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Circ Res. 1997 Aug;81(2):176-86.

Rapamycin inhibits alpha 1-adrenergic receptor-stimulated cardiac myocyte hypertrophy but not activation of hypertrophy-associated genes. Evidence for involvement of p70 S6 kinase.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


The 70-kD S6 kinase (p70S6K) has been implicated in the regulation of protein synthesis in many cell types and in the angiotensin II-stimulated hypertrophy of cardiac myocytes. Our purpose was to determine whether p70S6K plays a role in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy induced by the alpha 1-adrenergic receptor (alpha 1-AR) agonist phenylephrine (PE). PE stimulated the activity of p70S6K > 3-fold, and this increase was blocked by rapamycin, an immunosuppressant macrolide that selectively inhibits p70S6K. When administered for 3 days, PE stimulated a 30% increase in total protein content, a 2-fold increase in the incorporation of [14C]phenylalanine (14C-Phe) into protein, and a 50% increase in two-dimensional myocyte area. Rapamycin pretreatment (> or = 500 pg/mL) significantly inhibited each of these PE-stimulated changes. Two days of PE treatment resulted in a 1.6-fold increase in total RNA yield per dish, a 2-fold increase in incorporation of [14C]uridine into myocyte RNA, and increases in relative mRNA levels of the hypertrophy-associated atrial natriuretic factor (ANF, 2.1-fold) and skeletal alpha-actin (SK, 2.2-fold) genes. Although rapamycin abolished the PE-stimulated increases in total RNA and incorporation of [14C]uridine, it had no effect on the induction of the ANF and SK genes. LY294002, a specific inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) activity, inhibited PE-stimulated increases in p70S6K activity and the incorporation of labeled precursors into myocyte protein and RNA. These results demonstrate that p70S6K is activated by the hypertrophic agent PE and that a PI3-K or PI3-K-like activity is required for p70S6K activation and myocyte hypertrophy. The data suggest that p70S6K activation may be required for PE-stimulated hypertrophy of cardiac myocytes. Our results demonstrate that intracellular signaling pathways responsible for transcriptional and translational responses diverge early after alpha 1-AR stimulation in cardiac myocytes.

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