Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Enriched FAK Activity Protects Cardiomyocytes from Heart Attack Damage

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 22 Mar 2012
Cardiovascular disease researchers have identified a protein in cardiomyocytes that when expressed at high levels protects heart cells from damage caused during myocardial infarction due to the sudden loss of oxygen.

Investigators at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, USA) had shown previously that deletion of the enzyme focal adhesion kinase (FAK) exacerbated myocyte death following heart attack. FAK is a highly conserved, cytosolic, protein-tyrosine kinase involved in cell-cell and cell-matrix interaction and responsible for formation of the focal adhesion complex. It is widely expressed throughout development.

In the current study, the investigators examined the effect of enriched FAK activity on cardiomyocytes during and after heart attack (ischemia/perfusion) in a mouse model. To this end, they created a line of mice genetically engineered to express a highly active form of FAK (SuperFAK) in their cardiomyocytes.

They reported in the March 1, 2012, online edition of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology that FAK activity in unstressed transgenic hearts was modestly elevated, but this had no discernible effect on anabolic heart growth or cardiac function. On the other hand, SuperFAK hearts exhibited a dramatic increase in FAK activity and a reduction in myocyte apoptosis and infarct size 24 to 72 hours following ischemia/perfusion.

Mechanistic studies revealed that elevated FAK activity protected cardiomyocytes from ischemia/perfusion-induced apoptosis by enhancing nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)-dependent survival signaling during the early period of reperfusion (30 and 60 minutes). Moreover, adenoviral-mediated expression of SuperFAK in cultured cardiomyocytes attenuated H2O2 or hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis. Blockade of the NF-kappaB pathway using a pharmacological inhibitor or small interfering RNAs completely abolished the beneficial effect of SuperFAK.

"This study shows that we can enhance existing cell survival pathways to protect heart cells during a heart attack," said senior author Dr. Joan Taylor, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of North Carolina. "We thought if we could activate FAK to a greater extent, then we could better protect those heart cells."

"I think folks could use this idea to exploit mutations in other molecules - by thinking about how to modify the protein so that it can be under natural controls," said Dr. Taylor. "Negative feedback loops are important because they "reset" the system."

Related Links:

University of North Carolina


comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel

Ibuprofen May Restore Immune Function in Older Individuals

New research suggests that macrophages from the lungs of old mice respond differently to infections than those of young mice, and ibuprofen given to the mice reversed these changes. New research using lab mice suggests that the solution to more youthful immune function might already be a common over-the-counter pain reliever.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Hair follicle (blue) being attacked by T cells (green) (Photo courtesy of Christiano Lab/Columbia University Medical Center).

Hair Restoration Method Clones Patients’ Cells to Grow New Hair Follicles

Researchers have developed of a new hair restoration approach that uses a patient’s cells to grow new hair follicles. In addition, the [US] Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) recently approved a new drug... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: Leica Microsystems launches the inverted research microscope platform Leica DMi8 (Photo courtesy of Leica Microsystems).

New Inverted Microscope Designed to Readily Adapt to Changing Research Demands

A new inverted microscope for biotech and other life science laboratories was designed to readily accommodate modifications and upgrades to allow it to keep current with changing research demands and interests.... Read more

Business

view channel

Collaboration of Mayo Clinic and IBM Cognitive Computer Devised to Improve Clinical Trial Research

The Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) and IBM (Armonk, NY, USA) recently announced plans to pilot Watson, the IBM cognitive computer, to match patients more rapidly with suitable clinical trials. A proof-of-concept phase is currently ongoing, with the intent to introduce it into clinical use in early 2015.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.