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Circ Res. 2007 Oct 12;101(8):819-29. Epub 2007 Aug 23.

Intact beta-adrenergic response and unmodified progression toward heart failure in mice with genetic ablation of a major protein kinase A phosphorylation site in the cardiac ryanodine receptor.

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Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.


Increased phosphorylation of the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR)2 by protein kinase A (PKA) at the phosphoepitope encompassing Ser2808 has been advanced as a central mechanism in the pathogenesis of cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure. In this scheme, persistent activation of the sympathetic system during chronic stress leads to PKA "hyperphosphorylation" of RyR2-S2808, which increases Ca2+ release by augmenting the sensitivity of the RyR2 channel to diastolic Ca2+. This gain-of-function is postulated to occur with the unique participation of RyR2-S2808, and other potential PKA phosphorylation sites have been discarded. Although it is clear that RyR2 is among the first proteins in the heart to be phosphorylated by beta-adrenergic stimulation, the functional impact of phosphorylation in excitation-contraction coupling and cardiac performance remains unclear. We used gene targeting to produce a mouse model with complete ablation of the RyR2-S2808 phosphorylation site (RyR2-S2808A). Whole-heart and isolated cardiomyocyte experiments were performed to test the role of beta-adrenergic stimulation and PKA phosphorylation of Ser2808 in heart failure progression and cellular Ca2+ handling. We found that the RyR2-S2808A mutation does not alter the beta-adrenergic response, leaves cellular function almost unchanged, and offers no significant protection in the maladaptive cardiac remodeling induced by chronic stress. Moreover, the RyR2-S2808A mutation appears to modify single-channel activity, although modestly and only at activating [Ca2+]. Taken together, these results reveal some of the most important effects of PKA phosphorylation of RyR2 but do not support a major role for RyR2-S2808 phosphorylation in the pathogenesis of cardiac dysfunction and failure.

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