The goal of this project is to address the role of a subset of histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes, class I HDACs, in the control of heart failure. With greater than five million heart failure patients in the U.S. alone, treatment of this conditio represents an estimated annual cost to the American health care system of over $37 billion. The 5-year mortality rate following first admission for heart failure is 42.3%, highlighting an urgent need for new therapeutic approaches. HDACs catalyze removal of acetyl groups from lysine residues in a variety of proteins. The 18 HDACs are encoded by distinct genes. Broad-spectrum, 'pan'-HDAC inhibitors are efficacious in rodent models of heart failure, blocking pathological cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis and improving cardiac function, suggesting an application for HDAC inhibitors for the treatment of human heart failure. However, since pan-HDAC inhibition is associated with toxicities such as thrombocytopenia, the potential for translating these findings to the heart failure clinic remains unclear. The current proposal is based on the overall hypothesis that class I HDACs contribute to the pathogenesis of heart failure by altering MAP kinase signaling in cardiac myocytes. As an extension of this hypothesis, we propose that selective inhibition of class I HDACs with small molecule inhibitors will provide a safe and effective therapeutic strategy for heart failure. Our preliminary data indicate that class I HDACs alter nuclear ERK1/2 signaling in cardiomyocytes by inducing expression of an ERK-specific phosphatase, DUSP5. Further studies will define the mechanisms for regulation of DUSP5 by class I HDACs, and the role of DUSP5 in the control of cardiac remodeling in vitro and in vivo. In vivo evaluation will include echocardiographic and catheter-based measurements of cardiac function as well as histological and morphometric assessment of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. Together, results from these in vitro and in vivo studies will provide insights into signaling and transcriptional events controlling heart failure, and should provide the foundation for innovative approaches to drug discovery for heart failure based on isoform-selective HDAC inhibition.

Public Health Relevance

Heart failure is a major health problem and growing economic burden worldwide. With greater than five million heart failure patients in the U.S. alone, treatment of this condition represents an estimated annual cost to the American health care system of over $37 billion. The research outlined in this proposal should provide a foundation for discovery of novel therapeutics to treat patient suffering from heart failure.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Cardiac Contractility, Hypertrophy, and Failure Study Section (CCHF)
Program Officer
Adhikari, Bishow B
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Colorado Denver
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Haldar, Saptarsi M; McKinsey, Timothy A (2014) BET-ting on chromatin-based therapeutics for heart failure. J Mol Cell Cardiol 74:98-102
Blakeslee, Weston W; Wysoczynski, Christina L; Fritz, Kristofer S et al. (2014) Class I HDAC inhibition stimulates cardiac protein SUMOylation through a post-translational mechanism. Cell Signal 26:2912-20
Schuetze, Katherine B; McKinsey, Timothy A; Long, Carlin S (2014) Targeting cardiac fibroblasts to treat fibrosis of the heart: focus on HDACs. J Mol Cell Cardiol 70:100-7
Miyazaki-Anzai, Shinobu; Masuda, Masashi; Demos-Davies, Kimberly M et al. (2014) Endoplasmic reticulum stress effector CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) regulates chronic kidney disease-induced vascular calcification. J Am Heart Assoc 3:e000949
Williams, Sarah M; Golden-Mason, Lucy; Ferguson, Bradley S et al. (2014) Class I HDACs regulate angiotensin II-dependent cardiac fibrosis via fibroblasts and circulating fibrocytes. J Mol Cell Cardiol 67:112-25
Demos-Davies, Kimberly M; Ferguson, Bradley S; Cavasin, Maria A et al. (2014) HDAC6 contributes to pathological responses of heart and skeletal muscle to chronic angiotensin-II signaling. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 307:H252-8