Author(s): Yunzeng Zou, Atsushi Yao, Osami Kohmoto, Futoshi Shibasaki
BACKGROUND: Extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) and calcineurin have been reported to play important roles in the development of cardiac hypertrophy. We examined here the relation between calcineurin and ERKs in cardiomyocytes.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Isoproterenol activated ERKs in cultured cardiomyocytes of neonatal rats, and the activation was abolished by chelation of extracellular Ca(2+) with EGTA, blockade of L-type Ca(2+) channels with nifedipine, or depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) stores with thapsigargin. Isoproterenol-induced activation of ERKs was also significantly suppressed by calcineurin inhibitors in cultured cardiomyocytes as well as in the hearts of mice. Isoproterenol failed to activate ERKs in either the cultured cardiomyocytes or the hearts of mice that overexpress the dominant negative mutant of calcineurin. Isoproterenol elevated intracellular Ca(2+) levels at both systolic and diastolic phases and dose-dependently activated calcineurin. Inhibition of calcineurin also attenuated isoproterenol-stimulated phosphorylation of Src, Shc, and Raf-1 kinase. The immunocytochemistry revealed that calcineurin was localized in the Z band, and isoproterenol induced translocation of calcineurin and ERKs into the nucleus.
CONCLUSIONS: Calcineurin, which is activated by marked elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) levels by the Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release mechanism, regulates isoproterenol-induced activation of ERKs in cardiomyocytes.Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy