2019 Volume 83 Issue 2 Pages 368-378
Background: The rapid increase in the number of heart failure (HF) patients in parallel with the increase in the number of older people is receiving attention worldwide. HF not only increases mortality but decreases quality of life, creating medical and social problems. Thus, it is necessary to define molecular mechanisms underlying HF development and progression. HMGB2 is a member of the high-mobility group superfamily characterized as nuclear proteins that bind DNA to stabilize nucleosomes and promote transcription. A recent in vitro study revealed that HMGB2 loss in cardiomyocytes causes hypertrophy and increases HF-associated gene expression. However, it’s in vivo function in the heart has not been assessed.
Methods and Results: Western blotting analysis revealed increased HMGB2 expression in heart tissues undergoing pressure overload by transverse aorta constriction (TAC) in mice. Hmgb2 homozygous knockout (Hmgb2−/−) mice showed cardiac dysfunction due to AKT inactivation and decreased sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA)2a activity. Compared to wild-type mice, Hmgb2−/− mice had worsened cardiac dysfunction after TAC surgery, predisposing mice to HF development and progression.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that upregulation of cardiac HMGB2 is an adaptive response to cardiac stress, and that loss of this response could accelerate cardiac dysfunction, suggesting that HMGB2 plays a cardioprotective role.