Aims: A kinase interacting protein 1 (AKIP1) stimulates physiological growth in cultured cardiomyocytes and attenuates ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in ex vivo perfused hearts. We aimed to determine whether AKIP1 modulates the cardiac response to acute and chronic cardiac stresses in vivo.
Methods and results: Transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of AKIP1 (AKIP1-TG) were created. AKIP1-TG mice and their wild-type (WT) littermates displayed similar cardiac structure and function. Likewise, cardiac remodelling in response to transverse aortic constriction or permanent coronary artery ligation was identical in AKIP1-TG and WT littermates, as evidenced by serial cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and pressure-volume loop analysis. Histological indices of remodelling, including cardiomyocyte cross-sectional diameter, capillary density, and left ventricular fibrosis were also similar in AKIP1-TG mice and WT littermates. When subjected to 45 min of ischaemia followed by 24 h of reperfusion, AKIP1-TG mice displayed a significant two-fold reduction in myocardial infarct size and reductions in cardiac apoptosis. In contrast to previous reports, AKIP1 did not co-immunoprecipitate with or regulate the activity of the signalling molecules NF-κB, protein kinase A, or AKT. AKIP1 was, however, enriched in cardiac mitochondria and co-immunoprecipitated with a key component of the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) pore, ATP synthase. Finally, mitochondria isolated from AKIP1-TG hearts displayed markedly reduced calcium-induced swelling, indicative of reduced MPT pore formation.
Conclusions: In contrast to in vitro studies, AKIP1 overexpression does not influence cardiac remodelling in response to chronic cardiac stress. AKIP1 does, however, reduce myocardial I/R injury through stabilization of the MPT pore. These findings suggest that AKIP1 deserves further investigation as a putative treatment target for cardioprotection from I/R injury during acute myocardial infarction.
Keywords: AKIP1; Heart failure; Hypertrophy; Mitochondrial permeability transition pore; Reperfusion injury.
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