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Ubiquitylation is a key event that regulates protein turnover, and induction of the ubiquitin ligase E3 WWP1 has been associated with age. Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) commonly occurs as a function of age and can cause heart failure (HF) with a preserved ejection fraction (EF; HFpEF). We hypothesized that overexpression (O/E) of WWP1 in the heart would cause LVH as well as functional and structural changes consistent with the aging HFpEF phenotype. Global WWP1 O/E was achieved in mice (n = 11) and echocardiography (40 MHz) performed to measure LV mass, EF, Doppler velocities (early E, late/atrial A), myocardial relaxation (E'), and isovolumetric relaxation time (IVRT) at 4, 6, and 8 wk. Age-matched wild-type animals (n = 15) were included as referent controls. LV EF was identical (60 ± 1 vs. 60 ± 1%, P > 0.90) with no difference in LV mass (67 ± 3 vs. 75 ± 5, P > 0.25) at 4 wk. However, at 8 wk of age, LV mass increased over twofold, E/A fell (impaired passive filling), and E/E' was lower and IVRT prolonged (impaired LV relaxation) - all P < 0.05. Collagen percent area increased by over twofold and fibrillar collagen expression (RT-PCR) over 1.5-fold (P < 0.05) with WWP1 O/E. WWP1 with an anti-WWP1 antibody could be identified in isolated cardiac fibroblasts, with WWP1 increased over twofold in O/E fibroblasts (P < 0.05). Inducing WWP1 expression caused LVH and preserved systolic function but impaired diastolic dysfunction, consistent with the HFpEF phenotype. Targeting the WWP1 pathway may be a novel therapeutic target for this intractable form of HF associated with aging.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Heart failure (HF) with a preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a growing cause of HF and commonly afflicts the elderly. Milestones for HFpEF include diastolic dysfunction and an abnormal extracelluar matrix (ECM). The ubiquitin ligases, such as WWP1, change with aging and regulate critical protein turnover/stability processes, such as the ECM. The present study demonstrated that induction of WWP1 in mice induced LV hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction, and ECM accumulation, consistent with the HFpEF phenotype, and thus may identify a new therapeutic pathway.

Citation

Lydia E Matesic, Lisa A Freeburg, Laura B Snyder, Lauren-Ashley Duncan, Amber Moore, Paige E Perreault, Kia N Zellars, Edie C Goldsmith, Francis G Spinale. The ubiquitin ligase WWP1 contributes to shifts in matrix proteolytic profiles and a myocardial aging phenotype with diastolic heart. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2020 Oct 01;319(4):H765-H774

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PMID: 32822210

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