Abstract P217: Nuclear Protein Import as the Missing Link in Phenylephrine-Induced Cardiomyocyte Hypertrophy
During cardiac hypertrophy, cardiomyocytes (CM) present alterations in gene expression and increased contractile protein content. Nuclear protein import (NPI) is critical in regulating gene expression, transcription, and subsequently cell hypertrophy. However, it is unknown how the nuclear transport machinery (transport receptors and nuclear pore complex (NPC)) functions to sustain increased demands for nucleocytoplasmic trafficking. The aim of this study was to determine if exposure of adult CM to phenylephrine (PE) affects hypertrophy by altering NPI and NPC density. Comparisons were made to adult failing rat and human CM. Rat myocytes were enzymatically isolated from adult hearts, and used for immunocytochemistry, qPCR and western immunoblotting. Failing CM were obtained from explanted human hearts at the time of transplant and from a rat model of myocardial infarction-induced hypertrophy and failure. Rat adult CM exposed for 48h to PE were injected with a protein import substrate (Alexa488-BSA-NLS) to visually monitor nuclear import with the confocal microscope. The effects of P38 MAPK inhibitor, HDAC inhibitor, Exportin-1 (CRM-1) inhibitor, and GSK-3 β inhibitor were investigated. Cell and nuclear sizes were increased in PE treated-adult rat CM and in the adult failing rat and human CM compared to normal CM. In contrast, PE depressed the rate and maximal NPI (by 65 +/- 3.4 % (3.55 from 5.46), p<0.05) as well as nucleoporin p62 mRNA and protein expression levels in adult rat CM compared to non-treated CM. Nucleoporin p62, cytoplasmic Ranbp1, and nuclear translocation of importins (Imp.α and β) relative densities were also decreased in PE treated-adult rat CM and in adult failing rat CM and human heart tissue compared to normal controls. On the contrary, CRM-1 nuclear export relative density was increased during the same pathological conditions. Thus NPI downregulation is linked to an increased nuclear export required by CM to generate the hypertrophic phenotype. All these effects were P38MAPK, HDAC and CRM-1 dependent but GSK-3Beta independent in rat CM. Our results show that alterations in NPI and NPC density occur in failing CM as well as in CM under hypertrophic stimuli. NPI may represent a critical therapeutic target in hypertrophic conditions.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.