The adult myocardium responds to a variety of pathologic stimuli by hypertrophic growth that frequently progresses to heart failure. The calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin is a potent transducer of hypertrophic stimuli. Calcineurin dephosphorylates members of the nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFAT) family of transcription factors, which results in their translocation to the nucleus and activation of calcium-dependent genes. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) phosphorylates NFAT proteins and antagonizes the actions of calcineurin by stimulating NFAT nuclear export. To determine whether activated GSK-3 can act as an antagonist of hypertrophic signaling in the adult heart in vivo, we generated transgenic mice that express a constitutively active form of GSK-3β under control of a cardiac-specific promoter. These mice were physiologically normal under nonstressed conditions, but their ability to mount a hypertrophic response to calcineurin activation was severely impaired. Similarly, cardiac-specific expression of activated GSK-3β diminished hypertrophy in response to chronic β-adrenergic stimulation and pressure overload. These findings reveal a role for GSK-3β as an inhibitor of hypertrophic signaling in the intact myocardium and suggest that elevation of cardiac GSK-3β activity may provide clinical benefit in the treatment of pathologic hypertrophy and heart failure.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jan 22 2002|
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