Impaired local regulation of ryanodine receptor type 2 by protein phosphatase 1 promotes atrial fibrillation

David Y Chiang, Na Li, Qiongling Wang, Katherina M Alsina, Ann P Quick, Julia O Reynolds, Guoliang Wang, Darlene Skapura, Niels Voigt, Dobromir Dobrev, Xander H T Wehrens
Cardiovascular Research 2014 July 1, 103 (1): 178-87

AIMS: Altered Ca(2+) handling in atrial fibrillation (AF) has been associated with dysregulated protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) and subcellular heterogeneities in protein phosphorylation, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This is due to a lack of investigation into the local, rather than global, regulation of PP1 on different subcellular targets such as ryanodine receptor type 2 (RyR2), especially in AF.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We tested the hypothesis that impaired local regulation of PP1 causes RyR2 hyperphosphorylation thereby promoting AF susceptibility. To specifically disrupt PP1's local regulation of RyR2, we used the spinophilin knockout (Sp(-/-)) mice (Mus musculus) since PP1 is targeted to RyR2 via spinophilin. Without spinophilin, the interaction between PP1 and RyR2 was reduced by 64%, while RyR2 phosphorylation was increased by 43% at serine (S)2814 but unchanged at S2808. Lipid bilayer experiments revealed that single RyR2 channels isolated from Sp(-/-) hearts had an increased open probability. Likewise, Ca(2+) spark frequency normalized to sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) content was also enhanced in Sp(-/-) atrial myocytes, but normalized by Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) inhibitors KN-93 and AIP and also by genetic inhibition of RyR2 S2814 phosphorylation. Finally, Sp(-/-) mice exhibited increased atrial ectopy and susceptibility to pacing-induced AF, both of which were also prevented by the RyR2 S2814A mutation.

CONCLUSION: PP1 regulates RyR2 locally by counteracting CaMKII phosphorylation of RyR2. Decreased local PP1 regulation of RyR2 contributes to RyR2 hyperactivity and promotes AF susceptibility. This represents a novel mechanism for subcellular modulation of calcium channels and may represent a potential drug target of AF.

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