MRP1/GS-X pump ATPase expression: is this the explanation for the cytoprotection of the heart against oxidative stress-induced redox imbalance in comparison to skeletal muscle cells?

Maurício S Krause, Lino P Oliveira, Elza M S Silveira, Damiana R Vianna, Juliane S Rossato, Bibiana S Almeida, Mariana F Rodrigues, Augustus J M Fernandes, João A Bonatto Costa, Rui Curi, Paulo I Homem de Bittencourt
Cell Biochemistry and Function 2007, 25 (1): 23-32
Striated muscle activity is always accompanied by oxidative stress (OxStress): the more intense muscle work and/or its duration, the more a redox imbalance may be attained. In spite of cardiac muscle functioning continuously, it is well known that the heart does not suffer from OxStress-induced damage over a broad physiological range. Although the expression of antioxidant enzymes may be of importance in defending heart muscle against OxStress, a series of combined antioxidant therapeutic approaches have proved to be mostly ineffective in avoiding cellular injury. Hence, additional mechanisms may be involved in heart cytoprotection other than antioxidant enzyme activities. The strong cardiotoxic effect of doxorubicin-induced cancer chemotherapy shed light on the possible role for multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRP) in this context. Muscle activity-induced 'physiological' OxStress enhances the production of glutathione disulfide (GSSG) thus increasing the ratio of GSSG to glutathione (GSH) content inside the cells, which, in turn, leads to redox imbalance. Since MRP1 gene product (a GS-X pump ATPase) is a physiological GSSG transporter, adult Wistar rats were tested for MRP1 expression and activity in the heart and skeletal muscle (gastrocnemius), in as much as the latter is known to be extremely sensitive to muscle activity-induced OxS. MRP1 expression was completely absent in skeletal muscle. In contrast, the heart showed an exercise training-dependent induction of MRP1 protein expression which was further augmented (2.4-fold) as trained rats were challenged with a session of acute exercise. On the other hand, inducible expression of the 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70), a universal marker of cellular stress, was completely absent in the heart of sedentary and acutely exercised rats, whereas skeletal muscle showed a conspicuous exercise-dependent HSP70 expression, which decreased by 45% with exercise training. This effect was paralleled by a 58% decrease in GSH content in skeletal muscle which was even higher (an 80%-fall) after training thus leading to a marked redox imbalance ([GSSG]/[GSH] raised up to 38-fold). In the heart, GSH contents and [GSSG]/[GSH] ratio remained virtually unchanged even after exercise challenges, while GS-X pump activity was found to be 20% higher in the heart related to skeletal muscle. These findings suggest that an intrinsic higher capacity to express the MRP1/GS-X pump may dictate the redox status in the heart muscle thus protecting myocardium by preventing GSSG accumulation in cardiomyocytes as compared to skeletal muscle fibres.

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