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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2019 Feb 10;30(5):713-732. doi: 10.1089/ars.2017.7371. Epub 2018 May 9.

Nanotized PPARα Overexpression Targeted to Hypertrophied Myocardium Improves Cardiac Function by Attenuating the p53-GSK3β-Mediated Mitochondrial Death Pathway.

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1 Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India.
2 Division of Virology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, India.



Metabolic remodeling of cardiac muscles during pathological hypertrophy is characterized by downregulation of fatty acid oxidation (FAO) regulator, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα). Thereby, we hypothesized that a cardiac-specific induction of PPARα might restore the FAO-related protein expression and resultant energy deficit. In the present study, consequences of PPARα augmentation were evaluated for amelioration of chronic oxidative stress, myocyte apoptosis, and cardiac function during pathological cardiac hypertrophy.


Nanotized PPARα overexpression targeted to myocardium was done by a stearic acid-modified carboxymethyl-chitosan (CMC) conjugated to a 20-mer myocyte-targeted peptide (CMCP). Overexpression of PPARα ameliorated pathological hypertrophy and improved cardiac function. Augmented PPARα in hypertrophied myocytes revealed downregulated p53 acetylation (lys 382), leading to reduced apoptosis. Such cells showed increased binding of PPARα with p53 that in turn reduced interaction of p53 with glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β), which upregulated inactive phospho-GSK3β (serine [Ser]9) expression within mitochondrial protein fraction. Altogether, the altered molecular milieu in PPARα-overexpressed hypertrophy groups restored mitochondrial structure and function both in vitro and in vivo.


Cardiomyocyte-targeted overexpression of a protein of interest (PPARα) by nanotized plasmid has been described for the first time in this study. Our data provide a novel insight towards regression of pathological hypertrophy by ameliorating mitochondrial oxidative stress in targeted PPARα-overexpressed myocardium.


PPARα-overexpression during pathological hypertrophy showed substantial betterment of mitochondrial structure and function, along with downregulated apoptosis. Myocardium-targeted overexpression of PPARα during pathological cardiac hypertrophy led to an overall improvement of cardiac energy deficit and subsequent cardiac function, thereby, opening up a potential avenue for cardiac tissue engineering during hypertrophic cardiac pathophysiology.


PPARα; apoptosis; cardiac hypertrophy; cardiomyocyte; mitochondria; targeted gene therapy


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