Molecular adaptations to chronic neurohormonal stress, including sarcomeric protein cleavage and phosphorylation, provide a mechanism to increase ventricular contractility and enhance cardiac output, yet the link between sarcomeric protein modifications and changes in myocardial function remains unclear. To examine the effects of neurohormonal stress on posttranslational modifications of sarcomeric proteins, mice were administered combined α- and β-adrenergic receptor agonists (isoproterenol and phenylephrine, IPE) for 14 days using implantable osmotic pumps. In addition to significant cardiac hypertrophy and increased maximal ventricular pressure, IPE treatment accelerated pressure development and relaxation (74% increase in dP/dtmax and 14% decrease in τ), resulting in a 52% increase in cardiac output compared with saline (SAL)-treated mice. Accelerated pressure development was maintained when accounting for changes in heart rate and preload, suggesting that myocardial adaptations contribute to enhanced ventricular contractility. Ventricular myocardium isolated from IPE-treated mice displayed a significant reduction in troponin I (TnI) and myosin-binding protein C (MyBP-C) expression and a concomitant increase in the phosphorylation levels of the remaining TnI and MyBP-C protein compared with myocardium isolated from saline-treated control mice. Skinned myocardium isolated from IPE-treated mice displayed a significant acceleration in the rate of cross-bridge (XB) detachment (46% increase) and an enhanced magnitude of XB recruitment (43% increase) at submaximal Ca2+ activation compared with SAL-treated mice but unaltered myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity of force generation. These findings demonstrate that sarcomeric protein modifications during neurohormonal stress are molecular adaptations that enhance in vivo ventricular contractility through accelerated XB kinetics to increase cardiac output.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY Posttranslational modifications to sarcomeric regulatory proteins provide a mechanism to modulate cardiac function in response to stress. In this study, we demonstrate that neurohormonal stress produces modifications to myosin-binding protein C and troponin I, including a reduction in protein expression within the sarcomere and increased phosphorylation of the remaining protein, which serve to enhance cross-bridge kinetics and increase cardiac output. These findings highlight the importance of sarcomeric regulatory protein modifications in modulating ventricular function during cardiac stress.
- myosin-binding protein C
- troponin I
- cardiac contractility
- posttranslational modifications
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