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Pharmacological inhibition of Hippo pathway, with the novel kinase inhibitor XMU-MP-1, protects the heart against adverse effects during pressure overload

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

The Hippo pathway has emerged as a potential therapeutic target to control pathological cardiac remodelling. The core components of the Hippo pathway, mammalian Ste-20 like kinase 1 (Mst1) and mammalian Ste-20 like kinase 2 (Mst2), modulate cardiac hypertrophy, apoptosis, and fibrosis. Here, we study the effects of pharmacological inhibition of Mst1/2 using a novel inhibitor XMU-MP-1 in controlling the adverse effects of pressure overload-induced hypertrophy.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:

We used cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCM) and C57Bl/6 mice with transverse aortic constriction (TAC) as in vitro and in vivo models, respectively, to test the effects of XMU-MP-1 treatment. We used luciferase reporter assays, western blots and immunofluorescence assays in vitro, with echocardiography, qRT-PCR and immunohistochemical methods in vivo.

KEY RESULTS:

XMU-MP-1 treatment significantly increased activity of the Hippo pathway effector yes-associated protein and inhibited phenylephrine-induced hypertrophy in NRCM. XMU-MP-1 improved cardiomyocyte survival and reduced apoptosis following oxidative stress. In vivo, mice 3 weeks after TAC, were treated with XMU-MP-1 (1 mg·kg-1 ) every alternate day for 10 further days. XMU-MP-1-treated mice showed better cardiac contractility than vehicle-treated mice. Cardiomyocyte cross-sectional size and expression of the hypertrophic marker, brain natriuretic peptide, were reduced in XMU-MP-1-treated mice. Improved heart function in XMU-MP-1-treated mice with TAC, was accompanied by fewer TUNEL positive cardiomyocytes and lower levels of fibrosis, suggesting inhibition of cardiomyocyte apoptosis and decreased fibrosis.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

The Hippo pathway inhibitor, XMU-MP-1, reduced cellular hypertrophy and improved survival in cultured cardiomyocytes and, in vivo, preserved cardiac function following pressure overload.

Related Products

Cat.No. Product Name Information Publications Customer Product Validation
S8334 XMU-MP-1 XMU-MP-1 is an inhibitor of MST1/2 with IC50 values of 71.1±12.9 nM and 38.1±6.9 nM against MST1 and MST2, respectively. (23) (3)

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