Ubiquitin-Specific Protease 4 Is an Endogenous Negative Regulator of Pathological Cardiac Hypertrophy
Dysregulation of the ubiquitin proteasome system components ubiquitin ligases and proteasome plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy. However, little is known about the role of another ubiquitin proteasome system component, the deubiquitinating enzymes, in cardiac hypertrophy. Here, we revealed a crucial role of ubiquitin specific protease 4 (USP4), a deubiquitinating enzyme prominently expressed in the heart, in attenuating pathological cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction. USP4 levels were consistently decreased in human failing hearts and in murine hypertrophied hearts. Adenovirus-mediated gain- and loss-of-function approaches indicated that deficiency of endogenous USP4 promoted myocyte hypertrophy induced by angiotensin II in vitro, whereas restoration of USP4 significantly attenuated the prohypertrophic effect of angiotensin II. To corroborate the role of USP4 in vivo, we generated USP4 global knockout mice and mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of USP4. Consistent with the in vitro study, USP4 depletion exacerbated the hypertrophic phenotype and cardiac dysfunction in mice subjected to pressure overload, whereas USP4 transgenic mice presented ameliorated pathological cardiac hypertrophy compared with their control littermates. Molecular analysis revealed that USP4 deficiency augmented the activation of the transforming growth factor β–activated kinase 1 (TAK1)-(JNK1/2)/P38 signaling in response to hypertrophic stress, and blockage of TAK1 activation abolished the pathological effects of USP4 deficiency in vivo. These findings provide the first evidence for the involvement of USP4 in cardiac hypertrophy, and shed light on the therapeutic potential of targeting USP4 in the treatment of cardiac hypertrophy.
- Received February 22, 2016.
- Revision received March 6, 2016.
- Accepted March 8, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.