Serum response factor deletion 5 regulates phospholamban phosphorylation and calcium uptake

J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2021 Oct:159:28-37. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2021.06.007. Epub 2021 Jun 15.


Aims: Pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy (pDCM) is characterized by unique age-dependent molecular mechanisms that include myocellular responses to therapy. We previously showed that pDCM, but not adult DCM patients respond to phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitors (PDE3i) by increasing levels of the second messenger cAMP and consequent phosphorylation of phospholamban (PLN). However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the differential pediatric and adult response to PDE3i are not clear.

Methods and results: Quantification of serum response factor (SRF) isoforms from the left ventricle of explanted hearts showed that PDE3i treatment affects expression of SRF isoforms in pDCM hearts. An SRF isoform lacking exon 5 (SRFdel5) was highly expressed in the hearts of pediatric, but not adult DCM patients treated with PDE3i. To determine the functional consequence of expression of SRFdel5, we overexpressed full length SRF or SRFdel5 in cultured cardiomyocytes with and without adrenergic stimulation. Compared to a control adenovirus, expression of SRFdel5 increased phosphorylation of PLN, negatively affected expression of the phosphatase that promotes dephosphorylation of PLN (PP2Cε), and promoted faster calcium reuptake, whereas expression of full length SRF attenuated calcium reuptake through blunted phosphorylation of PLN.

Conclusions: Taken together, these data indicate that expression of SRFdel5 in pDCM hearts in response to PDE3i contributes to improved function through regulating PLN phosphorylation and thereby calcium reuptake.

Keywords: Calcium reuptake; Pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy; Phosphodiesterase 3 inhibition; Phospholamban; Serum response factor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Female
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Heart Ventricles / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases / metabolism
  • Serum Response Factor / metabolism


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Serum Response Factor
  • phospholamban
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases
  • Calcium