Long-term ablation of PKA-mediated cardiac troponin I phosphorylation leads to excitation-contraction uncoupling and diastolic dysfunction in a knock-in mouse model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy [Protein Structure and Folding]

June 27th, 2014 by Dweck, D., Sanchez-Gonzalez, M. A., Chang, A. N., Dulce, R. A., Badger, C.-D., Koutnik, A. P., Ruiz, E. L., Griffin, B., Liang, J., Kabbaj, M., Fincham, F. D., Hare, J. M., Overton, J. M., Pinto, J. R.

The cardiac troponin I (cTnI) R21C (cTnI-R21C) mutation has been linked to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and renders cTnI incapable of phosphorylation by PKA in vivo. Echocardiographic imaging of homozygous knock-in mice expressing the cTnI-R21C mutation shows that they develop hypertrophy after 12 months of age and have abnormal diastolic function that is characterized by longer filling times and impaired relaxation. Electrocardiographic analyses show that older R21C mice have elevated heart rates and reduced cardio-vagal tone. Cardiac myocytes isolated from older R21C mice demonstrate that in the presence of isoproterenol, significant delays in Ca2+ decay and sarcomere relaxation occur which are not present at 6 months of age. Although isoproterenol and step-wise increases in stimulation frequency accelerate Ca2+-transient and sarcomere shortening kinetics in R21C myocytes from older mice, they are unable to attain the corresponding WT values. When R21C myocytes from older mice are treated with isoproterenol, evidence of excitation-contraction uncoupling is indicated by an elevation in diastolic calcium that is frequency-dissociated and not coupled to shorter diastolic sarcomere lengths. Myocytes from older mice have smaller Ca2+-transient amplitudes (2.3-fold) that are associated with reductions (2.9-fold) in sarcoplamic reticulum Ca2+ content. This abnormal Ca2+ handling within the cell may be attributed to a reduction (2.4-fold) in calsequestrin expression in conjunction with an up-regulation (1.5-fold) of Na+-Ca2+-exchanger. Incubation of permeabilized cardiac fibers from R21C mice with PKA confirmed that the mutation prevents facilitation of mechanical relaxation. Altogether, these results indicate that the inability to enhance myofilament relaxation through cTnI phosphorylation predisposes the heart to abnormal diastolic function, reduced accessibility of cardiac reserves, dysautonomia and hypertrophy.
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