Navigation Links
Pitt and University of Chicago researchers uncover process behind heart muscle contraction
Date:4/9/2008

PITTSBURGHResearchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Chicago were able to control heart muscle function in a new way after discovering the previously unknown role of two enzymes in heart muscle contraction, as detailed in the April 11 cover story of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Although in the early stages, the research provides fresh knowledge of how heart muscle functions and also holds early potential as a treatment for various heart diseasesincluding congestive heart failurethat is possibly less taxing on the heart than current regimens.

Experiments on slivers of heart muscle revealed that heart muscle contractions can be regulated by the enzymes histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs), explained Pitt professor Sanjeev Shroff, the Gerald McGinnis Chair of Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering. Shroff and Pitt research associate Stephen Smith collaborated with Mahesh Gupta, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Chicago, and his research associate Sadhana Samant. The project was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The team found that HATs and HDACs influence acetylation of certain heart muscle proteins, a process wherein a radical cluster of atoms called an acetyl group attach to a protein and change its function. HATs facilitate acetylation, and HDACs remove the acetyl group. The team discovered that acetylation renders the muscle fiber more sensitive to calcium, which causes the muscle to contract.

This is a completely new process in the area of heart muscle contraction, Shroff said. Acetylation is widely known to regulate such events inside the cell nucleus as gene regulation, but its never before been associated with heart muscle contraction.

Furthermore, Shroff and his colleagues could intervene in this microscopic process to control heart muscle contraction. By inhibiting HDACs, they increased the calcium sensitivity of the muscle fibers and strengthened contraction.

As a possible treatment for such conditions as congestive heart failure, this technique could present an alternative to current therapies that counteract heart muscle weakness by boosting cellular calcium content, Shroff said. The heightened calcium improves muscle contraction but also results in more energy consumption in hearts that often are energy-starved to begin with.

In contrast, inhibiting HDAC alters a natural process to make heart muscle more sensitive to the prevailing level of calcium, he said.

We did not create this processwe are just manipulating what is already there, Shroff explained. The physiology to block HDAC is already there, and we just took advantage of that. This perturbation does not require greater mobilization of calcium, so we wont end up with increased cardiac energy consumption. Thats been the Achilles heel of treatment so far.

The teams next step involves examining HAT- and HDAC-driven regulation of cardiac contraction in the whole animal rather than just muscle samples. Then it can better determine the overall significance of the newly discovered process to the intact heart function and its therapeutic potential.

We want to see how much protein acetylation matters when operating alongside all the other processes in the heart and the body, Shroff said. If this process is shown to be significant under these conditions, it will be an exciting finding.


'/>"/>

Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
2. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
3. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
4. Bioengineers at University of Pennsylvania devise nanoscale system to measure cellular forces
5. Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance
6. Antioxidant to retard wrinkles discovered by Hebrew University researcher
7. Society for General Microbiology 161st Meeting, University of Edinburgh
8. Boston University biomedical engineers find chink in bacterias armor
9. KAUST and American University in Cairo to collaborate on research and academic development
10. UNH becomes first university in nation to use landfill gas as primary energy source
11. University of Minnesota study refutes belief that black men have more aggressive prostate cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/26/2017)... PANAMA CITY , Jan. 26, 2017  Crossmatch, ... today unveiled a new solution aimed at combatting fraud, ... The solution was introduced at the Action on Disaster ... a key meeting point for UN agencies and foreign ... Fraud, waste and abuse are a largely ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... -- The latest mobile market research from Acuity Market Intelligence ... quarterly average price of a biometric smartphone decreased from ... There are now 120 sub-$150 models on the market ... 28 a year ago at an average price of ... , Acuity Market Intelligence Principal, "Biometric Smartphones are a ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... spectrum of clinical research, is proud to announce ... the organization in terms of corporate growth, outside ... and services. The company,s exceptional achievements can be ... iMedNet ™ – MedNet,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 Origin (Origin Agritech, LLC, a subsidiary ... seed provider, and Arcadia (Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., ... and commercializes agricultural productivity traits and nutritional products, today announced their ... product developed in China to ... ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... and SAN DIEGO , Feb. ... "Company") (OTCQB:CELZ) announced today expansion of its translational ... cell product through establishment of laboratory facilities in ... at the San Diego BioLabs facility, a biotechnology ... Novartis, and Sanofi. In November 2016, ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... During HIMSS ... digital health applications, announced a partnership with Redox, a leader in cloud-based healthcare ... many clinical systems while keeping data secure in the cloud. , The digital ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... ... The medical potential of stem cells is both extensive and astounding, and ... their differentiating characteristics. Stem cells are unique as the have the potential to renew ... tissue or organic-specific cells with special functions. , Stem cell therapy in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: