Growth Arrest–Specific 6 Exacerbates Pressure Overload–Induced Cardiac Hypertrophy
Growth arrest–specific 6 (GAS6) is a member of the vitamin K–dependent protein family that is involved in the regulation of the cardiovascular system, including vascular remodeling, homeostasis, and atherosclerosis. However, there is still no study that systemically elucidates the role of GAS6 in cardiac hypertrophy. Here, we found that GAS6 was upregulated in human dilated cardiomyopathic hearts, hypertrophic murine hearts, and angiotensin II–treated cardiomyocytes. Next, we examined the influence of GAS6 expression in response to a cardiac stress by inducing chronic pressure overload with aortic banding in wild-type and GAS6-knockout mice or cardiac-specific GAS6 overexpressing mice. Under basal conditions, the GAS6-knockout mice had normal left ventricular structure and function but after aortic banding, the mice demonstrated less hypertrophy, fibrosis, and contractile dysfunction when compared with wild-type mice. Conversely, cardiac-specific overexpression of GAS6 exacerbated aortic banding–induced cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and dysfunction. Furthermore, we demonstrated that GAS6 activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2–extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 pathway during pressure overload–induced cardiac hypertrophy, and the pharmacological mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 inhibitor U0126 almost completely reversed GAS6 overexpression–induced cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, resulting in improved cardiac function. Collectively, our data support the notion that GAS6 impairs ventricular adaptation to chronic pressure overload by activating mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2–extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 signaling. Our findings suggest that strategies to reduce GAS6 activity in cardiac tissue may be a novel approach to attenuate the development of congestive heart failure.
- Received July 31, 2015.
- Revision received August 12, 2015.
- Accepted October 26, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.