Author(s): Zou MH, Xie Z
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Abstract Diabetes induces cardiomyocyte apoptosis and suppresses cardiac autophagy, indicating that the interplay between autophagy and apoptotic cell death pathways is important in the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy. The potential mechanism, however, remains unknown. We recently reported that diabetes depresses AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity, inhibits MAPK8/JNK1-BCL2 signaling, and promotes the interaction between BECN1 and BCL2. Concomitantly, diabetes induces cardiomyocyte apoptosis and suppresses cardiac autophagy. Activation of AMPK directly phosphorylates MAPK8, which mediates BCL2 phosphorylation and subsequent BECN1-BCL2 dissociation, leading to restoration of cardiac autophagy, protection against cardiac apoptosis, and ultimately improvement in cardiac structure and function. We conclude that dissociation of BCL2 from BECN1 through activation of MAPK8-BCL2 signaling may be an important mechanism by which AMPK activation restores autophagy, protects against cardiac apoptosis, and prevents diabetic cardiomyopathy.
This article was published in Autophagy
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism