Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase attenuates cardiomyocyte hypertrophy through regulation of FOXO3a/MAFbx signaling pathway

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Control of cardiac muscle mass is thought to be determined by a dynamic balance of protein synthesis and degradation. Recent studies have demonstrated that atrophy-related forkhead box O 3a (FOXO3a)/muscle atrophy F-box (MAFbx) signaling pathway plays a central role in the modulation of proteolysis and exert inhibitory effect on cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation attenuates cardiomyocyte hypertrophy by regulating FOXO3a/MAFbx signaling pathway and its downstream protein degradation. The results showed that activation of AMPK with 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR) attenuated cardiomyocyte hypertrophy induced by angiotensin II (Ang II). The antihypertrophic effects of AICAR were blunted by AMPK inhibitor Compound C. In addition, AMPK dramatically increased the activity of transcription factor FOXO3a, up-regulated the expression of its downstream ubiquitin ligase MAFbx, and enhanced cardiomyocyte proteolysis. Meanwhile, the effects of AMPK on protein degradation and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy were blocked after MAFbx was silenced by transfection of cardiomyocytes with MAFbx-siRNA. These results indicate that AMPK plays an important role in the inhibition of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy by activating protein degradation via FOXO3a/MAFbx signaling pathway.

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