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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 3;8(7):e68396. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068396. Print 2013.

Adult cardiac expression of the activating transcription factor 3, ATF3, promotes ventricular hypertrophy.

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1
Department of Molecular Genetics, the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

Abstract

Cardiac hypertrophy is an adaptive response to various mechanophysical and pathophysiological stresses. However, when chronic stress is sustained, the beneficial response turns into a maladaptive process that eventually leads to heart failure. Although major advances in the treatment of patients have reduced mortality, there is a dire need for novel treatments for cardiac hypertrophy. Accordingly, considerable efforts are being directed towards developing mice models and understanding the processes that lead to cardiac hypertrophy. A case in point is ATF3, an immediate early transcription factor whose expression is induced in various cardiac stress models but has been reported to have conflicting functional significance in hypertrophy. To address this issue, we generated a transgenic mouse line with tetracycline-regulated ATF3 cardiac expression. These mice allowed us to study the consequence of ATF3 expression in the embryo or during the adult period, thus distinguishing the effect of ATF3 on development versus pathogenesis of cardiac dysfunction. Importantly, ATF3 expression in adult mice resulted in rapid ventricles hypertrophy, heart dysfunction, and fibrosis. When combined with a phenylephrine-infusion pressure overload model, the ATF3 expressing mice displayed a severe outcome and heart dysfunction. In a complementary approach, ATF3 KO mice displayed a lower level of heart hypertrophy in the same pressure overload model. In summary, ectopic expression of ATF3 is sufficient to promote cardiac hypertrophy and exacerbates the deleterious effect of chronic pressure overload; conversely, ATF3 deletion protects the heart. Therefore, ATF3 may serve as an important drug target to reduce the detrimental consequences of heart hypertrophy.

PMID:
23874609
PMCID:
PMC3707568
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0068396
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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