Polycystin-1 is a Cardiomyocyte Mechanosensor That Governs L-type Ca2+ Channel Protein Stability
Background—L-type calcium channel (LTCC) activity is critical to afterload-induced hypertrophic growth of the heart. However, mechanisms governing mechanical stress-induced activation of LTCC activity are obscure. Polycystin-1 (PC-1) is a G-protein-coupled receptor-like protein that functions as a mechanosensor in a variety of cell types and is present in cardiomyocytes.
Methods and Results—We subjected neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) to mechanical stretch by exposing them to hypo-osmotic (HS) medium or cyclic mechanical stretch, triggering cell growth in a manner dependent on LTCC activity. RNAi-dependent knockdown of PC-1 blocked this hypertrophy. Over-expression of a C-terminal fragment of PC-1 was sufficient to trigger NRVM hypertrophy. Exposing NRVMs to HS medium resulted in an increase in α1C protein levels, a response that was prevented by PC-1 knockdown. MG132, a proteasomal inhibitor, rescued PC-1 knockdown-dependent declines in α1C protein. To test this in vivo, we engineered mice harboring conditional silencing of PC-1 selectively in cardiomyocytes (PC-1 KO) and subjected them to mechanical stress in vivo (transverse aortic constriction, TAC). At baseline, PC-1 KO mice manifested decreased cardiac function relative to littermate controls, and α1C LTCC protein levels were significantly lower in PC-1 KO hearts. Whereas control mice manifested robust TAC-induced increases in cardiac mass, PC-1 KO mice showed no significant growth. Likewise, TAC-elicited increases in hypertrophic markers and interstitial fibrosis were blunted in the knockout animals
Conclusions—PC-1 is a cardiomyocyte mechanosensor and is required for cardiac hypertrophy through a mechanism that involves stabilization of α1C protein.
- Received September 29, 2014.
- Revision received April 4, 2015.
- Accepted April 10, 2015.