Previously, we reported that phosphorylation of histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) and the resulting activation causes cardiac hypertrophy. Through further study of the specific binding partners of phosphorylated HDAC2 and their mechanism of regulation, we can better understand how cardiac hypertrophy develops. Thus, in the present study, we aimed to elucidate the function of one such binding partner, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70).
Methods and results
Primary cultures of rat neonatal ventricular cardiomyocytes and H9c2 cardiomyoblasts were used for in vitro cellular experiments. HSP70 knockout (KO) mice and transgenic (Tg) mice that overexpress HSP70 in the heart were used for in vivo analysis. Peptide-precipitation and immunoprecipitation assay revealed that HSP70 preferentially binds to phosphorylated HDAC2 S394. Forced expression of HSP70 increased phosphorylation of HDAC2 S394 and its activation, but not that of S422/424, whereas knocking down of HSP70 reduced it. However, HSP70 failed to phosphorylate HDAC2 in the cell-free condition. Phosphorylation of HDAC2 S394 by casein kinase 2α1 enhanced the binding of HSP70 to HDAC2, whereas dephosphorylation induced by the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2CA) had the opposite effect. HSP70 prevented HDAC2 dephosphorylation by reducing the binding of HDAC2 to PP2CA. HSP70 KO mouse hearts failed to phosphorylate S394 HDAC2 in response to isoproterenol infusion, whereas Tg overexpression of HSP70 increased the phosphorylation and activation of HDAC2. 2-Phenylethynesulfonamide (PES), an HSP70 inhibitor, attenuated cardiac hypertrophy induced either by phenylephrine in neonatal ventricular cardiomyocytes or by aortic banding in mice. PES reduced HDAC2 S394 phosphorylation and its activation by interfering with the binding of HSP70 to HDAC2.
These results demonstrate that HSP70 specifically binds to S394-phosphorylated HDAC2 and maintains its phosphorylation status, which results in HDAC2 activation and the development of cardiac hypertrophy. Inhibition of HSP70 has possible application as a therapeutic.