Ablation of the calpain-targeted site in cardiac myosin binding protein-C is cardioprotective during ischemia-reperfusion injury

David Y. Barefield, James W. McNamara, Thomas L. Lynch, Diederik W. D. Kuster, Suresh Govindan, Lauren Haar, Yang Wang, Erik N. Taylor, John N. Lorenz, Michelle L. Nieman, Guangshuo Zhu, Pradeep K. Luther, Andras Varró, Dobromir Dobrev, Xun Ai, Paul M. L. Janssen, David A. Kass, Walter Keith Jones, Richard J. Gilbert, Sakthivel Sadayappan

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C) phosphorylation is essential for normal heart function and protects the heart from ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. It is known that protein kinase-A (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation of cMyBP-C prevents I/R-dependent proteolysis, whereas dephosphorylation of cMyBP-C at PKA sites correlates with its degradation. While sites on cMyBP-C associated with phosphorylation and proteolysis co-localize, the mechanisms that link cMyBP-C phosphorylation and proteolysis during cardioprotection are not well understood. Therefore, we aimed to determine if abrogation of cMyBP-C proteolysis in association with calpain, a calcium-activated protease, confers cardioprotection during I/R injury. Calpain is activated in both human ischemic heart samples and ischemic mouse myocardium where cMyBP-C is dephosphorylated and undergoes proteolysis. Moreover, cMyBP-C is a substrate for calpain proteolysis and cleaved by calpain at residues 272-TSLAGAGRR-280, a domain termed as the calpain-target site (CTS). Cardiac-specific transgenic (Tg) mice in which the CTS motif was ablated were bred into a cMyBP-C null background. These Tg mice were conclusively shown to possess a normal basal structure and function by analysis of histology, electron microscopy, immunofluorescence microscopy, Q-space MRI of tissue architecture, echocardiography, and hemodynamics. However, the genetic ablation of the CTS motif conferred resistance to calpain-mediated proteolysis of cMyBP-C. Following I/R injury, the loss of the CTS reduced infarct size compared to non-transgenic controls. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the physiological significance of calpain-targeted cMyBP-C proteolysis and provide a rationale for studying inhibition of calpain-mediated proteolysis of cMyBP-C as a therapeutic target for cardioprotection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-246
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of molecular and cellular cardiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Calpain
  • Cardioprotection
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • MYBPC3
  • cMyBP-C

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