CaMKII as a Therapeutic Target in Cardiovascular Disease

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2023 Jan 20:63:249-272. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-051421-111814. Epub 2022 Aug 16.


CaMKII (the multifunctional Ca2+ and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II) is a highly validated signal for promoting a variety of common diseases, particularly in the cardiovascular system. Despite substantial amounts of convincing preclinical data, CaMKII inhibitors have yet to emerge in clinical practice. Therapeutic inhibition is challenged by the diversity of CaMKII isoforms and splice variants and by physiological CaMKII activity that contributes to learning and memory. Thus, uncoupling the harmful and beneficial aspects of CaMKII will be paramount to developing effective therapies. In the last decade, several targeting strategies have emerged, including small molecules, peptides, and nucleotides, which hold promise in discriminating pathological from physiological CaMKII activity. Here we review the cellular and molecular biology of CaMKII, discuss its role in physiological and pathological signaling, and consider new findings and approaches for developing CaMKII therapeutics.

Keywords: CaMKII; arrhythmias; calcium; cardiovascular disease; heart failure; kinase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular System* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2