Effects of farnesoid-X-receptor SUMOylation mutation on myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in mice

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Myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R) injury induces excessive cellular apoptosis and contributes significantly to final infarct size. We previously demonstrated that a nuclear receptor, Farnesoid X receptor (FXR), plays a crucial role in mediating myocardial apoptosis. The FXR functions are regulated by post translational modifications (PTM). However, whether the proapoptotic effect of FXR in MI/R injury is regulated by PTM remains unclear. Here, we aimed to study the effect of SUMOylation, a PTM involved in the pathogenesis of MI/R injury per se, on the proapoptotic effect of FXR in MI/R injury. We observed that FXR could be SUMOylated in heart tissues, and FXR SUMOylation levels were downregulated in ischemia reperfused myocardium. By overexpression of SUMOylation-defective FXR mutant, it was demonstrated that decreased SUMOylation augmented the detrimental effect of FXR, via activation of mitochondrial apoptosis pathway and autophagy dysfunction in MI/R injury. Further mechanistic studies suggested that decreased SUMOylation levels increased the transcription activity of FXR, and the subsequently upregulated FXR target gene SHP mediated the proapoptotic effects of FXR. Taken together, we provided the first evidence that the cardiac effects of FXR could be regulated by SUMOylation, and that manipulating FXR SUMOylation levels may hold therapeutic promise for constraining MI/R injury.HighlightsEffect of FXR SUMOylation on myocardial apoptosis during MI/R injury was studied.Cardiac-specific overexpression of wild-type and SUMOylation-resistant FXR in mice.FXR was SUMOylated in the heart tissue and SUMOylation levels decreased after MI/R.SUMOylation plays essential roles in regulating FXR function in MI/R injury.

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