Molecular determinants of altered Ca2+ handling in human chronic atrial fibrillation.
ABSTRACT Abnormal Ca2+ handling may contribute to impaired atrial contractility and arrhythmogenesis in human chronic atrial fibrillation (cAF). Here, we assessed the phosphorylation levels of key proteins involved in altered Ca2+ handling and contractility in cAF patients.
Total and phosphorylation levels of Ca2+-handling and myofilament proteins were analyzed by Western blotting in right atrial appendages of 49 patients in sinus rhythm and 52 cAF patients. We found a higher total activity of type 1 (PP1) and type 2A phosphatases in cAF, which was associated with inhomogeneous changes of protein phosphorylation in the cellular compartments, ie, lower protein kinase A (PKA) phosphorylation of myosin binding protein-C (Ser-282 site) at the thick myofilaments but preserved PKA phosphorylation of troponin I at the thin myofilaments and enhanced PKA (Ser-16 site) and Ca2+-calmodulin protein kinase (Thr-17 site) phosphorylation of phospholamban. PP1 activity at sarcoplasmic reticulum is controlled by inhibitor-1 (I-1), which blocks PP1 in its PKA-phosphorylated form only. In cAF, the ratio of Thr-35-phosphorylated to total I-1 was 10-fold higher, which suggests that the enhanced phosphorylation of phospholamban may result from a stronger PP1 inhibition by PKA-hyperphosphorylated (activated) I-1.
Altered Ca2+ handling in cAF is associated with impaired phosphorylation of myosin binding protein-C, which may contribute to the contractile dysfunction after cardioversion. The hyperphosphorylation of phospholamban probably results from enhanced inhibition of sarcoplasmic PP1 by hyperphosphorylated I-1 and may reinforce the leakiness of ryanodine channels in cAF. Restoration of sarcoplasmic reticulum-associated PP1 function may represent a new therapeutic option for treatment of atrial fibrillation.
Article: Effects of chronic atrial fibrillation on active and passive force generation in human atrial myofibrils.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Chronic atrial fibrillation (cAF) is associated with atrial contractile dysfunction. Sarcomere remodeling may contribute to this contractile disorder. Here, we use single atrial myofibrils and fast solution switching techniques to directly investigate the impact of cAF on myofilament mechanical function eliminating changes induced by the arrhythmia in atrial myocytes membranes and extracellular components. Remodeling of sarcomere proteins potentially related to the observed mechanical changes is also investigated. Myofibrils were isolated from atrial samples of 15 patients in sinus rhythm and 16 patients with cAF. Active tension changes following fast increase and decrease in [Ca(2+)] and the sarcomere length-passive tension relation were determined in the 2 groups of myofibrils. Compared to sinus rhythm myofibrils, cAF myofibrils showed (1) a reduction in maximum tension and in the rates of tension activation and relaxation; (2) an increase in myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity; (3) a reduction in myofibril passive tension. The slow beta-myosin heavy chain isoform and the more compliant titin isoform N2BA were up regulated in cAF myofibrils. Phosphorylation of multiple myofilament proteins was increased in cAF as compared to sinus rhythm atrial myocardium. Alterations in active and passive tension generation at the sarcomere level, explained by translational and post-translational changes of multiple myofilament proteins, are part of the contractile dysfunction of human cAF and may contribute to the self-perpetuation of the arrhythmia and the development of atrial dilatation.Circulation Research 05/2010; 107(1):144-52. · 9.49 Impact Factor
Article: Sustained hemodynamic stress disrupts normal circadian rhythms in calcineurin-dependent signaling and protein phosphorylation in the heart.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Despite overwhelming evidence of the importance of circadian rhythms in cardiovascular health and disease, little is known regarding the circadian regulation of intracellular signaling pathways controlling cardiac function and remodeling. To assess circadian changes in processes dependent on the protein phosphatase calcineurin, relative to changes in phosphorylation of cardiac proteins, in normal, hypertrophic, and failing hearts. We found evidence of large circadian oscillations in calcineurin-dependent activities in the left ventricle of healthy C57BL/6 mice. Calcineurin-dependent transcript levels and nuclear occupancy of the NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells) regularly fluctuated as much as 20-fold over the course of a day, peaking in the morning when mice enter a period of rest. Phosphorylation of the protein phosphatase 1 inhibitor 1 (I-1), a direct calcineurin substrate, and phospholamban, an indirect target, oscillated directly out of phase with calcineurin-dependent signaling. Using a surgical model of cardiac pressure overload, we found that although calcineurin-dependent activities were markedly elevated, the circadian pattern of activation was maintained, whereas, oscillations in phospholamban and I-1 phosphorylation were lost. Changes in the expression of fetal gene markers of heart failure did not mirror the rhythm in calcineurin/NFAT activation, suggesting that these may not be direct transcriptional target genes. Cardiac function in mice subjected to pressure overload was significantly lower in the morning than in the evening when assessed by echocardiography. Normal, opposing circadian oscillations in calcineurin-dependent activities and phosphorylation of proteins that regulate contractility are disrupted in heart failure.Circulation Research 02/2011; 108(4):437-45. · 9.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is one of the most frequent complications of cardiac surgery and an important predictor of patient morbidity as well as of prolonged hospitalization. It significantly increases costs for hospitalization. Insights into the pathophysiological factors causing POAF have been provided by both experimental and clinical investigations and show that POAF is 'multi-factorial'. Facilitating factors in the mechanism of the arrhythmia can be classified as acute factors caused by the surgical intervention and chronic factors related to structural heart disease and ageing of the heart. Furthermore, some proarrhythmic mechanisms specifically occur in the setting of POAF. For example, inflammation and beta-adrenergic activation have been shown to play a prominent role in POAF, while these mechanisms are less important in non-surgical AF. More recently, it has been shown that atrial fibrosis and the presence of an electrophysiological substrate capable of maintaining AF also promote the arrhythmia, indicating that POAF has some proarrhythmic mechanisms in common with other forms of AF. The clinical setting of POAF offers numerous opportunities to study its mechanisms. During cardiac surgery, biopsies can be taken and detailed electrophysiological measurements can be performed. Furthermore, the specific time course of POAF, with the delayed onset and the transient character of the arrhythmia, also provides important insight into its mechanisms. This review discusses the mechanistic interaction between predisposing factors and the electrophysiological mechanisms resulting in POAF and their therapeutic implications.Europace 08/2011; 14(2):159-74. · 1.98 Impact Factor