αB-crystallin/HSPB2 is critical for hyperactive mTOR-induced cardiomyopathy

Lianmei Wang, Fang Wang, Kemei Liu, Caifeng Long, Yi Chen, Chunjia Li, Li Li, Fangming Liu, Xinyu Zhang, Yanling Jing, Yanan Wang, Aihua Liang, Hongbing Yan, Hongbing Zhang
Journal of Cellular Physiology2021
Even though aberrant mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling is known to cause cardiomyopathy, its underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. Because augmentation of αB-crystallin and hspB2 was presented in the cortical tubers and lymphangioleiomyomatosis of tuberous sclerosis complex patients, we deciphered the role of αB-crystallin and its adjacent duplicate gene, hspB2, in hyperactive mTOR-induced cardiomyopathy. Cardiac Tsc1 deletion (T1-hKO) caused mouse mTOR activation and cardiomyopathy. Overexpression of αB-crystallin and hspB2 was presented in the hearts of these mice. Knockout of αB-crystallin/hspB2 reversed deficient Tsc1-mediated fetal gene expression, mTOR activation, mitochondrial damage, cardiomyocyte vacuolar degeneration, cardiomyocyte size, and fibrosis of T1-hKO mice. These cardiac-Tsc1; αB-crystallin; hspB2 triple knockout (tKO) mice had improved cardiac function, smaller heart weight to body weight ratio, and reduced lethality compared with T1-hKO mice. Even though activated mTOR suppressed autophagy in T1-hKO mice, ablation of αB-crystallin and hspB2 failed to restore autophagy in tKO mice. mTOR inhibitors suppressed αB-crystallin expression in T1-hKO mice and rat cardiomyocyte line H9C2. Starvation of H9C2 cells activated autophagy and suppressed αB-crystallin expression. Since inhibition of autophagy restored αB-crystallin expression in starved H9C2 cells, autophagy is a negative regulator of αB-crystallin expression. mTOR thus stimulates αB-crystallin expression through suppression of autophagy. In conclusion, αB-crystallin and hspB2 play a pivotal role in Tsc1 knockout-related cardiomyopathy and are therapeutic targets of hyperactive mTOR-associated cardiomyopathy.

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