Role of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1-c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase-p38 signaling in voltage-gated K+ channel remodeling of the failing heart: Regulation by thioredoxin

Kang Tang, Xun Li, Ming Qi Zheng, George J. Rozanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 kinase are key regulators of cardiac hypertrophy and apoptosis during pathological stress, but their role in regulating ion channels in the diseased heart is unclear. Thus, we compared the kinase profile and electrophysiological phenotype of the rat ventricle 6-8 weeks after myocardial infarction (MI). Molecular analyses showed that JNK and p38 activities were markedly increased in post-MI hearts, while parallel voltage-clamp studies in ventricular myocytes revealed a characteristic downregulation of transient outward K+ current (Ito) density. When post-MI myocytes were treated with JNK or p38 inhibitors, I to density increased to control levels. Upregulation of I to was also elicited by insulin-like growth factor-1, which decreased JNK/p38 activity in post-MI hearts, and these changes were blocked by the thioredoxin (Trx) reductase inhibitor auranofin. Consistent with activation of JNK-p38 signaling, binding of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1 with Trx1 was also markedly decreased post-MI, and was reversed by insulin-like growth factor-1 in an auranofin-sensitive manner. We conclude that expression of ventricular K+ channels is redox regulated and that chronic impairment of the Trx system in the post-MI heart contributes to Ito remodeling through sustained activation of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1-JNK-p38 signaling. The cardiac Trx system may thus be a novel therapeutic target to reverse or prevent ventricular arrhythmias in the failing heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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