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Keywords:

  • lysine acetylation;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • NOS3;
  • oxygenation;
  • p53

Myocardial infarction, an irreversible cardiac tissue damage, involves progressive loss of cardiomyocytes due to p53-mediated apoptosis. Oxygenation is known to promote cardiac survival through activation of NOS3 gene. We hypothesized a dual role for p53, which, depending on oxygenation, can elicit apoptotic death signals or NOS3-mediated survival signals in the infarct heart. p53 exhibited a differential DNA-binding, namely, BAX-p53RE in the infarct heart or NOS3-p53RE in the oxygenated heart, which was regulated by oxygen-induced, post-translational modification of p53. In the infarct heart, p53 was heavily acetylated at Lys118 residue, which was exclusively reversed in the oxygenated heart, apparently regulated by oxygen-dependent expression of TIP60. The inhibition of Lys118 acetylation promoted the generation of NOS3-promoting prosurvival form of p53. Thus, oxygenation switches p53-DNA interaction by regulating p53 core-domain acetylation, promoting a prosurvival transcription activity of p53. Understanding this novel oxygen-p53 survival pathway will open new avenues in cardioprotection molecular therapy.