H11 kinase prevents myocardial infarction by preemptive preconditioning of the heart

Christophe Depre, Li Wang, Xiangzhen Sui, Hongyu Qiu, Chull Hong, Nadia Hedhli, Audrey Ginion, Amy Shah, Michel Pelat, Luc Bertrand, Thomas Wagner, Vinciane Gaussin, Stephen F. Vatner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Ischemic preconditioning confers powerful protection against myocardial infarction through pre-emptive activation of survival signaling pathways, but it remains difficult to apply to patients with ischemic heart disease, and its effects are transient. Promoting a sustained activation of preconditioning mechanisms in vivo would represent a novel approach of cardioprotection. We tested the role of the protein H11 kinase (H11K), which accumulates by 4- to 6-fold in myocardium of patients with chronic ischemic heart disease and in experimental models of ischemia. This increased expression was quantitatively reproduced in cardiac myocytes using a transgenic (TG) mouse model. After 45 minutes of coronary artery occlusion and reperfusion, hearts from TG mice showed an 82±5% reduction in infarct size compared with wild-type (WT), which was similar to the 84±4% reduction of infarct size observed in WT after a protocol of ischemic preconditioning. Hearts from TG mice showed significant activation of survival kinases participating in preconditioning, including Akt and the 5′AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). H11K directly binds to both Akt and AMPK and promotes their nuclear translocation and their association in a multiprotein complex, which results in a stimulation of survival mechanisms in cytosol and nucleus, including inhibition of proapoptotic effectors (glycogen synthase kinase-3β, Bad, and Foxo), activation of antiapoptotic effectors (protein kinase Cε, endothelial and inducible NO synthase isoforms, and heat shock protein 70), increased expression of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, and genomic switch to glucose utilization. Therefore, activation of survival pathways by H11K preemptively triggers the antiapoptotic and metabolic response to ischemia and is sufficient to confer cardioprotection in vivo equally potent to preconditioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-288
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


  • AMPK
  • Akt
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell survival
  • Ischemia


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