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Sustained over-expression of calpain-2 induces age-dependent dilated cardiomyopathy in mice through aberrant autophagy

	author = {Xiao-yun Ji and Dong Zheng and Rui Ni and Jin-xi Wang and Jian-qiang Shao and Zer Vue and Antentor Hinton Jr. and Long-Sheng Song and Guo-Chang Fan and Subrata Chakrabarti and Zhao-liang Su and Tian-qing Peng},
	title = {Sustained over-expression of calpain-2 induces age-dependent dilated cardiomyopathy in mice through aberrant autophagy},
	journal = {Acta Pharmacologica Sinica},
	volume = {43},
	number = {11},
	year = {2022},
	keywords = {},
	abstract = {Calpains have been implicated in heart diseases. While calpain-1 has been detrimental to the heart, the role of calpain-2 in cardiac pathology remains controversial. In this study we investigated whether sustained over-expression of calpain-2 had any adverse effects on the heart and the underlying mechanisms. Double transgenic mice (Tg-Capn2/tTA) were generated, which express human CAPN2 restricted to cardiomyocytes. The mice were subjected to echocardiography at age 3, 6, 8 and 12 months, and their heart tissues and sera were collected for analyses. We showed that transgenic mice over-expressing calpain-2 restricted to cardiomyocytes had normal heart function with no evidence of cardiac pathological remodeling at age 3 months. However, they exhibited features of dilated cardiomyopathy including increased heart size, enlarged heart chambers and heart dysfunction from age 8 months; histological analysis revealed loss of cardiomyocytes replaced by myocardial fibrosis and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in transgenic mice from age 8 months. These cardiac alterations closely correlated with aberrant autophagy evidenced by significantly increased LC3BII and p62 protein levels and accumulation of autophagosomes in the hearts of transgenic mice. Notably, injection of 3-methyladenine, a well-established inhibitor of autophagy (30 mg/kg, i.p. once every 3 days starting from age 6 months for 2 months) prevented aberrant autophagy, attenuated myocardial injury and improved heart function in the transgenic mice. In cultured cardiomyocytes, over-expression of calpain-2 blocked autophagic flux by impairing lysosomal function. Furthermore, over-expression of calpain-2 resulted in lower levels of junctophilin-2 protein in the heart of transgenic mice and in cultured cardiomyocytes, which was attenuated by 3-methyladenine. In addition, blockade of autophagic flux by bafilomycin A (100 nM) induced a reduction of junctophilin-2 protein in cardiomyocytes. In summary, transgenic over-expression of calpain-2 induces age-dependent dilated cardiomyopathy in mice, which may be mediated through aberrant autophagy and a reduction of junctophilin-2. Thus, a sustained increase in calpain-2 may be detrimental to the heart.},
	issn = {1745-7254},	url = {}