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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2002 Oct;34(10):1387-97.

ATF3 inhibits doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in cardiac myocytes: a novel cardioprotective role of ATF3.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan.


Activating transcription factor (ATF) 3, a member of the ATF/cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-responsive element binding protein (ATF/CREB) family of transcription factors, is induced by a wide range of stress stimuli. Although the ATF3 homodimer is known to repress transcription of several genes, its precise biological roles are still unclear. In this study, we investigated the functional role of ATF3 in doxorubicin (DOX=adriamycin)-treated neonatal rat cardiac myocytes. DOX rapidly activated JNK and c-Jun and induced ATF3 at both mRNA and protein level. Adenovirus-mediated expression of ATF3 protected cardiomyocytes from DOX-induced apoptosis, as determined by flow cytometry, cell viability, and TUNEL assay. It was further shown that p53, one of the apoptosis-inducing transcription factors, was downregulated in the ATF3-overexpressing cardiomyocytes. These results strongly suggest that ATF3 may function as a cytoprotective transcription factor in DOX-treated cardiac myocytes, at least in part, owing to downregulation of p53. ATF3 may be a novel therapeutic target that protects cardiac myocytes from DOX-induced apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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