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  • Karhu, S. Tuuli; Ruskoaho, Heikki; Talman, Virpi (2021)
    Cardiac fibrosis is characterized by accumulation and activation of fibroblasts and excessive production of extracellular matrix, which results in myocardial stiffening and eventually leads to heart failure. Although previous work suggests that protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms play a role in cardiac fibrosis and remodeling, the results are conflicting. Moreover, the potential of targeting PKC with pharmacological tools to inhibit pathologic fibrosis has not been fully evaluated. Here we investigated the effects of selected PKC agonists and inhibitors on cardiac fibroblast (CF) phenotype, proliferation, and gene expression using primary adult mouse CFs, which spontaneously transdifferentiate into myofibroblasts in culture. A 48-hour exposure to the potent PKC activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) at 10 nM concentration reduced the intensity of a-smooth muscle actin staining by 56% and periostin mRNA levels by 60% compared with control. The decreases were inhibited with the pan-PKC inhibitor Gö6983 and the inhibitor of classical PKC isoforms Gö6976, suggesting that classical PKCs regulate CF transdifferentiation. PMA also induced a 33% decrease in 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine–positive CFs, which was inhibited with Gö6983 but not with Gö6976, indicating that novel PKC isoforms (nPKCs) regulate CF proliferation. Moreover, PMA downregulated the expression of collagen-encoding genes Col1a1 and Col3a1 nPKC-dependently, showing that PKC activation attenuates matrix synthesis in CFs. The partial PKC agonist isophthalate derivative bis(1-ethylpentyl) 5-(hydroxymethyl)isophthalate induced parallel changes in phenotype, cell cycle activity, and gene expression. In conclusion, our results reveal distinct PKC-dependent regulation of CF transdifferentiation and proliferation and suggest that PKC agonists exhibit potential as an antifibrotic treatment.
  • Wang, Hong; Kuusela, Sara; Rinnankoski-Tuikka, Rita; Dumont, Vincent; Bouslama, Rim; Ramadan, Usama Abo; Waaler, Jo; Linden, Anni-Maija; Chi, Nai-Wen; Krauss, Stefan; Pirinen, Eija; Lehtonen, Sanna (2020)
    Objective Human TNKS, encoding tankyrase 1 (TNKS1), localizes to a susceptibility locus for obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Here, we addressed the therapeutic potential of G007-LK, a TNKS-specific inhibitor, for obesity and T2DM. Methods We administered G007-LK to diabetic db/db mice and measured the impact on body weight, abdominal adiposity, and serum metabolites. Muscle, liver, and white adipose tissues were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting to determine TNKS inhibition, lipolysis, beiging, adiponectin level, mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and mass, and gluconeogenesis. Protein interaction and PARylation analyses were carried out by immunoprecipitation, pull-down and in situ proximity ligation assays. Results TNKS inhibition reduced body weight gain, abdominal fat content, serum cholesterol levels, steatosis, and proteins associated with lipolysis in diabetic db/db mice. We discovered that TNKS associates with PGC-1 alpha and that TNKS inhibition attenuates PARylation of PGC-1 alpha, contributing to increased PGC-1 alpha level in WAT and muscle in db/db mice. PGC-1 alpha upregulation apparently modulated transcriptional reprogramming to increase mitochondrial mass and fatty acid oxidative metabolism in muscle, beiging of WAT, and raised circulating adiponectin level in db/db mice. This was in sharp contrast to the liver, where TNKS inhibition in db/db mice had no effect on PGC-1 alpha expression, lipid metabolism, or gluconeogenesis. Conclusion Our study unravels a novel molecular mechanism whereby pharmacological inhibition of TNKS in obesity and diabetes enhances oxidative metabolism and ameliorates lipid disorder. This happens via tissue-specific PGC-1 alpha-driven transcriptional reprogramming in muscle and WAT, without affecting liver. This highlights inhibition of TNKS as a potential pharmacotherapy for obesity and T2DM.