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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Activated MEK5 induces serial assembly of sarcomeres and eccentric cardiac hypertrophy.

Mitogen-activated protein kinase ( MAPK) pathways couple intrinsic and extrinsic signals to hypertrophic growth of cardiomyocytes. The MAPK kinase MEK5 activates the MAPK ERK5. To investigate the potential involvement of MEK5- ERK5 in cardiac hypertrophy, we expressed constitutively active and dominant-negative forms of MEK5 in cardiomyocytes in vitro. MEK5 induced a form of hypertrophy in which cardiomyocytes acquired an elongated morphology and sarcomeres were assembled in a serial manner. The cytokine leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), which stimulates MEK5 activity, evoked a similar response. Moreover, a dominant-negative MEK5 mutant specifically blocked LIF-induced elongation of cardiomyocytes and reduced expression of fetal cardiac genes without blocking other aspects of LIF-induced hypertrophy. Consistent with the ability of MEK5 to induce serial assembly of sarcomeres in vitro, cardiac-specific expression of activated MEK5 in transgenic mice resulted in eccentric cardiac hypertrophy that progressed to dilated cardiomyopathy and sudden death. These findings reveal a specific role for MEK5- ERK5 in the induction of eccentric cardiac hypertrophy and in transduction of cytokine signals that regulate serial sarcomere assembly.[1]


  1. Activated MEK5 induces serial assembly of sarcomeres and eccentric cardiac hypertrophy. Nicol, R.L., Frey, N., Pearson, G., Cobb, M., Richardson, J., Olson, E.N. EMBO J. (2001) [Pubmed]
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