Regulation of Kv4 channel expression in failing rat heart by the thioredoxin system

Xun Li, Kang Tang, Bin Xie, Shumin Li, George J. Rozanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Redox imbalance elicited by oxidative stress contributes to pathogenic remodeling of ion channels that underlies arrhythmogenesis and contractile dysfunction in the failing heart. This study examined whether the expression of K+ channels in the remodeled ventricle is controlled by the thioredoxin system, a principal oxidoreductase network regulating redox-sensitive proteins. Ventricular dysfunction was induced in rats by coronary artery ligation, and experiments were conducted 6-8 wk postinfarction. Biochemical assays of tissue extracts from infarcted hearts showed that thioredoxin reductase activity was decreased by 32% from sham-operated controls (P < 0.05), whereas thioredoxin activity was 51% higher postinfarction (P < 0.05). These differences in activities paralleled changes in protein abundance as determined by Western blot analysis. However, whereas real-time PCR showed thioredoxin reductase mRNA levels to be significantly decreased postinfarction, thioredoxin mRNA was not altered. In voltage-clamp studies of myocytes from infarcted hearts, the characteristic down-regulation of transient-outward K+ current density was reversed by exogenous pyruvate (5 mmol/l), and this effect was blocked by the specific inhibitors of the thioredoxin system: auranofin or 13-cisretinoic acid. Real-time PCR and Western blot analyses of myocyte suspensions from infarcted hearts showed that pyruvate increased mRNA and protein abundance of Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 channel α-subunits as well as the accessory protein KChIP2 when compared with time-matched, untreated cells (P < 0.05). The pyruvate-induced increase in Kv4.x expression was blocked by auranofin, but the upregulation of KChIP2 expression was not affected. These data suggest that the expression of Kv4.x channels is redox-regulated by the thioredoxin system, which may be a novel therapeutic target to reverse or limit electrical remodeling of the failing heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H416-H424
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Electrical remodeling
  • Heart failure
  • Potassium channels
  • Transient-outward potassium current

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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