Abstract 336: A 14-3-3 Mode-1 Binding Motif Promotes Gap Junction Internalization During Acute Cardiac Ischemia
During each heartbeat, robust cell-cell electrical coupling via connexin 43 (Cx43) gap junctions allows billions of individual cardiomyocytes to contract in synchrony. Cx43 turns over rapidly, and altered Cx43 trafficking during disease contributes to the arrhythmias of sudden cardiac death. The overall phosphorylation status of the Cx43 protein is known to regulate gap junction coupling, but the role of many residue specific phosphorylation events remains unknown. One such residue, Ser373, forms a mode-1 14-3-3 binding motif upon phosphorylation. Given that 14-3-3 proteins are known to regulate protein trafficking, we hypothesized a role for Cx43Ser373 phosphorylation in regulation of Cx43 gap junction coupling. Using Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts we find robust phosphorylation of Cx43 at Ser373 and Ser368 after 30 min of no-flow ischemia. In human cell lines, a S373A mutation ablated Cx43/14-3-3 complexing and 35S pulse-chase revealed Cx43S373A also experiences a longer half-life than wild-type Cx43. Previous reports have implicated phosphorylation of Cx43Ser368 in PKC mediated Cx43 internalization. We find that upon activation of PKC, the Cx43S373A mutant undergoes lower and more transient levels of phosphorylation at Ser368 than wild-type Cx43. Consistent with these data, siRNA-mediated ablation of 14-3-3 expression results in enlargement of gap junction plaque formation at cell-cell borders. In conclusion, we propose that phosphorylation of Cx43Ser373 results in 14-3-3 binding which promotes and maintains phosphorylation of Cx43Ser368 and the subsequent internalization of gap junction channels. These results identify for the first time a specific role for 14-3-3 proteins in regulation of Cx43 internalization during acute ischemia and contribute to the development of therapies aimed at preserving or enhancing gap junction coupling in the heart.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.