HINT1 (Histidine Triad Nucleotide-Binding Protein 1) Attenuates Cardiac Hypertrophy Via Suppressing HOXA5 (Homeobox A5) Expression

Circulation. 2021 Aug 24;144(8):638-654. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.051094. Epub 2021 Jun 8.


Background: Cardiac hypertrophy is an important prepathology of, and will ultimately lead to, heart failure. However, the mechanisms underlying pathological cardiac hypertrophy remain largely unknown. This study aims to elucidate the effects and mechanisms of HINT1 (histidine triad nucleotide-binding protein 1) in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.

Methods: HINT1 was downregulated in human hypertrophic heart samples compared with nonhypertrophic samples by mass spectrometry analysis. Hint1 knockout mice were challenged with transverse aortic constriction surgery. Cardiac-specific overexpression of HINT1 mice by intravenous injection of adeno-associated virus 9 (AAV9)-encoding Hint1 under the cTnT (cardiac troponin T) promoter were subjected to transverse aortic construction. Unbiased transcriptional analyses were used to identify the downstream targets of HINT1. AAV9 bearing shRNA against Hoxa5 (homeobox A5) was administrated to investigate whether the effects of HINT1 on cardiac hypertrophy were HOXA5-dependent. RNA sequencing analysis was performed to recapitulate possible changes in transcriptome profile.Coimmunoprecipitation assays and cellular fractionation analyses were conducted to examine the mechanism by which HINT1 regulates the expression of HOXA5.

Results: The reduction of HINT1 expression was observed in the hearts of hypertrophic patients and pressure overloaded-induced hypertrophic mice, respectively. In Hint1-deficient mice, cardiac hypertrophy deteriorated after transverse aortic construction. Conversely, cardiac-specific overexpression of HINT1 alleviated cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction. Unbiased profiler polymerase chain reaction array showed HOXA5 is 1 target for HINT1, and the cardioprotective role of HINT1 was abolished by HOXA5 knockdown in vivo. Hoxa5 was identified to affect hypertrophy through the TGF-β (transforming growth factor β) signal pathway. Mechanically, HINT1 inhibited PKCβ1 (protein kinase C β type 1) membrane translocation and phosphorylation via direct interaction, attenuating the MEK/ERK/YY1 (mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase/yin yang 1) signal pathway, downregulating HOXA5 expression, and eventually attenuating cardiac hypertrophy.

Conclusions: HINT1 protects against cardiac hypertrophy through suppressing HOXA5 expression. These findings indicate that HINT1 may be a potential target for therapeutic interventions in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.

Keywords: histidine triad nucleotide binding protein 1; homeobox A5; hypertrophy.