Overexpression of the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A impairs cardiac function

Ulrich Gergs, Peter Boknik, Igor Buchwalow, Larissa Fabritz, Marek Matus, Isabel Justus, Gabriela Hanske, Wilhelm Schmitz, Joachim Neumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Reversible protein phosphorylation is an essential regulatory mechanism in many cellular functions. In contrast to protein kinases, the role and regulation of protein phosphatases has remained ambiguous. To address this issue, we generated transgenic mice that overexpress the catalytic subunit alpha of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) (PP2Acalpha) in the heart driven by the alpha-myosin heavy chain promoter. Overexpression of the PP2Acalpha gene in the heart led to increased levels of the transgene both at RNA and protein levels. This was accompanied by a significant increase of PP2A enzyme activity in the myocardium. Morphological analysis revealed isles of necrosis and fibrosis. The phosphorylation state of phospholamban, troponin inhibitor, and eukaryotic elongation factor 2 was reduced significantly. The expression of junctional (calsequestrin) and free SR proteins (SERCA and phospholamban) was not altered. Whereas no increase in morbidity or mortality was noted, transgenic mice developed cardiac hypertrophy and reduced contractility of the heart, as well as cardiac dilatation as shown by biplane echocardiography. Taken together, these findings are indicative of the fundamental role of PP2A in cardiac function and imply that disturbances in protein phosphatases expression and activity may cause or aggravate the course of cardiac diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40827-34
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2004


  • Actins
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Calcium
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Dobutamine
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Echocardiography
  • Fibrosis
  • Heart
  • Heart Diseases
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myocardium
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Phosphorylation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Phosphatase 2
  • RNA
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Transgenes


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