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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 Oct;293(4):H2056-63. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Local delivery of PKCepsilon-activating peptide mimics ischemic preconditioning in aged hearts through GSK-3beta but not F1-ATPase inactivation.

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  • 1Intercollege Program in Physiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.


In adult heart, selective PKCepsilon activation limits ischemia (I)-reperfusion (R) damage and mimics the protection associated with ischemic preconditioning. We sought to determine whether local delivery of PKCepsilon activator peptide psiepsilon-receptor for activated C-kinase (psiepsilon-RACK) is sufficient to produce a similarly protected phenotype in aged hearts. Langendorff-perfused hearts isolated from adult (5 mo; n = 9) and aged (24 mo; n = 9) male Fisher 344 rats were perfused with psiepsilon-RACK conjugated to Tat (500 nM) or Tat only (500 nM) for 10 min before global 31-min ischemia. Western blotting was used to measure mitochondrial targeting of PKCepsilon, PKCdelta, phospho (p)-GSK-3beta (Ser(9)) and GSK-3beta in hearts snap-frozen during I. Recovery of left ventricular developed pressure was significantly improved by psiepsilon-RACK (P < 0.01) and infarct size reduced in 24-mo rats vs. age-matched controls (60% vs. 34%; P < 0.01). Mitochondrial PKCepsilon levels were 30% greater during I with psiepsilon-RACK in aged vs. control rats (P < 0.01). Interestingly, mitochondrial GSK-3beta levels were threefold greater in aged vs. adult rats during I, and psiepsilon-RACK prevented this increase (P < 0.01). Mitochondrial p-GSK-3beta levels were also greater in aged rats after psiepsilon-RACK (P < 0.01), and subsequent inhibition of GSK-3beta with SB-216763 (3 muM) before I/R elicited protection similar to that of psiepsilon-RACK (n = 3/group). Mitochondrial proteomic analysis further identified group differences in the F(1)-ATPase beta-subunit, and coimmunoprecipitation studies revealed a novel interaction with PKCepsilon. F(1)-ATPase-PKCepsilon association was affected by psiepsilon-RACK in adult but not aged rats. Our results provide evidence, for the first time, for PKCepsilon-mediated protection in aged rat heart after I/R and suggest a central role for mitochondrial GSK-3beta but not F(1)-ATPase as a potential target of PKCepsilon to limit I/R damage with aging.

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