Enhanced desumoylation in murine hearts by overexpressed SENP2 leads to congenital heart defects and cardiac dysfunction Academic Article uri icon


  • Sumoylation is a posttranslational modification implicated in a variety of cellular activities, and its role in a number of human pathogeneses such as cleft lip/palate has been well documented. However, the importance of the SUMO conjugation pathway in cardiac development and functional disorders is newly emerging. We previously reported that knockout of SUMO-1 in mice led to congenital heart diseases (CHDs). To further investigate the effects of imbalanced SUMO conjugation on heart development and function and its underlying mechanisms, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice with cardiac-specific expression of SENP2, a SUMO-specific protease that deconjugates sumoylated proteins, to evaluate the impact of desumoylation on heart development and function. Overexpression of SENP2 resulted in premature death of mice with CHDs-atrial septal defects (ASDs) and/or ventricular septal defects (VSDs). Immunobiochemistry revealed diminished cardiomyocyte proliferation in SENP2-Tg mouse hearts compared with that in wild type (WT) hearts. Surviving SENP2-Tg mice showed growth retardation, and developed cardiomyopathy with impaired cardiac function with aging. Cardiac-specific overexpression of the SUMO-1 transgene reduced the incidence of cardiac structural phenotypes in the sumoylation defective mice. Moreover, cardiac overexpression of SENP2 in the mice with Nkx2.5 haploinsufficiency promoted embryonic lethality and severity of CHDs, indicating the functional interaction between SENP2 and Nkx2.5 in vivo. Our findings indicate the indispensability of a balanced SUMO pathway for proper cardiac development and function. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Post-translational Modification SI'.

published proceedings

  • J Mol Cell Cardiol

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, E. Y., Chen, L. i., Ma, Y., Yu, W., Chang, J., Moskowitz, I. P., & Wang, J.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Kim, Eun Young||Chen, Li||Ma, Yanlin||Yu, Wei||Chang, Jiang||Moskowitz, Ivan P||Wang, Jun

publication date

  • January 2012