Active inhibitor-1 maintains protein hyper-phosphorylation in aging hearts and halts remodeling in failing hearts

Tracy J. Pritchard, Yoshiaki Kawase, Kobra Haghighi, Ahmad Anjak, Wenfeng Cai, Min Jiang, Persoulla Nicolaou, George Pylar, Ioannis Karakikes, Kleopatra Rapti, Jack Rubinstein, Roger J. Hajjar, Evangelia G. Kranias

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Impaired sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium cycling and depressed contractility are key characteristics in heart failure. Defects in sarcoplasmic reticulum function are characterized by decreased SERCA2a Ca-transport that is partially attributable to dephosphorylation of its regulator phospholamban by increased protein phosphatase 1 activity. Inhibition of protein phosphatase 1 through activation of its endogenous inhibitor-1 has been shown to enhance cardiac Ca-handling and contractility as well as protect from pathological stress remodeling in young mice. In this study, we assessed the long-term effects of inducible expression of constitutively active inhibitor-1 in the adult heart and followed function and remodeling through the aging process, up to 20 months. Mice with inhibitor-1 had normal survival and similar function to WTs. There was no overt remodeling as evidenced by measures of left ventricular end-systolic and diastolic diameters and posterior wall dimensions, heart weight to tibia length ratio, and histology. Higher phosphorylation of phospholamban at both Ser16 and Thr17 was maintained in aged hearts with active inhibitor-1, potentially offsetting the effects of elevated Ser2815- phosphorylation in ryanodine receptor, as there were no increases in arrhythmias under stress conditions in 20-month old mice. Furthermore, long-term expression of active inhibitor-1 via recombinant adeno-associated virus type 9 gene transfer in rats with pressure-overload induced heart failure improved function and prevented remodeling, associated with increased phosphorylation of phospholamban at Ser16 and Thr17. Thus, chronic inhibition of protein phosphatase 1, through increases in active inhibitor-1, does not accelerate age-related cardiomyopathy and gene transfer of this molecule in vivo improves function and halts remodeling in the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere80717
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2013


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