Involvement of oxidants and AP-1 in angiotensin II-activated NFAT3 transcription factor

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2007 Apr;292(4):C1248-55. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00624.2005. Epub 2006 Nov 15.


Cardiomyocyte hypertrophy is associated with multiple pathophysiological cardiovascular conditions. Recent studies have substantiated the finding that oxidants may contribute to the development of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Activation of the nuclear factor of activated T cells-3 (NFAT3) transcription factor has been shown to result from endocrine inducers of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy such as angiotensin II (ANG II) and serves as an important molecular regulator of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. In this study, we found that antioxidant enzyme catalase and antioxidants N-acetyl-l-cysteine, alpha-phenyl-N-tert-butylnitrone, and lipoic acid prevent ANG II from activating NFAT3 promoter-luciferase. H(2)O(2) induces a time- and dose-dependent activation of NFAT3 transcription factor. A dominant negative form of NFAT3 transcription factor inhibited H(2)O(2) from activating NFAT3 promoter. An inhibitor of ERKs, but not phosphoinositide 3-kinase or p38 MAPKs, blocked NFAT3 activation by H(2)O(2). The NFAT3 binding site in the promoters of most genes contains a weak activator protein-1 (AP-1) binding site adjacent to the core consensus NFAT binding sequence. ERK inhibitor PD98059 was found previously to inhibit AP-1 activation by H(2)O(2). Inactivation of AP-1 transcription factor by cotransfection of a dominant negative c-Jun, TAM67, prevented H(2)O(2) or ANG II from activating NFAT3 promoter. NFAT3 promoter containing the core NFAT cis-element without AP-1 binding site failed to show activation by H(2)O(2) treatment. Our data suggest that hypertrophy inducers ANG II and H(2)O(2) may activate NFAT3 in cardiomyocyte through an AP-1 transcription factor-dependent mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / pharmacology
  • Angiotensin II / metabolism*
  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cell Enlargement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclic N-Oxides / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • NFATC Transcription Factors / genetics
  • NFATC Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Oxidants / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Cyclic N-Oxides
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Oxidants
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Angiotensin II
  • phenyl-N-tert-butylnitrone
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Catalase
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Acetylcysteine