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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Feb 1;102(5):1655-60. Epub 2005 Jan 21.

Attenuation of cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction by muscle LIM protein-calcineurin signaling at the sarcomeric Z-disc.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Hanover Medical School, 30625 Hanover, Germany.


Adverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI) is a major cause for heart failure. Molecular modifiers of the remodeling process remain poorly defined. Patients with heart failure after MI have reduced LV expression levels of muscle LIM protein (MLP), a component of the sarcomeric Z-disk that is involved in the integration of stress signals in cardiomyocytes. By using heterozygous MLP mutant (MLP+/-) mice, we explored the role of MLP in post-MI remodeling. LV dimensions and function were similar in sham-operated WT and MLP+/- mice. After MI, however, MLP+/- mice displayed more pronounced LV dilatation and systolic dysfunction and decreased survival compared with WT mice, indicating that reduced MLP levels predispose to adverse LV remodeling. LV dilatation in MLP+/- mice was associated with reduced thickening but enhanced elongation of cardiomyocytes. Activation of the stress-responsive, prohypertrophic calcineurin-nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) signaling pathway was reduced in MLP+/- mice after MI, as shown by a blunted transcriptional activation of NFAT in cardiomyocytes isolated from MLP+/-/NFAT-luciferase reporter gene transgenic mice. Calcineurin was colocalized with MLP at the Z-disk in WT mice but was displaced from the Z-disk in MLP+/- mice, indicating that MLP is essential for calcineurin anchorage to the Z-disk. In vitro assays in cardiomyocytes with down-regulated MLP confirmed that MLP is required for stress-induced calcineurin-NFAT activation. Our study reveals a link between the stress sensor MLP and the calcineurin-NFAT pathway at the sarcomeric Z-disk in cardiomyocytes and indicates that reduced MLP-calcineurin signaling predisposes to adverse remodeling after MI.

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