Myocardial infarction, an irreversible cardiac tissue damage, involves progressive loss of cardiomyocytes due to p53-mediated apoptosis. Oxygenation is known to promote cardiac survival through activation of NOS3 gene. We hypothesized a dual role for p53, which, depending on oxygenation, can elicit apoptotic death signals or NOS3-mediated survival signals in the infarct heart. p53 exhibited a differential DNA-binding, namely, BAX-p53RE in the infarct heart or NOS3-p53RE in the oxygenated heart, which was regulated by oxygen-induced, post-translational modification of p53. In the infarct heart, p53 was heavily acetylated at Lys(118) residue, which was exclusively reversed in the oxygenated heart, apparently regulated by oxygen-dependent expression of TIP60. The inhibition of Lys(118) acetylation promoted the generation of NOS3-promoting prosurvival form of p53. Thus, oxygenation switches p53-DNA interaction by regulating p53 core-domain acetylation, promoting a prosurvival transcription activity of p53. Understanding this novel oxygen-p53 survival pathway will open new avenues in cardioprotection molecular therapy.
Keywords: NOS3; lysine acetylation; myocardial infarction; oxygenation; p53.
© 2013 The Authors. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd on behalf of EMBO.