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Molecular 'playbook' for halting heart failure risk factor uncovered
Date:9/23/2010

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The major finding and linchpin in the playbook is the action of PKA, an enzyme that researchers found changes the composition of HDAC5, keeping it inside the nucleus of heart muscle cells and stopping the expression of cardiac fetal or cardiac growth genes genes that spur the growth of a newly developing heart in a fetus, but also cause the growth of unwanted heart muscle cells in adults, making the organ bigger and thicker than it should be.

Researchers also believe PKA helps counteract stress signals, such as from high blood pressure, which interact with and typically boot HDAC5 out of the nucleus, clearing the way for the expression of cardiac growth genes and the subsequent development of heart muscle cells that lead to the enlargement of the heart.

Cardiac hypertrophy usually occurs when there is added stress on the heart. The most common cause of hypertrophy is hypertension, or high blood pressure, which forces the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body, causing the muscle to thicken over time. When the heart is enlarged, it does not work as efficiently as it should and can lead to heart failure.

According to Jin, next steps include animal studies to determine if keeping HDAC5 in the nucleus through PKA signaling stops cardiac hypertrophy in mice. Findings may reveal the HDAC5/PKA interaction as a viable target for drug therapy to treat cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Researchers have filed a patent application for the concept that is currently pending.

"Jin and his team have defined a new, potentially drugable target for treating cardiac hypertrophy, yet much more research is needed to determine if the findings hold beyond the current study," said Joseph Miano, Ph.D., associate director of the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute.


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Contact: Emily Boynton
emily_boynton@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-1757
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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