Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a cardioprotective gas, is endogenously produced from homocysteine by cystathionine beta synthase (CBS) and cystathionine gamma lyase (CSE) enzymes. However, effect of H2S or homocysteine on CBS and CSE expression, and cross-talk between CBS and CSE are unclear. We hypothesize that homocysteine and H2S regulate CBS and CSE expressions in a dose dependent manner in cardiomyocytes, and CBS deficiency induces cardiac CSE expression. To test the hypothesis, we treated murine atrial HL1 cardiomyocytes with increasing doses of homocysteine or Na2S/GYY4137, a H2S donor, and measured the levels of CBS and CSE. We found that homocysteine upregulates CSE but downregulates CBS whereas Na2S/GYY4137 downregulates CSE but upregulates CBS in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, the Na2S-treatment downregulates specificity protein-1 (SP1), an inducer for CSE, and upregulates miR-133a that targets SP1 and inhibits cardiomyocytes hypertrophy. Conversely, in the homocysteine-treated cardiomyocytes, CBS and miR-133a were downregulated and hypertrophy was induced. In vivo studies using CBS+/-, a model for hyperhomocysteinemia, and sibling CBS+/+ control mice revealed that deficiency of CBS upregulates cardiac CSE, plausibly by inducing SP1. In conclusion, we revealed a novel mechanism for H2S-mediated regulation of homocysteine metabolism in cardiomyocytes, and a negative feedback regulation between CBS and CSE in the heart.
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