Genetically induced moderate inhibition of the proteasome in cardiomyocytes exacerbates myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in Mice

Zongwen Tian, Hanqiao Zheng, Jie Li, Yifan Li, Huabo Su, Xuejun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Rationale: Both cardiomyocyte-restricted proteasome functional enhancement and pharmacological proteasome inhibition (PSMI) were shown to attenuate myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. The role of cardiac proteasome dysfunction during I/R and the perspective to diminish I/R injury by manipulating proteasome function remain unclear. Objectives: We sought to determine proteasome adequacy in I/R hearts, create a mouse model of cardiomyocyte-restricted PSMI (CR-PSMI), and test CR-PSMI impact on I/R injury. Methods and Results: Myocardial I/R were modeled by ligation (30 minutes) and subsequent release of the left anterior descending artery in mice overexpressing GFPdgn, a validated surrogate proteasome substrate. At 24 hours of reperfusion, myocardial proteasome activities were significantly lower whereas total ubiquitin conjugates and GFPdgn protein levels were markedly higher in all regions of the I/R hearts than the sham controls, indicative of proteasome functional insufficiency. CR-PSMI in intact mice was achieved by transgenic (tg) overexpression of a peptidase-disabled mouse β5 subunit (T60A-β5) driven by an attenuated mouse mhc6 promoter. Overexpressed T60A-β5 can replace endogenous β5 and inhibits proteasome chymotrypsin-like activities in the heart. Mice with moderate CR-PSMI showed no abnormalities at the baseline but displayed markedly more pronounced structural and functional damage during I/R, compared with non-tg littermates. The exacerbation of I/R injury by moderate CR-PSMI was associated with significant increases in the protein level of PTEN and protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ), decreased Akt activation, and reduced PKC[Latin Small Letter Open E]. Conclusions: Myocardial I/R causes proteasome functional insufficiency in cardiomyocytes and moderate CR-PSMI augments PTEN and PKCδ, suppresses Akt and PKC[Latin Small Letter Open E], increases cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and aggravates I/R injury in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-542
Number of pages11
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 17 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Akt
  • PKCσ
  • myocardial reperfusion injury
  • proteasome inhibition
  • transgenic mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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