Calpain is activated during hypoxic myocardial cell injury

Biochem Med Metab Biol. 1991 Dec;46(3):427-31. doi: 10.1016/0885-4505(91)90091-x.


Cell death during hypoxia rose to 80% after 6 h. Calpain activity increased to 4 units during hypoxia, much higher than the 0.7 units seen in aerobic condition at 6 h. This activity was markedly inhibited by calpain-specific inhibitor I (n-acetyl-leucyle-leucyle-norleucinal). beta-Adrenergic blocking agents and calcium antagonists suppressed the calpain activity and decreased cell death during hypoxia. On the other hand, alpha-adrenergic blocking agents did not affect calpain activity and cell death under hypoxic conditions. These results prove that beta-adrenergic blocking agents and calcium antagonists prevent protein degradation during hypoxic cell injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calpain / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Calpain / metabolism*
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Hypoxia / physiology*
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Oligopeptides / chemical synthesis
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology*
  • Rats


  • Oligopeptides
  • Endopeptidases
  • Calpain