Alterations in the balance of cytoskeleton as well as energetic proteins are involved in the cardiac remodeling occurring in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We used 2D-DIGE proteomics as a discovery approach to identify key molecular changes taking place in a temporally controlled model of DCM triggered by cardiomyocyte-specific Serum Response Factor KO in mice. We identified muscle creatine kinase (MCK) as the primary down-regulated protein followed by α-actin and α-tropomyosin down-regulation leading to a decrease of polymerized F-actin. The early response to these defects was an increase in the amount of desmin intermediate filaments and phosphorylation of the αB-crystallin chaperone. We found that αB-crystallin and desmin progressively lose their striated pattern and accumulate at the intercalated disk and the sarcolemma, respectively. We further show that desmin is a preferential target of advanced glycation end-products (AGE) in mouse and human DCM. Inhibition of CK in cultured cardiomyocytes is sufficient to recapitulate both the actin depolymerization defect and the modification of desmin by AGE. Treatment with either cytochalasin D or glyoxal, a cellular AGE, indicated that both actin depolymerization and AGE contribute to desmin disorganization. Heat-shock induced phosphorylation of αB-crystallin provides a transient protection of desmin against glyoxal in a p38-MAPK-dependent manner. Our results show that the strong down-regulation of MCK activity contributes to F-actin instability and induces post-translational modification of αB-crystallin and desmin. Our results suggest that AGE play an important role in DCM because they alter the organization of desmin filaments that normally support stress response and mitochondrial functions in cardiomyocytes.
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