Blocking CaM kinase may help prevent cardiac rupture
January 01, 2020
"Although there are many sources of this enzyme, our study showed that heart muscle itself is actually making this protein too and is acting against its own self-interest in doing so," Anderson says. "We don't know why it happens, but inhibiting CaM kinase can prevent it."
The MMP9 enzyme is involved in remodeling the "matrix" that surrounds heart cells. This matrix, which acts like mortar between cells, is constantly being broken down and rebuilt. In hearts that rupture after heart attack this remodeling process becomes excessive, weakening the matrix to the point that it ruptures.
Because matrix remodeling plays a role in other diseases, including cancer, Anderson notes that the CaM kinase findings may have clinical implications beyond heart disease.
Overall, the UI study suggests that blocking the biochemical processes triggered by aldosterone might help prevent cardiac rupture following a heart attack.
Anderson notes that a multi-center study currently underway in France is poised to determine if patients would benefit from getting aldosterone blockers right away rather than waiting several weeks.
"We think our study provides experimental evidence for why that should work," he says.
"We have now identified CaM kinase as a critical component for the disease effects of the three core therapeutic pathways in heart, and we are closer to understanding fundamental elements of these signaling pathways," Anderson says. "The findings enhance excitement that CaM kinase might be an important therapeutic target in heart disease, and developing Cam kinase inhibitors is a major goal for us so that we can move this from experimental findings to clinical testing."
Source: University of Iowa Health Care