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J Biol Chem. 2000 May 5;275(18):13571-9.

Calcineurin promotes protein kinase C and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase activation in the heart. Cross-talk between cardiac hypertrophic signaling pathways.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.


Multiple intracellular signaling pathways have been shown to regulate the hypertrophic growth of cardiomyocytes. Both necessary and sufficient roles have been described for the mitogen activated protein kinase(1) (MAPK) signaling pathway, specific protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms, and calcineurin. Here we investigate the interdependence between calcineurin, MAPK, and PKC isoforms in regulating cardiomyocyte hypertrophy using three separate approaches. Hearts from hypertrophic calcineurin transgenic mice were characterized for PKC and MAPK activation. Transgenic hearts demonstrated activation of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), but not p38 MAPK factors. Calcineurin transgenic hearts demonstrated increased activation of PKCalpha, beta(1), and theta, but not of epsilon, beta(2), or lambda. In a second approach, cultured cardiomyocytes were infected with a calcineurin adenovirus to induce hypertrophy and the effects of pharmacologic inhibitors or co-infection with a dominant negative adenovirus were examined. Calcineurin-mediated hypertrophy was prevented with PKC inhibitors, Ca(2+) chelation, and attenuated with a dominant negative SEK-1 (MKK4) adenovirus, but inhibitors of ERK or p38 activation had no effect. In a third approach, we examined the activation of MAPK factors and PKC isoforms during the progression of load-induced hypertrophy in aortic banded rats with or without cyclosporine. We determined that inhibition of calcineurin activity with cyclosporine prevented PKCalpha, theta, and JNK activation, but did not affect PKCepsilon, beta, lambda, ERK1/2, or p38 activation. Collectively, these data indicate that calcineurin hypertrophic signaling is interconnected with PKCalpha, theta, and JNK in the heart, while PKCepsilon, beta, lambda, p38, and ERK1/2 are not involved in calcineurin-mediated hypertrophy.

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