Class IIa histone deacetylases (HDACs) repress genes involved in pathological cardiac hypertrophy. The anti-hypertrophic action of class IIa HDACs is overcome by signals that promote their phosphorylation-dependent nuclear export. Several kinases have been shown to phosphorylate class IIa HDACs, including calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK), protein kinase D (PKD) and G protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK). However, the identity of the kinase(s) responsible for phosphorylating class IIa HDACs during cardiac hypertrophy has remained controversial. We describe a novel and selective small molecule inhibitor of PKD, bipyridyl PKD inhibitor (BPKDi). BPKDi blocks signal-dependent phosphorylation and nuclear export of class IIa HDACs in cardiomyocytes and concomitantly suppresses hypertrophy of these cells. These studies define PKD as a principal cardiac class IIa HDAC kinase.
2009 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.