cardiac hypertrophy, cardiomyopathy, cardiomyocyte, protein aggregation, endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD), RNA turnover


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology


Valosin-containing protein (VCP), also known as p97, is an ATPase with diverse cellular functions, although the most highly characterized is targeting of misfolded or aggregated proteins to degradation pathways, including the endoplasmic reticulum–associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. However, how VCP functions in the heart has not been carefully examined despite the fact that human mutations in VCP cause Paget disease of bone and frontotemporal dementia, an autosomal dominant multisystem proteinopathy that includes disease in the heart, skeletal muscle, brain, and bone. Here we generated heart-specific transgenic mice overexpressing WT VCP or a VCPK524A mutant with deficient ATPase activity. Transgenic mice overexpressing WT VCP exhibit normal cardiac structure and function, whereas mutant VCP-overexpressing mice develop cardiomyopathy. Mechanistically, mutant VCP-overexpressing hearts up-regulate ERAD complex components and have elevated levels of ubiquitinated proteins prior to manifestation of cardiomyopathy, suggesting dysregulation of ERAD and inefficient clearance of proteins targeted for proteasomal degradation. The hearts of mutant VCP transgenic mice also exhibit profound defects in cardiomyocyte nuclear morphology with increased nuclear envelope proteins and nuclear lamins. Proteomics revealed overwhelming interactions of endogenous VCP with ribosomal, ribosome-associated, and RNA-binding proteins in the heart, and impairment of cardiac VCP activity resulted in aggregation of large ribosomal subunit proteins. These data identify multifactorial functions and diverse mechanisms whereby VCP regulates cardiomyocyte protein and RNA quality control that are critical for cardiac homeostasis, suggesting how human VCP mutations negatively affect the heart.


Originally published in Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Original Citation

Brody, M. J., Vanhoutte, D., Bakshi, C. V., Liu, R., Correll, R. N., Sargent, M. A., & Molkentin, J. D. (2019). Disruption of valosin-containing protein activity causes cardiomyopathy and reveals pleiotropic functions in cardiac homeostasis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 294(22), 8918–8929.