The coordinated increased expression of biliverdin reductase and heme oxygenase-2 promotes cardiomyocyte survival: a reductase-based peptide counters β-adrenergic receptor ligand-mediated cardiac dysfunction.

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
The FASEB Journal (Impact Factor: 5.48). 09/2010; 25(1):301-13. DOI: 10.1096/fj.10-166454
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT HO-2 oxidizes heme to CO and biliverdin; the latter is reduced to bilirubin by biliverdin reductase (BVR). In addition, HO-2 is a redox-sensitive K/Ca(2)-associated protein, and BVR is an S/T/Y kinase. The two enzymes are components of cellular defense mechanisms. This is the first reporting of regulation of HO-2 by BVR and that their coordinated increase in isolated myocytes and intact heart protects against cardiotoxicity of β-adrenergic receptor activation by isoproterenol (ISO). The induction of BVR mRNA, protein, and activity and HO-2 protein was maintained for ≥ 96 h; increase in HO-1 was modest and transient. In isolated cardiomyocytes, experiments with cycloheximide, proteasome inhibitor MG-132, and siBVR suggested BVR-mediated stabilization of HO-2. In both models, activation of BVR offered protection against the ligand's stimulation of apoptosis. Two human BVR-based peptides known to inhibit and activate the reductase, KKRILHC(281) and KYCCSRK(296), respectively, were tested in the intact heart. Perfusion of the heart with the inhibitory peptide blocked ISO-mediated BVR activation and augmented apoptosis; conversely, perfusion with the activating peptide inhibited apoptosis. At the functional level, peptide-mediated inhibition of BVR was accompanied by dysfunction of the left ventricle and decrease in HO-2 protein levels. Perfusion of the organ with the activating peptide preserved the left ventricular contractile function and was accompanied by increased levels of HO-2 protein. Finding that BVR and HO-2 levels, myocyte apoptosis, and contractile function of the heart can be modulated by small human BVR-based peptides offers a promising therapeutic approach for treatment of cardiac dysfunctions.

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