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Authors Malhotra R, D'Souza KM, Staron ML, Birukov KG, Bodi I, Akhter SA
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Journal J. Biol. Chem. Volume: 285 Issue: 18 Pages: 13748-60
Publish Date 2010 Apr 30
PubMed ID 20194499
PMC ID 2859538

G protein-coupled receptor kinase-2 (GRK2) is a critical regulator of beta-adrenergic receptor (beta-AR) signaling and cardiac function. We studied the effects of mechanical stretch, a potent stimulus for cardiac myocyte hypertrophy, on GRK2 activity and beta-AR signaling. To eliminate neurohormonal influences, neonatal rat ventricular myocytes were subjected to cyclical equi-biaxial stretch. A hypertrophic response was confirmed by “fetal” gene up-regulation. GRK2 activity in cardiac myocytes was increased 4.2-fold at 48 h of stretch versus unstretched controls. Adenylyl cyclase activity was blunted in sarcolemmal membranes after stretch, demonstrating beta-AR desensitization. The hypertrophic response to mechanical stretch is mediated primarily through the G alpha(q)-coupled angiotensin II AT receptor leading to activation of protein kinase C (PKC). PKC is known to phosphorylate GRK2 at the N-terminal serine 29 residue, leading to kinase activation. Overexpression of a mini-gene that inhibits receptor-G alpha(q) coupling blunted stretch-induced hypertrophy and GRK2 activation. Short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of PKC alpha also significantly attenuated stretch-induced GRK2 activation. Overexpression of a GRK2 mutant (S29A) in cardiac myocytes inhibited phosphorylation of GRK2 by PKC, abolished stretch-induced GRK2 activation, and restored adenylyl cyclase activity. Cardiac-specific activation of PKC alpha in transgenic mice led to impaired beta-agonist-stimulated ventricular function, blunted cyclase activity, and increased GRK2 phosphorylation and activity. Phosphorylation of GRK2 by PKC appears to be the primary mechanism of increased GRK2 activity and impaired beta-AR signaling after mechanical stretch. Cross-talk between hypertrophic signaling at the level of PKC and beta-AR signaling regulated by GRK2 may be an important mechanism in the transition from compensatory ventricular hypertrophy to heart failure.

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