Metabolic Dysfunction Consistent with Premature Aging Results from Deletion of Pim Kinases
Rationale: The senescent cardiac phenotype is accompanied by changes in mitochondrial function and biogenesis causing impairment in energy provision. The relationship between myocardial senescence and Pim kinases deserves attention since Pim-1 kinase is cardioprotective, in part, by preservation of mitochondrial integrity. Study of the pathological effects resulting from genetic deletion of all Pim kinase family members could provide important insight regarding cardiac mitochondrial biology and the aging phenotype.
Objective: Demonstrate myocardial senescence is promoted by loss of Pim leading to premature aging and aberrant mitochondrial function.
Methods and Results: Cardiac myocyte senescence was evident at three months of age in Pim Triple KnockOut (PTKO) mice, where all three isoforms of Pim kinase family members are genetically deleted. Cellular hypertrophic remodeling and fetal gene program activation was followed by heart failure at six months in PTKO mice. Metabolic dysfunction is an underlying cause of cardiac senescence and instigates a decline in cardiac function. Altered mitochondrial morphology is evident consequential to Pim deletion together with decreased ATP levels and increased phosphorylated AMPK, exposing an energy deficiency in PTKO mice. Expression of the genes encoding master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis, PPARγ coactivator-1 (PGC-1) α and β were diminished in PTKO hearts, as were downstream targets included in mitochondrial energy transduction, including fatty acid oxidation. Reversal of the dysregulated metabolic phenotype was observed by overexpressing c-Myc, a downstream target of Pim kinases.
Conclusions: Pim kinases prevent premature cardiac aging and maintain a healthy pool of functional mitochondria leading to efficient cellular energetics.
- Received May 23, 2014.
- Revision received June 3, 2014.
- Accepted June 10, 2014.