Dominant negative Ras attenuates pathological ventricular remodeling in pressure overload cardiac hypertrophy
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The importance of the oncogene Ras in cardiac hypertrophy is well appreciated. The hypertrophic effects of the constitutively active mutant Ras-Val12 are revealed by clinical syndromes due to the Ras mutations and experimental studies. We examined the possible anti-hypertrophic effect of Ras inhibition in vitro using rat neonatal cardiomyocytes (NRCM) and in vivo in the setting of pressure-overload left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (POH) in rats. Ras functions were modulated via adenovirus directed gene transfer of active mutant Ras-Val12 or dominant negative mutant N17-DN-Ras (DN-Ras). Ras-Val12 expression in vitro activates NFAT resulting in pro-hypertrophic and cardio-toxic effects on NRCM beating and Z-line organization. In contrast, the DN-Ras was antihypertrophic on NRCM, inhibited NFAT and exerted cardio-protective effects attested by preserved NRCM beating and Z line structure. Additional experiments with silencing H-Ras gene strategy corroborated the antihypertrophic effects of siRNA-H-Ras on NRCM. In vivo, with the POH model, both Ras mutants were associated with similar hypertrophy two weeks after simultaneous induction of POH and Ras-mutant gene transfer. However, LV diameters were higher and LV fractional shortening lower in the Ras-Val12 group compared to control and DN-Ras. Moreover, DN-Ras reduced the cross-sectional area of cardiomyocytes in vivo, and decreased the expression of markers of pathologic cardiac hypertrophy. In isolated adult cardiomyocytes after 2. weeks of POH and Ras-mutant gene transfer, DN-Ras improved sarcomere shortening and calcium transients compared to Ras-Val12. Overall, DN-Ras promotes a more physiological form of hypertrophy, suggesting an interesting therapeutic target for pathological cardiac hypertrophy. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.