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FEBS Lett. 2003 Jun 5;544(1-3):181-4.

BMP-2 regulates cardiomyocyte contractility in a phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase-dependent manner.

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Department of Pathology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, 78229, USA.


Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) regulates development of heart during vertebrate embryogenesis. In vitro BMP-2 induces differentiation of precardiac cells into mature cardiomyocytes by inducing the expression of cardiac-specific genes. However, the role of BMP-2 and its signaling in other cardiac functions have not been studied. We examined the action of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3 kinase in isolated adult rat cardiomyocytes. Incubation of rat ventricular cardiomyocytes with BMP-2 increased the PI 3 kinase activity. Ly294002, a pharmacological inhibitor of PI 3 kinase, blocked BMP-2-induced PI 3 kinase activity completely. To investigate the contractility of isolated cardiomyocytes, fractional shortening was examined. BMP-2 significantly increased the percent fractional shortening of the cardiomyocytes. Inhibition of PI 3 kinase activity completely abolished this action of BMP-2. These data indicate that PI 3 kinase regulates BMP-2-induced myocyte contractility. To further confirm this observation, we used adenovirus-mediated gene transfer to express a constitutively active myristoylated catalytic subunit of PI 3 kinase in rat cardiomyocytes. Infection of cardiomyocytes with the adenovirus vector increased the expression of constitutively active PI 3 kinase within 24 h. Expression of constitutively active PI 3 kinase significantly increased cardiomyocyte contractility. Together, these data show for the first time that the growth and differentiation factor, BMP-2, stimulates cardiomyocyte contractility. Also we provide the first evidence that BMP-2-induced PI 3 kinase activity regulates this cardiomyocyte function.

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