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Curr Biol. 1999 Oct 21;9(20):1203-6.

MEF2 is upregulated during cardiac hypertrophy and is required for normal post-natal growth of the myocardium.

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  • 1Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa Hospital General Campus, Centre for Molecular Medicine, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1H 8L6.

Abstract

In mammals, growth of the fetal heart is regulated by proliferation of cardiac muscle cells. At later stages of pre-natal life, this proliferation diminishes profoundly [1] [2] and the dramatic expansion in heart size during the transition to adulthood is due exclusively to hypertrophy of individual cardiomyocytes [3] [4] [5]. Cardiomyocyte hypertrophy also contributes to the pathology of most post-natal heart disease [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. Within this context, numerous signal transduction pathways have been implicated as the link between the effector(s) and altered cardiac gene expression [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]. A common pathway has yet to be discovered, however. Here, we found that the activity of the stress-activated kinase p38 was enhanced in both types of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. We also found that a target of the activated p38 kinase is the cardiac transcription factor MEF2. Transgenic mice expressing a dominant-negative form of MEF2C displayed attenuated post-natal growth of the myocardium. These results provide the first evidence for a single pathway regulating both normal and pathologic cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.

PMID:
10531040
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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