Heart Cell Signaling in 3D

Science Signaling  30 Mar 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 115, pp. ec93
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3115ec93

A healthy heart relies on the proper transduction of cellular signals through the β1- and β2-adrenergic receptors (βARs), which are located on the surface of the heart’s muscle cells (cardiomyocytes). The surface of these cells resembles a highly organized series of hills and valleys, and it has been unclear whether this topography plays a role in the βAR signaling events that are critical to cell function. Nikolaev et al. (see also Perspective by Dorn) monitored the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signals generated by the βARs in living cardiomyocytes. In cells from healthy rats and from rats with heart failure, the β1ARs were localized across the entire cell surface. In contrast, the spatial localization of the β2ARs differed in healthy and failing cells. In healthy cardiomyocytes, the β2ARs resided exclusively within surface invaginations called transverse tubules, thereby producing spatially confined cAMP signals, whereas in failing cardiomyocytes, the β2ARs redistributed to other cell surface areas, thereby producing diffuse cAMP signals. Thus, changes in the spatial localization of β2AR-induced cAMP signaling may contribute to heart failure.

V. O. Nikolaev, A. Moshkov, A. R. Lyon, M. Miragoli, P. Novak, H. Paur, M. J. Lohse, Y. E. Korchev, S. E. Harding, J. Gorelik, β2-adrenergic receptor redistribution in heart failure changes cAMP compartmentation. Science 327, 1653–1657 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]

G. W. Dorn II, Refugee receptors switch sides. Science 327, 1586–1587 (2010). [Summary] [Full Text]