Activated PKB/GSK-3β synergizes with PKC-δ signaling in attenuating myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury via potentiation of NRF2 activity: therapeutic efficacy of dihydrotanshinone-I

Hao Zeng, Lingling Wang, Jiawei Zhang, Ting Pan, Yinghua Yu, Jingxia Lu, Ping Zhou, Hua Yang, Ping Li
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B2020
Disrupted redox status primarily contributes to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury (MIRI). NRF2, the endogenous antioxidant regulator, might provide therapeutic benefits. Dihydrotanshinone-I (DT) is an active component in Salvia miltiorrhiza with NRF2 induction potency. This study seeks to validate functional links between NRF2 and cardioprotection of DT and to investigate the molecular mechanism particularly emphasizing on NRF2 cytoplasmic/nuclear translocation. DT potently induced NRF2 nuclear accumulation, ameliorating post-reperfusion injuries via redox alterations. Abrogated cardioprotection in Journal Pre-proof NRF2-deficient mice and cardiomyocytes strongly supports NRF2-dependent cardioprotection of DT. Mechanistically, DT phosphorylated NRF2 at Ser40, rendering its nuclear-import by dissociating from KEAP1 and inhibiting degradation. Importantly, we identified PKC-δ-(Thr505) phosphorylation as primary upstream event triggering NRF2-(Ser40) phosphorylation. Knockdown of PKC-δ dramatically retained NRF2 in cytoplasm, convincing its pivotal role in mediating NRF2 nuclear-import. NRF2 activity was further enhanced by activated PKB/GSK-3β signaling via nuclear-export signal blockage independent of PKC-δ activation. By demonstrating independent modulation of PKC-δ and PKB/GSK-3β/Fyn signaling, we highlight the ability of DT to exploit both nuclear import and export regulation of NRF2 in treating reperfusion injury harboring redox homeostasis alterations.Coactivation of PKC and PKB phenocopied cardioprotection of DT in vitro and in vivo, which further supports the potential applicability of this rationale.

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