Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology

T-type Ca²⁺ signalling downregulates MEK1/2 phosphorylation and cross-talk with the RAAS transcriptional response in cardiac myocytes.

PMID 22634504


Cardiac dysfunction is often associated with an increase in the activity of the renin-angiotensin II-aldosterone system (RAAS). Here, we highlight the cross-talk between the Ca(2+) signalling generated by cardiac T-type current (I(CaT)) and RAAS signalling. Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes exposed to aldosterone, angiotensin II or aldosterone plus angiotensin II co-treatment (AA) show an increase in I(CaT) density, with no cumulative effect of the AA co-treatment. AA increases the amount of T-type channel Ca(v)3.1 mRNA in a time-dependent manner. Angiotensin II increases Ca(v)3.1 mRNA stability, whereas aldosterone increases the transcriptional activity of the Ca(v)3.1 gene promoter. However, in AA-treated cells, angiotensin II decreases aldosterone-induced promoter activity, and aldosterone decreases angiotensin II-induced mRNA stability. The mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK1/2), which is synergically phosphorylated in AA-treated cells, alters the translocation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) into the nucleus and attenuates aldosterone-induced promoter activity. In contrast, MEK1/2 has no effect on the NFkB-induced increase in Ca(v)3.1 mRNA and MEK1/2 promoted CREB-target gene transcription. Aldosterone and AA-induced I(CaT) signalling result in a time-dependent activation of the phosphatase PP2A, which dephosphorylates MEK1/2 and CREB. Finally, angiotensin II alone also activates PP2A, which targets MEK1/2, but this activation is independent of I(CaT) calcium signalling and has no effect on CREB phosphorylation. In conclusion, our data demonstrate the cross-talk between a GR-mediated aldosterone response, angiotensin II and the I(CaT) signalling pathways and identify MEK1/2 as a point of connection. This cross-talk results in the fine control of GR- and/or CREB-target gene expression.

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