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J Mol Biol. 2008 Jan 18;375(3):637-49. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Prevention of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure by silencing of NF-kappaB.

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Department of Molecular Cardiology, Lerner Research Institute, NB50, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


Activation of the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB signaling pathway may be associated with the development of cardiac hypertrophy and its transition to heart failure (HF). The transgenic Myo-Tg mouse develops hypertrophy and HF as a result of overexpression of myotrophin in the heart associated with an elevated level of NF-kappaB activity. Using this mouse model and an NF-kappaB-targeted gene array, we first determined the components of NF-kappaB signaling cascade and the NF-kappaB-linked genes that are expressed during the progression to cardiac hypertrophy and HF. Second, we explored the effects of inhibition of NF-kappaB signaling events by using a gene knockdown approach: RNA interference through delivery of a short hairpin RNA against NF-kappaB p65 using a lentiviral vector (L-sh-p65). When the short hairpin RNA was delivered directly into the hearts of 10-week-old Myo-Tg mice, there was a significant regression of cardiac hypertrophy, associated with a significant reduction in NF-kappaB activation and atrial natriuretic factor expression. Our data suggest, for the first time, that inhibition of NF-kappaB using direct gene delivery of sh-p65 RNA results in regression of cardiac hypertrophy. These data validate NF-kappaB as a therapeutic target to prevent hypertrophy/HF.

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