Skip to main content

Enzyme protects against obesity-related heart disease

Jun. 7, 2018, 12:00 PM

by Sanjay Mishra

Saturated fats found in high-fat diets increase the risk of heart failure. Now Manisha Gupte, PhD, Hind Lal, PhD, and colleagues show that the presence of an enzyme called GSK-3beta in the heart is crucial to protect against obesity-related cardiac dysfunction.

To better understand the role of GSK-3beta, the scientists generated mice in which the gene for the enzyme was “knocked out” in heart cells. When fed a high-fat diet, the knockout mice developed severe heart disease compared to normal controls even though there was no difference in obesity.

On a normal diet, the related enzyme GSK-3alpha compensated for the absence of GSK-3beta in the knockout mice. On a high-fat diet, however, this protection was lost. The absence of GSK-3beta led to excessive accumulation of beta-catenin, a signaling molecule associated with heart abnormalities.

These findings, published recently in the International Journal of Cardiology, point to the potential adverse cardiac consequences of chronic GSK-3 inhibition.

This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (HL133290, HL119234) and the American Heart Association.

Send suggestions for articles to highlight in Aliquots and any other feedback about the column to aliquots@vanderbilt.edu

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Sharon Seibert is among the more than 5,000 patients who have received a stem cell transplant at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which has one of the best survival rates in the nation and is at the forefront of new cellular therapies.

Momentum

Sharon Seibert is among the more than 5,000 patients who have received a stem cell transplant at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which has one of the best survival rates in the nation and is at the forefront of new cellular therapies.

The first few minutes of Charlie’s life were a blur, as a team of doctors and nurses at VUMC worked to resuscitate him and stabilize his heart rate. He was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Hope

The first few minutes of Charlie’s life were a blur, as a team of doctors and nurses at VUMC worked to resuscitate him and stabilize his heart rate. He was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Tucked away in a Vanderbilt conference room, 36 adults huddle over Lego pieces. Eleven teams have been assigned to assemble multicolored Legos using the written directions included in the packet. The result should be a Frankenstein figure.

Vanderbilt Nurse

Tucked away in a Vanderbilt conference room, 36 adults huddle over Lego pieces. Eleven teams have been assigned to assemble multicolored Legos using the written directions included in the packet. The result should be a Frankenstein figure.

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

Vanderbilt Medicine

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

more