[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The E2F/Rb pathway regulates cardiac growth and development and holds great potential as a therapeutic target. The E2F6 repressor is a unique E2F member that acts independently of pocket proteins. Forced expression of E2F6 in mouse myocardium induced heart failure and mortality, with severity of symptoms correlating to E2F6 levels. Echocardiography demonstrated a 37% increase (P<0.05) in left ventricular end-diastolic diameter and reduced ejection fraction (<40%, P<0.05) in young transgenic (Tg) mice. Microarray and qPCR analysis revealed a paradoxical increase in E2F-responsive genes, which regulate the cell cycle, without changes in cardiomyocyte cell number or size in Tg mice. Young adult Tg mice displayed a 75% (P<0.01) decrease in gap junction protein connexin-43, resulting in abnormal electrocardiogram including a 24% (P<0.05) increase in PR interval. Further, mir-206, which targets connexin-43, was up-regulated 10-fold (P<0.05) in Tg myocardium. The mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, which regulates the levels of miR-206 and connexin-43, was activated in Tg hearts. Thus, deregulated E2F6 levels evoked abnormal gene expression at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, leading to cardiac remodeling and dilated cardiomyopathy. The data highlight an unprecedented role for the strict regulation of the E2F pathway in normal postnatal cardiac function.
The FASEB Journal 03/2012; 26(6):2569-79. · 5.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sarcolemmal membrane-associated proteins (SLMAPs) are components of cardiac membranes involved in excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling. Here, we assessed the role of SLMAP in cardiac structure and function. We generated transgenic (Tg) mice with cardiac-restricted overexpression of SLMAP1 bearing the transmembrane domain 2 (TM2) to potentially interfere with endogenous SLMAP through homodimerization and subcellular targeting. Histological examination revealed vacuolated myocardium; the severity of which correlated with the expression level of SLMAP1-TM2. High resolution microscopy showed dilation of the sarcoplasmic reticulum/endoplasmic reticulum (SR/ER) and confocal imaging combined with biochemical analysis indicated targeting of SLMAP1-TM2 to the SR/ER membranes and inappropriate homodimerization. Older (28 wk of age) Tg mice exhibited reduced contractility with impaired relaxation as assessed by left ventricle pressure monitoring. The ventricular dysfunction was associated with electrophysiological abnormalities (elongated QT interval). Younger (5 wk of age) Tg mice also exhibited an elongated QT interval with minimal functional disturbances associated with the activation of the fetal gene program. They were less responsive to isoproterenol challenge (ΔdP/dt(max)) and developed electrical and left ventricular pressure alternans. The altered electrophysiological and functional disturbances in Tg mice were associated with diminished expression level of calcium cycling proteins of the sarcoplasmic reticulum such as the ryanodine receptor, Ca(2+)-ATPase, calsequestrin, and triadin (but not phospholamban), as well as significantly reduced calcium uptake in microsomal fractions. These data demonstrate that SLMAP is a regulator of E-C coupling at the level of the SR and its perturbation results in progressive deterioration of cardiac electrophysiology and function.