Background: Increasing SERCA2 (sarco[endo]-plasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase 2) activity is suggested to be beneficial in chronic heart failure, but no selective SERCA2-activating drugs are available. PDE3A (phosphodiesterase 3A) is proposed to be present in the SERCA2 interactome and limit SERCA2 activity. Disruption of PDE3A from SERCA2 might thus be a strategy to develop SERCA2 activators.
Methods: Confocal microscopy, 2-color direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, proximity ligation assays, immunoprecipitations, peptide arrays, and surface plasmon resonance were used to investigate colocalization between SERCA2 and PDE3A in cardiomyocytes, map the SERCA2/PDE3A interaction sites, and optimize disruptor peptides that release PDE3A from SERCA2. Functional experiments assessing the effect of PDE3A-binding to SERCA2 were performed in cardiomyocytes and HEK293 vesicles. The effect of SERCA2/PDE3A disruption by an optimized disruptor peptide (Opt) F on cardiac mortality and function was evaluated during 20 weeks in 2 consecutive randomized, blinded, and controlled preclinical trials in a total of 148 mice injected with recombinant adeno-associated virus 9 (rAAV9)-OptF, rAAV9-control (Ctrl), or PBS, before undergoing aortic banding (AB) or sham surgery and subsequent phenotyping with serial echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, histology, and functional and molecular assays.
Results: PDE3A colocalized with SERCA2 in human nonfailing, human failing, and rodent myocardium. Amino acids 277-402 of PDE3A bound directly to amino acids 169-216 within the actuator domain of SERCA2. Disruption of PDE3A from SERCA2 increased SERCA2 activity in normal and failing cardiomyocytes. SERCA2/PDE3A disruptor peptides increased SERCA2 activity also in the presence of protein kinase A inhibitors and in phospholamban-deficient mice, and had no effect in mice with cardiomyocyte-specific inactivation of SERCA2. Cotransfection of PDE3A reduced SERCA2 activity in HEK293 vesicles. Treatment with rAAV9-OptF reduced cardiac mortality compared with rAAV9-Ctrl (hazard ratio, 0.26 [95% CI, 0.11 to 0.63]) and PBS (hazard ratio, 0.28 [95% CI, 0.09 to 0.90]) 20 weeks after AB. Mice injected with rAAV9-OptF had improved contractility and no difference in cardiac remodeling compared with rAAV9-Ctrl after aortic banding.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that PDE3A regulates SERCA2 activity through direct binding, independently of the catalytic activity of PDE3A. Targeting the SERCA2/PDE3A interaction prevented cardiac mortality after aortic banding, most likely by improving cardiac contractility.
Keywords: EC-coupling; PDE3A; SERCA2; calcium; chronic heart failure.