Research ArticlesHeart Failure

SUMO-1 Gene Transfer Improves Cardiac Function in a Large-Animal Model of Heart Failure

Science Translational Medicine  13 Nov 2013:
Vol. 5, Issue 211, pp. 211ra159
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3006487

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Recently, the impact of small ubiquitin-related modifier 1 (SUMO-1) on the regulation and preservation of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium adenosine triphosphatase (SERCA2a) function was discovered. The amount of myocardial SUMO-1 is decreased in failing hearts, and its knockdown results in severe heart failure (HF) in mice. In a previous study, we showed that SUMO-1 gene transfer substantially improved cardiac function in a murine model of pressure overload–induced HF. Toward clinical translation, we evaluated in this study the effects of SUMO-1 gene transfer in a swine model of ischemic HF. One month after balloon occlusion of the proximal left anterior descending artery followed by reperfusion, the animals were randomized to receive either SUMO-1 at two doses, SERCA2a, or both by adeno-associated vector type 1 (AAV1) gene transfer via antegrade coronary infusion. Control animals received saline infusions. After gene delivery, there was a significant increase in the maximum rate of pressure rise [dP/dt(max)] that was most pronounced in the group that received both SUMO-1 and SERCA2a. The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) improved after high-dose SUMO-1 with or without SERCA2a gene delivery, whereas there was a decline in LVEF in the animals receiving saline. Furthermore, the dilatation of LV volumes was prevented in the treatment groups. SUMO-1 gene transfer therefore improved cardiac function and stabilized LV volumes in a large-animal model of HF. These results support the critical role of SUMO-1 in SERCA2a function and underline the therapeutic potential of SUMO-1 for HF patients.

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