Prevention of PKG-1α Oxidation Suppresses Antihypertrophic/Antifibrotic Effects From PDE5 Inhibition but not sGC Stimulation

Taishi Nakamura, Guangshuo Zhu, Mark J. Ranek, Kristen Kokkonen-Simon, Manling Zhang, Grace E. Kim, Kenichi Tsujita, David A. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Stimulation of sGC (soluble guanylate cyclase) or inhibition of PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) activates PKG (protein kinase G)-1α to counteract cardiac hypertrophy and failure. PKG1α acts within localized intracellular domains; however, its oxidation at cysteine 42, linking homomonomers, alters this localization, impairing suppression of pathological cardiac stress. Because PDE5 and sGC reside in separate microdomains, we speculated that PKG1α oxidation might also differentially influence the effects from their pharmacological modulation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Knock-in mice expressing a redox-dead PKG1α (PKG1αC42S) or littermate controls (PKG1αWT) were subjected to transaortic constriction to induce pressure overload and treated with a PDE5 inhibitor (sildenafil), sGC activator (BAY602770 [BAY]), or vehicle. In PKG1αWT controls, sildenafil and BAY similarly enhanced PKG activity and reduced pathological hypertrophy/fibrosis and cardiac dysfunction after transaortic constriction. However, sildenafil failed to protect the heart in PKG1αC42S, unlike BAY, which activated PKG and thereby facilitated protective effects. This corresponded with minimal PDE5 activation in PKG1αC42S exposed to transaortic constriction versus higher activity in controls and little colocalization of PDE5 with PKG1αC42S (versus colocalization with PKG1αWT) in stressed myocytes. CONCLUSIONS: In the stressed heart and myocytes, PKG1α C42-disulfide formation contributes to PDE5 activation. This augments the pathological role of PDE5 and so in turn enhances the therapeutic impact from its inhibition. PKG1α oxidation does not change the benefits from sGC activation. This finding favors the use of sGC activators regardless of PKG1α oxidation and may help guide precision therapy leveraging the cyclic GMP/PKG pathway to treat heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e004740
JournalCirculation. Heart failure
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cyclic GMP
  • cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinases
  • heart failure
  • hypertrophy
  • pharmacology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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