Targeting Wnt-ß-Catenin-FOSL Signaling Ameliorates Right Ventricular Remodeling

Circ Res. 2023 May 26;132(11):1468-1485. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.122.321725. Epub 2023 Apr 12.


Background: The ability of the right ventricle (RV) to adapt to an increased pressure afterload determines survival in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. At present, there are no specific treatments available to prevent RV failure, except for heart/lung transplantation. The wingless/int-1 (Wnt) signaling pathway plays an important role in the development of the RV and may also be implicated in adult cardiac remodeling.

Methods: Molecular, biochemical, and pharmacological approaches were used both in vitro and in vivo to investigate the role of Wnt signaling in RV remodeling.

Results: Wnt/β-catenin signaling molecules are upregulated in RV of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension and animal models of RV overload (pulmonary artery banding-induced and monocrotaline rat models). Activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling leads to RV remodeling via transcriptional activation of FOSL1 and FOSL2 (FOS proto-oncogene [FOS] like 1/2, AP-1 [activator protein 1] transcription factor subunit). Immunohistochemical analysis of pulmonary artery banding -exposed BAT-Gal (β-catenin-activated transgene driving expression of nuclear β-galactosidase) reporter mice RVs exhibited an increase in β-catenin expression compared with their respective controls. Genetic inhibition of β-catenin, FOSL1/2, or WNT3A stimulation of RV fibroblasts significantly reduced collagen synthesis and other remodeling genes. Importantly, pharmacological inhibition of Wnt signaling using inhibitor of PORCN (porcupine O-acyltransferase), LGKK-974 attenuated fibrosis and cardiac hypertrophy leading to improvement in RV function in both, pulmonary artery banding - and monocrotaline-induced RV overload.

Conclusions: Wnt- β-Catenin-FOSL signaling is centrally involved in the hypertrophic RV response to increased afterload, offering novel targets for therapeutic interference with RV failure in pulmonary hypertension.

Keywords: actins; fibroblasts; inflammation; monocrotaline; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catenins
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Heart Failure*
  • Mice
  • Monocrotaline / toxicity
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension*
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction
  • Ventricular Function, Right
  • Ventricular Remodeling
  • beta Catenin


  • beta Catenin
  • Catenins
  • Monocrotaline