Pharmacological inhibition of SUMO-1 with ginkgolic acid alleviates cardiac fibrosis induced by myocardial infarction in mice

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Background and purpose:

Protein modification by small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of heart diseases. The present study was designed to determine whether ginkgolic acid (GA) as a SUMO-1 inhibitor exerts an inhibitory effect on cardiac fibrosis induced by myocardial infarction (MI).

Experimental approach:

GA was delivered by osmotic pumps in MI mice. Masson staining, electron microscopy (EM) and echocardiography were used to assess cardiac fibrosis, ultrastructure and function. Expression of SUMO-1, PML, TGF-β1 and Pin1 was measured with Western blot or Real-time PCR. Collagen content, cell viability and myofibroblast transformation were measured in neonatal mouse cardiac fibroblasts (NMCFs). Promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein was over-expressed by plasmid transfection.

Key results:

GA improved cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction, and decreased SUMO-1 expression in MI mice. GA (>20μM) inhibited NMCF viability in a dose-dependent manner. Nontoxic GA (10μM) restrained angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced myofibroblast transformation and collagen production. GA also inhibited expression of TGF-β1 mRNA and protein in vitro and in vivo. GA suppressed PML SUMOylation and PML nuclear body (PML-NB) organization, and disrupted expression and recruitment of Pin1 (a positive regulator of TGF-β1 mRNA), whereas over-expression of PML reversed that.

Conclusions and implications:

Inhibition of SUMO-1 by GA alleviated MI-induced heart dysfunction and fibrosis, and the SUMOylated PML/Pin1/TGF-β1 pathway is crucial for GA-inhibited cardiac fibrosis.

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