Chronic treatment with long acting phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor tadalafil alters proteomic changes associated with cytoskeletal rearrangement and redox regulation in Type 2 diabetic hearts

  • Saisudha Koka
  • Lei Xi
  • Rakesh C. KukrejaEmail author
Original Contribution


Diabetic patients are prone to metabolic perturbations that progressively contribute to structural, functional and proteomic alterations in the myocardium. Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors exhibit cardioprotective effects against ischemic/reperfusion injury, however the effects of chronic administration of PDE-5 inhibitors, particularly under diabetic conditions, remain unknown. Hence, the present study was designed to identify novel protein targets related to long-acting PDE-5 inhibitor tadalafil-induced cardioprotection in diabetes. Using two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis with 3 CyDye labeling and MALDI–TOF/TOF tandem mass spectrometry we identified alterations in the expressions of cardiac proteins in diabetic db/db mice treated with tadalafil. Tadalafil reversed the coordinated alterations of cytoskeletal/contractile proteins such as myosin light chain (MLY) 2 and 4, myosin heavy chain α and myosin-binding protein C which contributes to contractile dysfunction. The expression of intermediate filament protein vimentin and extra-cellular matrix proteins like cysteine and glycine rich protein-3 and collagen type VI α were upregulated in db/db mice indicating cardiac remodeling in diabetes. These detrimental proteomic alterations were reflected in cardiac function which were reversed in tadalafil treated mice. Tadalafil also enhanced antioxidant enzyme glutathione S-transferase Kappa-1 (GSKT-1) and downregulated redox regulatory chaperones like heat shock protein 8 (HSPA8), and 75 kD glucose regulatory protein (75GRP). Furthermore, tadalafil treatment significantly attenuated GSSG/GSH ratio and improved the metabolic status of db/db mice. Chronic treatment with tadalafil in db/db mice modulates proteins involved in cytoskeletal rearrangement and redox signaling of the heart, which may explain the beneficial effects of PDE-5 inhibition in diabetes.


Diabetes Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors Proteomics Cytoskeletal proteins Cardiac remodelling Oxidative stress 



Two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis


Erectile dysfunction


Cysteine and glycine rich protein-3


Tu translational elongation factor


Reduced glutathione


Glutathione S-transferase Kappa 1


Oxidised glutathione


Heat shock protein 8


High-mobility 553 group box 1


75 kD glucose related protein


Myosin-binding protein C


Myosin heavy-chain α


Myosin light chain 2


Myosin light chain 4


Nitric oxide








Reactive oxygen species



This work was supported by Grants from the National Institutes of Health (HL51045, HL79424, HL93685) to Rakesh C Kukreja. Saisudha Koka is supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from American Heart Association (11POST7400028). The authors acknowledge Dr. John Liao of Applied Biomics, Inc. for his excellent technical support in proteomic analysis.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal MedicineVCU Pauley Heart Center, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical CenterRichmondUSA

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