Transgenic overexpression of constitutively active protein kinase C ε causes concentric cardiac hypertrophy

Yasuchika Takeishi, Peipei Ping, Roberto Bolli, Darryl L. Kirkpatrick, Brian D. Hoit, Richard A. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

217 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that activation of the protein kinase C (PKC) ε isoform leads to cardiac hypertrophy without failure, we studied transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of a constitutively active mutant of the PKCε isoform driven by an α-myosin heavy chain promoter. In transgenic mice, the protein level of PKCε in heart tissue was increased 9- fold. There was a 6-fold increase of the membrane/cytosol ratio, and PKC activity in the membrane fraction was 4.2-fold compared with wild-type mice. The heart weight was increased by 28%, and upregulation of the mRNA for β- myosin heavy chain and α-skeletal actin was observed in transgenic mouse hearts. Echocardiography demonstrated increased anterior and posterior wall thickness with normal left ventricular function and dimensions, indicating concentric cardiac hypertrophy. Isolated cardiomyocyte mechanical function was slightly decreased, and Ca2+ signals were markedly depressed in transgenic mice, suggesting that myofilament sensitivity to Ca2+ was increased. No differences were observed in either the levels of cardiac Ca2+-handling proteins or the degree of cardiac regulatory protein phosphorylation between wild-type and transgenic mice. Unlike mice with PKCβ2 overexpression, transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of the active PKCε mutant demonstrated concentric hypertrophy with normal in vivo cardiac function. Thus, PKC isoforms may play differential functional roles in cardiac hypertrophy and failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1218-1223
Number of pages6
JournalCirculation research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 23 2000


  • Heart failure
  • Hypertrophy
  • Protein kinase C
  • Signal transduction
  • Transgenic mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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