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Circ Res. 1995 Dec;77(6):1040-52.

Rapamycin selectively inhibits angiotensin II-induced increase in protein synthesis in cardiac myocytes in vitro. Potential role of 70-kD S6 kinase in angiotensin II-induced cardiac hypertrophy.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0644, USA.


It has been suggested that phosphorylation of a 40S ribosomal protein, S6, regulates protein synthesis. Two distinct families of S6 kinase have been identified, the rsk-encoded 85- to 92-kD S6 kinase (RSK) and the 70- or 85-kD S6 kinase (p70S6K). We have previously shown that hypertrophic stimuli, such as angiotensin II (Ang II), rapidly activate RSK in cardiac myocytes. However, RSK and p70S6K are regulated by distinct mechanisms, and p70S6K, but not RSK, is the physiological S6 kinase in vivo in other cell types. Using cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes, we examined whether Ang II activates p70S6K and investigated the effect of rapamycin, a potent yet indirect inhibitor of p70S6K, on the Ang II-induced hypertrophic response. Immunoblot analyses indicate that cardiac myocytes express the 70- and 85-kD forms of p70s6K. Ang II caused a rapid and sustained activation of p70S6K through the type I Ang II receptor. Rapamycin inhibited Ang II-induced activation of p70S6K in a dose-dependent manner, with an IC50 of 0.14 ng/mL (0.15 nmol/L). Rapamycin did not inhibit Ang II-induced activation of tyrosine kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase, RSK, and protein kinase C. The effect of rapamycin is unlikely to be mediated by its effect on p34cdc2 and p33cdk2 because Ang II did not activate these cell cycle-dependent kinases in cardiac myocytes. In contrast, a dose-dependent inhibition of p70S6K by rapamycin is very closely correlated with its inhibition of the Ang II-induced increase in protein synthesis. Interestingly, rapamycin did not affect the Ang II-induced activation of specific gene expression, including the immediate-early gene c-fos and fetal type genes, such as atrial natriuretic factor and skeletal alpha-actin. Moreover, rapamycin did not suppress Ang II-induced phenotypic changes at the protein level, such as increased atrial natriuretic factor secretion, expression of beta-myosin heavy chain, and organization of actin into sarcomeric units. These results indicate that p70S6K is activated by Ang II and that a rapamycin-sensitive signaling mechanism, most likely p70S6K, plays an essential role in the Ang II-induced increase in overall protein synthesis but not in Ang II-induced specific phenotypic changes in cardiac myocytes.

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