New frontiers in myocardial protection: a systems biology approach

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Sep-Dec;16(3-4):285-9. doi: 10.1177/1074248411415855.


Myocardial ischemic injury and cardioprotection are characterized by a cascade of molecular changes, which includes gene expression, protein expression, protein localization, interactions, and posttranslational modifications (PTMs). A systems biology approach allows the study of these genes and proteins on a large scale; the omics technologies have led to new discoveries that further enhance our understanding of these molecular events. The complexity of the prosurvival signaling networks in cardiac cells is increasingly recognized; they afford beneficial effects on the integrity and functionality of a common effector, the mitochondrion. Mitochondrial proteome undergoes dynamic modifications in the course of ischemic injury; depending on the degree of injury, a variety of functional clusters are being affected including the changes in their protein properties (eg, PTMs), which consequently impact their function. The mitochondrial proteome appears to have inherent molecular machinery that initiates a versatile prosurvival mode, resisting environmental challenges. The molecular features in these mitochondrial pathways enabling adaptations involve distinct phosphorylation sites, S-nitrosylation cysteine residues, and other important amino acid domains subjected to PTMs. They become critical players in the determination of cell death and survival. Cardioprotective protein kinases, such as protein kinase C∈, can activate these PTMs, and provide a unique therapeutic platform for the use of small peptide regulators. Combining genomics and metabolomics discovery with that of proteomics information allows biological insights into cardioprotection at an integrated systems level. The current review discusses the systems biology concepts of myocardial ischemic injury and cardioprotection, as well as outlines the interrelationships of proteomics, genomics, and metabolomics in the quest to comprehend the prosurvival cell-signaling networks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Heart / physiology
  • Humans
  • Metabolome / physiology*
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Myocardial Ischemia / prevention & control
  • Myocardial Ischemia / therapy
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Proteome / physiology*
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Systems Biology*


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Proteome