Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology

, Volume 469, Issue 12, pp 1603–1613 | Cite as

The naked mole-rat exhibits an unusual cardiac myofilament protein profile providing new insights into heart function of this naturally subterranean rodent

  • Kelly M. Grimes
  • David Y. Barefield
  • Mohit Kumar
  • James W. McNamara
  • Susan T. Weintraub
  • Pieter P. de Tombe
  • Sakthivel Sadayappan
  • Rochelle Buffenstein
Muscle physiology
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Muscle physiology

Abstract

The long-lived, hypoxic-tolerant naked mole-rat well-maintains cardiac function over its three-decade-long lifespan and exhibits many cardiac features atypical of similar-sized laboratory rodents. For example, they exhibit low heart rates and resting cardiac contractility, yet have a large cardiac reserve. These traits are considered ecophysiological adaptations to their dank subterranean atmosphere of low oxygen and high carbon dioxide levels and may also contribute to negligible declines in cardiac function during aging. We asked if naked mole-rats had a different myofilament protein signature to that of similar-sized mice that commonly show both high heart rates and high basal cardiac contractility. Adult mouse ventricles predominantly expressed α-myosin heavy chain (97.9 ± 0.4%). In contrast, and more in keeping with humans, β myosin heavy chain was the dominant isoform (79.0 ± 2.0%) in naked mole-rat ventricles. Naked mole-rat ventricles diverged from those of both humans and mice, as they expressed both cardiac and slow skeletal isoforms of troponin I. This myofilament protein profile is more commonly observed in mice in utero and during cardiomyopathies. There were no species differences in phosphorylation of cardiac myosin binding protein-C or troponin I. Phosphorylation of both ventricular myosin light chain 2 and cardiac troponin T in naked mole-rats was approximately half that observed in mice. Myofilament function was also compared between the two species using permeabilized cardiomyocytes. Together, these data suggest a cardiac myofilament protein signature that may contribute to the naked mole-rat’s suite of adaptations to its natural subterranean habitat.

Keywords

Naked mole-rat Heart Slow skeletal troponin I β myosin heavy chain Neoteny Hypoxia 

Supplementary material

424_2017_2046_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (124 kb)
Table S1(XLSX 124 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly M. Grimes
    • 1
    • 2
  • David Y. Barefield
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mohit Kumar
    • 3
    • 5
  • James W. McNamara
    • 5
  • Susan T. Weintraub
    • 6
  • Pieter P. de Tombe
    • 3
  • Sakthivel Sadayappan
    • 3
    • 5
  • Rochelle Buffenstein
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Aging and Longevity StudiesUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, Health Sciences DivisionLoyola University ChicagoMaywoodUSA
  4. 4.Center for Genetic MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Heart, Lung and Vascular InstituteUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  6. 6.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  7. 7.Calico Life SciencesSouth San FranciscoUSA

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