Publication Date


First Advisor

Ruijie Liu


Heart disease continues to be the most prevalent health issue in the United States. Previous studies have demonstrated the cardio-protective benefit of an increase in extracellular signal regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) activity in mice. In this study, genetically modified mice with knockouts of both the DUSP6 and DUSP8 genes (DKO) were used to study whether increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation in DKO mice changes the expression of these death-related proteins. We found out the increase in ERK1/2 phosphorylation mainly stayed in cytoplasm and the expression levels of BCl-2 and Bax were not altered. We also investigated whether myofilament proteins could be the phosphorylation targets. Our data indicated that there was no significant difference of myofilament protein phosphorylation between wild type and DKO mouse hearts. In conclusion, our data suggest that the protective role of ERK1/2 in the heart doesn't influence the phosphorylation of either mitochondrial or myofilament proteins.