Cardiac transgenic and gene transfer strategies converge to support an important role for troponin I in regulating relaxation in cardiac myocytes

So Ichiro Yasuda, Pierre Coutu, Sakthivel Sadayappan, Jeffrey Robbins, Joseph M. Metzger

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Elucidating the relative roles of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and phospholamban (PLN) in β-adrenergic-mediated hastening of cardiac relaxation has been challenging and controversial. To test the hypothesis that β-adrenergic phosphorylation of cTnI has a prominent role in accelerating cardiac myocyte relaxation performance we used transgenic (Tg) mice bearing near complete replacement of native cTnI with a β-adrenergic phospho-mimetic of cTnI whereby tandem serine codons 23/24 were converted to aspartic acids (cTnI S23/24D). Adult cardiac myocytes were isolated and contractility determined at physiological temperature under unloaded and loaded conditions using micro-carbon fibers. At baseline, cTnI S23/24D myocytes had significantly faster relaxation times relative to controls, and isoproterenol stimulation (Iso) had only a small effect to further speed relaxation in cTnI S23/24D myocytes (delta Iso: 7.2 ms) relative to the maximum Iso effect (31.2 ms) in control. The Ca transient decay rate was similarly accelerated by Iso in Tg and nontransgenic (Ntg) myocytes. Gene transfer of cTnI S23/24D to myocytes in primary culture showed comparable findings. Gene transfer of cTnI with both serines 23/24 converted to alanines (cTnI S23/24A), or gene transfer of slow skeletal TnI, both of which lack PKA phosphorylation sites, significantly blunted Iso-mediated enhanced relaxation compared with controls. Gene transfer of wild-type cTnI had no effect on relaxation. These findings support a key role of cTnI in myocyte relaxation and highlight a direct contribution of the myofilaments in modulating the dynamics of myocardial performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007



  • Calcium
  • Contraction
  • Heart

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