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Aging (Albany NY). 2010 Apr;2(4):238-43.

Protein kinase A is a target for aging and the aging heart.

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  • 1Department of Comparative Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


PKA is an important mediator of signal transduction downstream of G-protein-coupled receptors and plays a key role in the regulation of metabolism and triglyceride storage. It is a ubiquitous cellular kinase that phosphorylates serine and threonine residues in response to cAMP. PKA consists of two regulatory subunits, RI and RII, that are activated by cAMP to release two catalytic subunits, Calpha and Cbeta. We have shown that C57/BL6J male mice lacking the regulatory RIIbeta subunit have extended lifespan and are resistant to age-related conditions including cardiac decline. In addition to being protected from diet-induced pathologies, PKA Cbeta null mutant mice are protected from age-related problems such as weight gain and enlarged livers, as well as cardiac dysfunction and hypertrophy. Several possible mechanisms for the age sparing effects of PKA inhibition are discussed including A kinase anchoring protein signaling, alterations in the beta-adrenergic pathway, and activation of AMPK. Since PKA is a major metabolic regulator of gene signaling, the human gene homologs are potential pharmacological targets for age-related conditions including heart disease associated with declining cardiac performance.

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