Expression of a β-adrenergic receptor kinase 1 inhibitor prevents the development of myocardial failure in gene-targeted mice

Howard A. Rockman, Kenneth R. Chien, Dong J U Choi, Guido Iaccarino, John J. Hunter, J. R. John Ross, Robert J. Lefkowitz, Walter J. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heart failure is accompanied by severely impaired β-adrenergic receptor (βAR) function, which includes loss of βAR density and functional uncoupling of remaining receptors. An important mechanism for the rapid desensitization of βAR function is agonist-stimulated receptor phosphorylation by the βAR kinase (βARK1), an enzyme known to be elevated in failing human heart tissue. To investigate whether alterations in βAR function contribute to the development of myocardial failure, transgenic mice with cardiac-restricted overexpression of either a peptide inhibitor of βARK1 or the β2AR were mated into a genetic model of murine heart failure (MLP(-/-)). In vivo cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and cardiac catheterization. Both MLP(-/-) and MLP(-/-)/β2AR mice had enlarged left ventricular (LV) chambers with significantly reduced fractional shortening and mean velocity of circumferential fiber shortening. In contrast, MLP(-/-)/βARKct mice had normal LV chamber size and function. Basal LV contractility in the MLP(-/-)/βARKct mice, as measured by LV dP/dtmax, was increased significantly compared with the MLP(-/-) mice but less than controls. Importantly, heightened βAR desensitization in the MLP(- /-) mice, measured in vivo (responsiveness to isoproterenol) and in vitro (isoproterenol-stimulated membrane adenylyl cyclase activity), was completely reversed with overexpression of the βARK1 inhibitor. We report here the striking finding that overexpression of this inhibitor prevents the development of cardiomyopathy in this murine model of heart failure. These findings implicate abnormal βAR-G protein coupling in the pathogenesis of the failing heart and point the way toward development of agents to inhibit βARK1 as a novel mode of therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7000-7005
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 9 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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