The E3 ubiquitin ligase CHIP protects against sepsis-induced myocardial dysfunction by inhibiting NF-κB-mediated inflammation via promoting ubiquitination and degradation of karyopherin-α 2

Published:November 14, 2022DOI:


      Cardiac dysfunction has been recognized as a major contributor to mortality in sepsis, which is closely associated with inflammatory reactions. The carboxy terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein (CHIP), a U-box E3 ubiquitin ligase, defends against cardiac injury caused by other factors, but its role in sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction has yet to be determined. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of CHIP on cardiac dysfunction caused by sepsis and the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes. We discovered that the CHIP level decreased gradually in the heart at different time points after septic model construction. The decline in CHIP expression of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated cardiomyocytes was related to c-Jun activation that inhibited the transcription of CHIP. Functional biology experiments indicated that CHIP bound directly to karyopherin-α 2 (KPNA2) and promoted its degradation through polyubiquitination in cardiomyocytes. CHIP overexpression in cardiomyocytes obviously inhibited LPS-initiated release of TNF-α and IL-6 by promoting KPNA2 degradation, reducing NF-κB translocation into the nucleus. Consistent with the in vitro results, data obtained from animal experiments indicated that septic transgenic mice with heart-specific CHIP overexpression showed a weaker proinflammatory response and reduced cardiac dysfunction than septic control mice. Furthermore, we found that the therapeutic effect of compound YL-109 on cardiac dysfunction in septic mice was due to the upregulation of myocardial CHIP expression. These findings demonstrated that sepsis-initiated the activation of c-Jun suppressed CHIP transcription. CHIP directly promoted ubiquitin-mediated degradation of KPNA2, which reduced the production of proinflammatory cytokines by inhibiting the translocation of NF-κB from the cytoplasm into the nucleus in myocardium, thereby attenuating sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction.
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