G protein-coupled receptor kinase-2 is a novel regulator of collagen synthesis in adult human cardiac fibroblasts

J Biol Chem. 2011 Apr 29;286(17):15507-16. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.218263. Epub 2011 Feb 25.


Cardiac fibroblasts (CF) make up 60-70% of the total cell number in the heart and play a critical role in regulating normal myocardial function and in adverse remodeling following myocardial infarction and the transition to heart failure. Recent studies have shown that increased intracellular cAMP can inhibit CF transformation and collagen synthesis in adult rat CF; however, mechanisms by which cAMP production is regulated in CF have not been elucidated. We investigated the potential role of G protein-coupled receptor kinase-2 (GRK2) in modulating collagen synthesis by adult human CF isolated from normal and failing left ventricles. Baseline collagen synthesis was elevated in failing CF and was not inhibited by β-agonist stimulation in contrast to normal controls. β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) signaling was markedly uncoupled in the failing CF, and expression and activity of GRK2 were increased 3-fold. Overexpression of GRK2 in normal CF recapitulated a heart failure phenotype with minimal inhibition of collagen synthesis following β-agonist stimulation. In contrast, knockdown of GRK2 expression in normal CF enhanced cAMP production and led to greater β-agonist-mediated inhibition of basal and TGFβ-stimulated collagen synthesis versus control. Inhibition of GRK2 activity in failing CF by expression of the GRK2 inhibitor, GRK2ct, or siRNA-mediated knockdown restored β-agonist-stimulated inhibition of collagen synthesis and decreased collagen synthesis in response to TGFβ stimulation. GRK2 appears to play a significant role in regulating collagen synthesis in adult human CF, and increased activity of this kinase may be an important mechanism of maladaptive ventricular remodeling as mediated by cardiac fibroblasts.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Collagen / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Collagen / biosynthesis*
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2 / physiology*
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Ventricles / cytology
  • Humans
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Ventricular Remodeling


  • Collagen
  • Cyclic AMP
  • GRK2 protein, human
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2