See detailRegulation of vascular tone in animals overexpressing the sarcolemmal calcium pump.
Schuh, Kai; Quaschning, Thomas; Knauer, Sebastian et al

in The Journal of biological chemistry (2003), 278(42), 41246-52

The mechanisms governing vascular smooth muscle tone are incompletely understood. In particular, the role of the sarcolemmal calcium pump PMCA (plasma membrane calmodulin-dependent calcium ATPase), which ... [more ▼]

The mechanisms governing vascular smooth muscle tone are incompletely understood. In particular, the role of the sarcolemmal calcium pump PMCA (plasma membrane calmodulin-dependent calcium ATPase), which extrudes Ca2+ from the cytosol, and its importance compared with the sodium/calcium exchanger remain speculative. To test whether the PMCA is a regulator of vascular tone, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing the human PMCA4b under control of the arterial smooth muscle-specific SM22alpha promoter. This resulted in an elevated systolic blood pressure compared with littermate controls. In PMCA-overexpressing mice, endothelium-dependent relaxation of norepinephrine-preconstricted aortic rings to acetylcholine did not differ from wild type controls (76 +/- 8% versus 79 +/- 8% of maximum relaxation; n = 12, n.s.). De-endothelialized aortas of transgenic mice exhibited stronger maximum contraction to KCl (100 mmol/liter) compared with controls (86 +/- 6% versus 68 +/- 7% of reference KCl contraction at the beginning of the experiment; p <0.05). Preincubation of de-endothelialized vessels with the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor l-NAME (l-N(G)-nitroarginine methyl ester) (10-5 mol/liter) resulted in a stronger contraction to KCl (p <0.05 versus without l-NAME), thus unmasking vasodilatory effects of inherent NO production. Maximum contraction to KCl after preincubation with l-NAME did not differ between PMCA mice and controls. In analogy to the results in PMCA-overexpressing mice, contractions of de-endothelialized aortas of neuronal NOS-deficient mice to KCl were significantly increased compared with controls (151 +/- 5% versus 131 +/- 6% of reference KCl contraction; p <0.05). In conclusion, our data suggest a model in which the sarcolemmal Ca2+ pump down-regulates activity of the vascular smooth muscle Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent neuronal NOS by a functionally relevant interaction. Therefore, the PMCA represents a novel regulator of vascular tone. [less ▲]

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See detailInteraction of the plasma membrane Ca2+ pump 4b/CI with the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent membrane-associated kinase CASK.
Schuh, Kai; Uldrijan, Stjepan; Gambaryan, Stepan et al

in The Journal of biological chemistry (2003), 278(11), 9778-83

Spatial and temporal regulation of intracellular Ca(2+) is a key event in many signaling pathways. Plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPases (PMCAs) are major regulators of Ca(2+) homeostasis and bind to PDZ (PSD-95 ... [more ▼]

Spatial and temporal regulation of intracellular Ca(2+) is a key event in many signaling pathways. Plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPases (PMCAs) are major regulators of Ca(2+) homeostasis and bind to PDZ (PSD-95/Dlg/ZO-1) domains via their C termini. Various membrane-associated guanylate kinase family members have been identified as interaction partners of PMCAs. In particular, SAP90/PSD95, PSD93/chapsyn-110, SAP97, and SAP102 all bind to the C-terminal tails of PMCA "b" splice variants. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that PMCA4b interacts with neuronal nitric-oxide synthase and that isoform 2b interacts with Na(+)/H(+) exchanger regulatory factor 2, both via a PDZ domain. CASK (calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase) contains a calmodulin-dependent protein kinase-like domain followed by PDZ, SH3, and guanylate kinase-like domains. In adult brain CASK is located at neuronal synapses and interacts with various proteins, e.g. neurexin and Veli/LIN-7. In kidney it is localized to renal epithelia. Surprisingly, interaction with the Tbr-1 transcription factor, nuclear transport, binding to DNA T-elements (in a complex with Tbr-1), and transcriptional competence has been shown. Here we show that the C terminus of PMCA4b binds to CASK and that both proteins co-precipitate from brain and kidney tissue lysates. Immunofluorescence staining revealed co-expression of PMCA, CASK, and calbindin-d-28K in distal tubuli of rat kidney sections. To test if physical interaction of both proteins results in functional consequences we constructed a T-element-dependent reporter vector and investigated luciferase activity in HEK293 lysates, previously co-transfected with PMCA4b expression and control vectors. Expression of wild-type PMCA resulted in an 80% decrease in T-element-dependent transcriptional activity, whereas co-expression of a point-mutated PMCA, with nearly eliminated Ca(2+) pumping activity, had only a small influence on regulation of transcriptional activity. These results provide evidence of a new direct Ca(2+)-dependent link from the plasma membrane to the nucleus. [less ▲]

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See detailImprovement of endothelial dysfunction by selective estrogen receptor-alpha stimulation in ovariectomized SHR.
Widder, Julian; Pelzer, Theo; von Poser-Klein, Christine et al

in Hypertension (2003), 42(5), 991-6

Both known estrogen receptors, ERalpha and ERbeta, are expressed in blood vessels. To gain further insight into the role of ERalpha in a functional setting, we investigated the effect of the novel highly ... [more ▼]

Both known estrogen receptors, ERalpha and ERbeta, are expressed in blood vessels. To gain further insight into the role of ERalpha in a functional setting, we investigated the effect of the novel highly selective ERalpha agonist Cpd1471 on vascular reactivity in ovariectomized spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). After ovariectomy or sham operation, 12-week-old female SHR received either 17beta-estradiol (E2, 2 microg/kg body wt per day), the selective ERalpha agonist Cpd1471 (30 microg/kg body wt per day), or placebo. Acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation was significantly blunted in aortas from ovariectomized rats (Rmax, 53%+/-3% versus sham, 79%+/-2%; P<0.001). Treatment with E2 or Cpd1471 significantly augmented acetylcholine-induced relaxation in ovariectomized rats (Rmax, 70%+/-2%; resp, 73%+/-2%). Endothelium-independent relaxation induced by sodium nitroprusside was not different among the four groups. The contractile response induced by the nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor Nomega-nitro-l-arginine, an index of basal NO formation, was significantly lower in ovariectomized rats compared with sham-operated animals (53+/-2% versus 77%+/-5%; P<0.01) and was normalized by both E2 (70%+/-2%) and Cpd1471 (70%+/-3%). Aortic endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) expression and phosphorylation of the vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein, an index of NO/cGMP-signaling, was reduced in ovariectomized SHR and normalized by E2 and Cpd1471. In SHR after ovariectomy, endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasorelaxation and eNOS expression are attenuated. The novel selective ERalpha agonist Cpd1471 prevented these pathophysiological changes to a similar extent as E2. Thus, the pharmacological principle of selective ERalpha activation mediates positive vascular effects. [less ▲]

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See detailThe molecular basis of myocardial hypertrophy and heart failure.
Ritter, Oliver; Neyses, Ludwig UL

in Trends in molecular medicine (2003), 9(7), 313-21

Heart failure (HF) is the inability of the heart to cope with the metabolic demands of the periphery. It is the common end-stage of many frequent cardiac diseases and is characterized by relentless ... [more ▼]

Heart failure (HF) is the inability of the heart to cope with the metabolic demands of the periphery. It is the common end-stage of many frequent cardiac diseases and is characterized by relentless progression. Mechanisms of progression include renal sodium and water retention, neurohumoral activation and alterations of the protein composition (gene programme) of the heart itself. In this review, we explain the often confusing terminology in the subject, briefly touch upon the peripheral mechanisms of HF, and then focus on the changes in the gene programme of the failing heart and the molecular mechanisms leading to them. Understanding the basic processes underlying HF will help uninitiated readers to gain insight into recent novel approaches to its treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailRational promoter selection for gene transfer into cardiac cells.
Maass, Alexander; Langer, Stephen J.; Oberdorf-Maass, Silke et al

in Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology (2003), 35(7), 823-31

Cardiomyocytes (CMCs) are extremely difficult to transfect with non-viral techniques, but they are efficiently infected by adenoviruses. The most commonly used promoters to drive protein expression in ... [more ▼]

Cardiomyocytes (CMCs) are extremely difficult to transfect with non-viral techniques, but they are efficiently infected by adenoviruses. The most commonly used promoters to drive protein expression in cardiac myocytes are of viral origin, since they are believed to be constitutively active and minimally regulated by physiological or pharmacological challenge of cells. In recombinant adenoviruses, we systematically compared three different promoters: the cytomegalovirus (CMV), the Rous sarcoma virus (RSV), and a synthetic promoter with three MEF2 transcription factor-binding sites upstream of the heat-shock protein 68 minimal promoter. We determined their basal activity in primary cardiac cells as well as their possible stimulation by commonly used agonists. The CMV promoter was activated up to 60-fold by the phorbol ester phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and/or forskolin in neonatal rat CMCs and cardiac fibroblasts. Primary adult rat CMCs had higher basal expression from the CMV promoter that was not activated by PMA or forskolin. The RSV promoter was less affected by agonists and was more active in cardiac myocytes compared to cardiac fibroblasts. The MEF2-responsive promoter showed high basal expression in both myocytes and fibroblasts, and minimal induction by phorbol esters and forskolin. The relevance of reporter gene induction was confirmed with a contractile protein, troponin T (TnT). The CMV promoter driving TnT could be induced more than 15-fold with phenylephrine or forskolin to replace the endogenous protein almost to completion at a multiplicity of infection of 10. These results suggest the following use of the tested promoters: an inducible system (CMV), a myocyte-enriched system (RSV), or a stable control system (MEF2). [less ▲]

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See detailA molecular mechanism improving the contractile state in human myocardial hypertrophy.
Ritter, Oliver; Bottez, Nico; Burkard, Natalie et al

in Experimental & Clinical Cardiology (2002), 7(2-3), 151-7

BACKGROUND: Various molecular mechanisms are operative in altering the sarcomeric function of the heart under increased hemodynamic workload. Expression of the atrial isoform (ALC-1) of the essential ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Various molecular mechanisms are operative in altering the sarcomeric function of the heart under increased hemodynamic workload. Expression of the atrial isoform (ALC-1) of the essential myosin light chain, a shift from alpha-myosin heavy chain (MHC) to beta-MHC, increased phosphorylation of the regulatory myosin light chains and increased troponin I (TnI) phosphorylation have been reported to modulate cardiac contractility in rodents. METHODS: TO ASSESS A POSSIBLE CONTRIBUTION OF THESE SARCOMERIC PROTEINS TO CARDIAC PERFORMANCE IN HUMAN MYOCARDIAL HYPERTROPHY, TWO DIFFERENT FORMS OF CARDIAC HYPERTROPHY WERE INVESTIGATED: 19 patients with hypertropic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) and 13 patients with aortic stenosis (AS) with marked left ventricular hypertrophy and normal systolic function. RESULTS: There was no change in MHC gene expression, regulatory myosin light chain or TnI phosphorylation status in normal heart (NH), HOCM and AS patients. However, patients with hypertrophied myocardium expressed ALC-1 that was not detectable in NH. ALC-1 protein expression correlated positively with the left ventricular ejection fraction. In patients with hypertrophied myocardium, there was a mean ALC-1 protein expression of 12.7+/-3% (range 3.6% to 32%). CONCLUSION: In humans, ALC-1 expression is in vivo a powerful molecular mechanism of the sarcomere to maintain or improve myocardial contractility under increased hemodynamic demands. [less ▲]

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See detailOestrogen action on the myocardium in vivo: specific and permissive for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition.
Pelzer, Theo; de Jager, Tertia; Muck, Jenny et al

in Journal of hypertension (2002), 20(5), 1001-6

OBJECTIVES: In contrast to the vasculature, it remains unclear whether oestrogens also directly affect the myocardium. In this study, we addressed basic questions regarding oestrogen effects on the ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: In contrast to the vasculature, it remains unclear whether oestrogens also directly affect the myocardium. In this study, we addressed basic questions regarding oestrogen effects on the myocardium, including specificity, pathophysiological relevance and potential clinical implications, with a special focus on interactions between oestrogen and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in an established in-vivo model of cardiac hypertrophy. METHODS AND RESULTS: Female spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were ovarectomized (OVX) or sham-operated and treated with 17beta-oestradiol (2 microg/kg per day subcutaneously), the oestrogen receptor antagonist ZM-182780 (250 microg/kg per day subcutaneously) and the ACE-inhibitor moexipril (10 mg/kg per day orally) alone or in combination for 3 months. Hormone replacement restored physiological oestradiol serum levels and prevented uterus atrophy. Whereas moexipril alone was ineffective in OVX rats, substitution of oestradiol restored the beneficial effect of moexipril on systolic blood pressure (-30 +/- 5 mmHg) and relative heart weight (-11 +/- 3%) in OVX rats. Oestradiol upregulated alpha-myosin heavy chain (MHC) mRNA (+37 +/- 7%) and protein expression (+43 +/- 6%) in spite of increased blood pressure in OVX rats. Simultaneous treatment with oestradiol plus moexipril most effectively shifted the ratio of alpha-/beta-MHC mRNA and protein expression towards alpha-MHC in OVX animals. Oestradiol (10 nmol/l) also upregulated alpha-MHC mRNA and protein in cultured cardiac myocytes. The oestrogen receptor antagonist ZM-182780 significantly inhibited the observed oestrogen effects. CONCLUSIONS: Oestrogen replacement is permissive for the beneficial effects of ACE-inhibition in female SHR rats. Oestrogen effects on the myocardium in vivo are specific (i.e. oestrogen receptor mediated) because they are inhibited by a pure oestrogen receptor antagonist and occur at physiological hormone levels. [less ▲]

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