Research ArticleCardiology

Activin type II receptor signaling in cardiac aging and heart failure

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Science Translational Medicine  06 Mar 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 482, eaau8680
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau8680

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Aging, activins, and heart failure

Age is a risk factor for heart failure, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Roh et al. found that circulating follistatin-like 3 and activins, ligands for activin type II receptor (ActRII), were increased with aging and disease severity in human plasma samples from patients with heart failure. Blocking ActRII in mouse models of heart failure preserved cardiac function. ActRII signaling up-regulated the proteasome pathway in cardiomyocytes, leading to degradation of the sarcoplasmic reticulum ATPase pump SERCA2a, which is important for calcium handling and cardiomyocyte function. These results help explain how aging may contribute to heart failure and identify a potential therapeutic target.

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