DUSP8 Regulates Cardiac Ventricular Remodeling by Altering ERK1/2 Signaling

Ruijie Liu, Jop H. van Berlo, Allen J. York, Marjorie Maillet, Ronald J. Vagnozzi, Jeffery D. Molkentin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Rationale: Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling regulates the growth response of the adult myocardium in response to increased cardiac workload or pathological insults. The dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) are critical effectors, which dephosphorylate the MAPKs to control the basal tone, amplitude, and duration of MAPK signaling. Objective: To examine DUSP8 as a regulator of MAPK signaling in the heart and its impact on ventricular and cardiac myocyte growth dynamics. Methods and Results: Dusp8 gene-deleted mice and transgenic mice with inducible expression of DUSP8 in the heart were used here to investigate how this MAPK-phosphatase might regulate intracellular signaling and cardiac growth dynamics in vivo. Dusp8 gene-deleted mice were mildly hypercontractile at baseline with a cardiac phenotype of concentric ventricular remodeling, which protected them from progressing towards heart failure in 2 surgery-induced disease models. Cardiac-specific overexpression of DUSP8 produced spontaneous eccentric remodeling and ventricular dilation with heart failure. At the cellular level, adult cardiac myocytes from Dusp8 gene-deleted mice were thicker and shorter, whereas DUSP8 overexpression promoted cardiac myocyte lengthening with a loss of thickness. Mechanistically, activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 were selectively increased in Dusp8 gene-deleted hearts at baseline and following acute pathological stress stimulation, whereas p38 MAPK and c-Jun N-terminal kinases were mostly unaffected. Conclusions: These results indicate that DUSP8 controls basal and acute stress-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 signaling in adult cardiac myocytes that then alters the length-width growth dynamics of individual cardiac myocytes, which further alters contractility, ventricular remodeling, and disease susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-260
Number of pages12
JournalCirculation research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 8 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.


  • dilated cardiomyopathy
  • disease susceptibility
  • dual-specificity phosphatase
  • heart failure
  • myocardium


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