Abstract 420: Delineating the Caspase-dependent Targets and Signal Pathways That Promote Pathological Cardiac Hypertrophy
Although cardiac hypertrophy is initially an adaptive response, chronic stress on the heart is a maladaptive process that inevitably leads to end-stage heart failure. Interestingly, this pathological process is also characterized by cell behaviors associated with apoptosis. We previously demonstrated the essential role of the intrinsic cell death pathway during cardiac hypertrophy; however, the caspase-dependent pathways and cleavage targets remain elusive. To this aim, we evaluated a myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) transcription factor inhibitor, histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3), and gelsolin as potential caspase cleavage substrates involved in the induction and/or maintenance of cardiac hypertrophy. In vitro cleavage assays were completed with effector caspase and recombinant substrate protein which demonstrated caspase-dependent cleavage. HDAC3 cleavage was observed during early stages of hypertrophy and reduced in the presence of a caspase inhibitor. Luciferase assays demonstrated that the transcriptional activity of MEF2 is dependent on intact caspase function suggesting caspase-directed HDAC3 cleavage may serve as a novel regulatory mechanism to alleviate MEF2 suppression to engage the hypertrophy gene expression program. Unlike HDAC3, caspase mediated gelsolin cleavage occurs at latter stages and is coincident with the cytoskeletal alterations that occur during this process. As gelsolin is a potent actin capping/severing enzyme, we hypothesize that caspase-mediated gelsolin activation acts as a key regulatory step in the structural rearrangements that allow for hypertrophy to occur. We have generated adenoviral vectors containing caspase cleavage mutants and cleaved forms of HDAC3 and gelsolin and will discuss the impact of these modified substrates on the hypertrophy process in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, this work suggests that caspase signalling acts to engage both the transcriptional program and cytoskeletal accommodations that characterize cardiac hypertrophy. Importantly, these observations suggest that identification of inhibitors that suppress caspase activity and/or activity of its cognate substrates may offer novel therapeutic targets to limit the development of pathological hypertrophy.
Author Disclosures: C. Putinski: None. M. Abdul-Ghani: None. R. Stiles: None. S. Brunette: None. S.A. Dick: None. P. Fernando: None. L.A. Megeney: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.