MEKK1 is essential for cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction induced by Gq

Tetsuo Minamino, Toshiaki Yujiri, Naohiro Terada, George Taffet, Lloyd H. Michael, Gary L. Johnson, Michael D. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Signaling via mitogen-activated protein kinases is implicated in heart failure induced by agonists for G protein-coupled receptors that act via the G protein Gαq. However, this assertion relies heavily on pharmacological inhibitors and dominant-interfering proteins and not on gene deletion. Here, we show that endogenous cardiac MAPK/ERK kinase kinase-1 (MEKK1)/(MAP3K1), a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase, is activated by heart-restricted overexpression of Gαq in mice. In cardiac myocytes derived from embryonic stem cells in culture, homozygous disruption of MEKK1 selectively impaired c-Jun N-terminal kinase activity in the absence or presence of phenlyephrine, a Gαq-dependent agonist. Other terminal mitogen-activated protein kinases were unaffected. In mice, the absence of MEKK1 abolished the increase in cardiac mass, myocyte size, hypertrophy-associated atrial natriuretic factor induction, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation by Gαq, and improved ventricular mechanical function. Thus, MEKK1 mediates cardiac hypertrophy induced by Gαq in vivo and is a logical target for drug development in heart disease involving this pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3866-3871
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 19 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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