The Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor AKAP13 (BRX) is essential for cardiac development in mice

Chantal M. Mayers, Jennifer Wadell, Kate McLean, Monica Venere, Minnie Malik, Takahisa Shibata, Paul H. Driggers, Tomoshige Kino, X. Catherine Guo, Hisashi Koide, Marat Gorivodsky, Alex Grinberg, Mahua Mukhopadhyay, Mones Abu-Asab, Heiner Westphal, James H. Segars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


A fundamental biologic principle is that diverse biologic signals are channeled through shared signaling cascades to regulate development. Large scaffold proteins that bind multiple proteins are capable of coordinating shared signaling pathways to provide specificity to activation of key developmental genes. Although much is known about transcription factors and target genes that regulate cardiomyocyte differentiation, less is known about scaffold proteins that couple signals at the cell surface to differentiation factors in developing heart cells. Here we show that AKAP 13 (also known as Brx-1, AKAP-Lbc, and proto-Lbc), a unique protein kinase A-anchoring protein (AKAP) guanine nucleotide exchange region belonging to the Dbl family of oncogenes, is essential for cardiac development. Cardiomyocytes of Akap13-null mice had deficient sarcomere formation, and developing hearts were thin-walled and mice died at embryonic day 10.5-11.0. Disruption of Akap13 was accompanied by reduced expression of Mef2C. Consistent with a role of AKAP13 upstream of MEF2C, Akap13 siRNA led to a reduction in Mef2C mRNA, and overexpression of AKAP13 augmented MEF2C-dependent reporter activity. The results suggest that AKAP13 coordinates Gα12 and Rho signaling to an essential transcription program in developing cardiomyocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12344-12354
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 16 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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