Aims: Acute ischaemic preconditioning (IPC) induces protection against cardiac ischaemia-reperfusion (IR) via post-translational modification of key proteins. Lysine (Lys) acetylation is an important regulator of protein function, but this type of modification has not been studied in the context of IPC. We investigated Lys acetylation in IPC and its upstream regulation by SIRT1.
Methods and results: Hearts from C57BL/6 mice were Langendorff-perfused and subjected to IPC and IR injury. Mice were exposed to IPC by in vivo coronary artery occlusion. An isolated cardiomyocyte model of IPC was also developed. Lys acetylation was measured by western blotting, and pharmacological modulators of Lys acetylation were tested. More Lys deacetylation was observed in IPC, in the Langendorff, in vivo, and cellular IPC models; this was concurrent with an increase in SIRT1 activity measured by p53 Lys₃₇₉ deacetylation. IPC was not accompanied by changes in SIRT1 protein level, but evidence was obtained for SIRT1 modification by Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMOylation) in IPC. Furthermore, the specific SIRT1 inhibitor splitomicin reversed both IPC-mediated Lys deacetylation and IPC-induced cardioprotection. Inhibition of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt, an important enzyme which regulates SIRT1 activity by maintaining availability of the substrate NAD(+)) also blocked both IPC-induced deacetylation and cardioprotection.
Conclusion: Lys deacetylation occurs during IPC and an elevation in SIRT1 activity plays a role in this phenomenon. Inhibition of SIRT1, either directly or by restricting the availability of its substrate NAD(+), inhibits IPC. Together these data suggest a role for SIRT1-mediated Lys deacetylation in the mechanism of acute IPC.