CaMK activation during exercise is required for histone hyperacetylation and MEF2A binding at the MEF2 site on the Glut4 gene

James A H Smith, Tertius A Kohn, Ashley K Chetty, Edward O Ojuka
American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 2008, 295 (3): E698-704
The role of CaMK II in regulating GLUT4 expression in response to intermittent exercise was investigated. Wistar rats completed 5 x 17-min bouts of swimming after receiving 5 mg/kg KN93 (a CaMK II inhibitor), KN92 (an analog of KN93 that does not inhibit CaMK II), or an equivalent volume of vehicle. Triceps muscles that were harvested at 0, 6, or 18 h postexercise were assayed for 1) CaMK II phosphorylation by Western blot, 2) acetylation of histone H3 at the Glut4 MEF2 site by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay, 3) bound MEF2A at the Glut4 MEF2 cis-element by ChIP, and 4) GLUT4 expression by RT-PCR and Western blot. Compared with controls, exercise caused a twofold increase in CaMK II phosphorylation. Immunohistochemical stains indicated increased CaMK II phosphorylation in nuclear and perinuclear regions of the muscle fiber. Acetylation of histone H3 in the region surrounding the MEF2 binding site on the Glut4 gene and the amount of MEF2A that bind to the site increased approximately twofold postexercise. GLUT4 mRNA and protein increased approximately 2.2- and 1.8-fold, respectively, after exercise. The exercise-induced increases in CaMK II phosphorylation, histone H3 acetylation, MEF2A binding, and GLUT4 expression were attenuated or abolished when KN93 was administered to rats prior to exercise. KN92 did not affect the increases in pCaMK II and GLUT4. These data support the hypothesis that CaMK II activation by exercise increases GLUT4 expression via increased accessibility of MEF2A to its cis-element on the gene.

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