Regulation of cardiac calcium signaling by newly identified calcium pump modulators

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In cardiomyocytes, the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a) is a central component of intracellular Ca2+ regulation. Several heart diseases, including heart failure, are associated with reduced myocardial contraction due to SERCA2a downregulation. Therefore, the need for developing new drugs that could improve SERCA2a function is high. We have recently identified SERCA2a modulators (Compounds 6 and 8) from our screening campaigns and confirmed activation of biochemical SERCA2a ATPase activity and Ca2+ uptake activity. In this study, confocal microscopy and in-cell Ca2+ imaging were used to characterize the effects of these SERCA2a activators on Ca2+ regulation in mouse ventricular myocytes and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ uptake in a HEK293 cell expressing human SERCA2a. Analysis of cytosolic Ca2+ dynamics in cardiomyocytes revealed that both Compounds (6 and 8) increase the action potential-induced Ca2+ transients and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load. While Compound 6 induced a negligible effect on Ca2+ transients invoked by the L-type Ca2+ channel (LTCC) current, Compound 8 increased Ca2+ transients during LTCC activation, suggesting an off-target protein interaction of Compound 8. Analysis of ER Ca2+ transport by human SERCA2a in HEK cells showed that only Compound 6 increased both ER Ca2+ uptake and ER Ca2+ load significantly, whereas Compound 8 had no effect on SERCA2a Ca2+ transport. This study revealed that Compound 6 exhibits promising characteristics that can improve intracellular Ca2+ dynamics by selectively enhancing SERCA2a Ca2+ uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number149136
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
StatePublished - Dec 10 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Ca pump
  • Ca signaling
  • HEK293 cells
  • Heart
  • Sarcoplasmic reticulum

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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