Research ArticleLaminopathies

Temsirolimus Activates Autophagy and Ameliorates Cardiomyopathy Caused by Lamin A/C Gene Mutation

Science Translational Medicine  25 Jul 2012:
Vol. 4, Issue 144, pp. 144ra102
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003875

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Abstract

Mutations in the lamin A/C gene (LMNA), which encodes A-type lamins, cause a diverse range of diseases collectively called laminopathies, the most common of which is dilated cardiomyopathy. Emerging evidence suggests that LMNA mutations cause disease by altering cell signaling pathways, but the specific mechanisms are poorly understood. We show that the AKT–mammalian target of rapamycin pathway is hyperactivated in hearts of mice with cardiomyopathy caused by Lmna mutation and that in vivo administration of the rapamycin analog temsirolimus prevents deterioration of cardiac function. We also show defective autophagy in hearts of these mice and demonstrate that improvement in heart function induced by pharmacological interventions is correlated with enhanced autophagy. These findings provide a rationale for treatment of LMNA cardiomyopathy with rapalogs and implicate defective autophagy as a pathogenic mechanism of cardiomyopathy arising from LMNA mutation.

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