Abnormalities in cardiac stress signaling underlie a number of cardiovascular diseases (e.g. arrhythmias and heart failure). Cardiac stress signaling pathways normally integrate signals from the sympathetic nervous system to promote efficient contraction and relaxation under stress. Sympathetic control through β-adrenergic stimulation is propagated by adenylyl cyclase (AC). AC synthesizes cyclic AMP (cAMP), an important second messenger that initiates signaling pathways to modulate physiological and pathophysiological functions of the heart, including the activation of PKA and subsequent phosphorylation of ion channels, contractile machinery, and stress response proteins that enhance cardiac function. Alterations of cAMP signaling occur in the failing heart and contribute to impaired function. Of the AC isoforms present in adult cardiomyocytes (AC 4, 5, 6, and 9), AC9 is the most divergent in sequence and understudied. The work presented in this dissertation sought to evaluate the direct regulatory properties of AC9 and explores roles for AC9 in heart. To clarify conflicting reports for AC9 regulation, proposed regulators were systematically evaluated, including G-proteins, protein kinases, and forskolin utilizing in vitro and cell based assays. Overall, I conclude that most G-proteins or protein kinases do not directly regulate AC9, except Gαs, in vitro. Although AC9 is forskolin insensitive alone, weak activation by forskolin in the presence of Gαs is possible. AC9 shows significant homodimerization and modest heterodimerization with AC5/6, which may account for the conflicting reports surrounding the regulation of this AC isoform. viii To study the role of AC9 in heart, a mouse model of AC9 genetic deletion was utilized. Although deletion of AC9 reduces less than 3% of total AC activity in heart, Yotiao-associated AC activity is eliminated. AC9-/- mice exhibit no structural abnormalities but show a significant bradycardia and alterations in Doppler echocardiography indicative of grade 1 diastolic dysfunction with preserved ejection fraction. Identification of novel AC9 binding partners, including the small heat shock protein 20 (Hsp20) and Popeye domain containing (Popdc) proteins may contribute to the underlying mechanisms of AC9-/- phenotypes. Collectively, this work suggests that AC9 forms distinct macromolecular complexes that contribute to local cAMP pools important for driving physiological function of the heart

    Similar works