Pathological hypertrophy generally progresses to heart failure. Exploring effective and promising therapeutic targets might lead to progress in preventing its detrimental outcomes. Our current knowledge about lipopolysaccharide-induced tumor necrosis factor-α factor (LITAF) is mainly limited to regulate inflammation. However, the role of LITAF in other settings are not that relevant to inflammation, such as cardiac remodeling and heart failure, remains largely unknown. In the present study, we found that the expression of LITAF decreased in hypertrophic hearts and cardiomyocytes. Meanwhile, LITAF protected cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes against phenylephrine-induced hypertrophy. Moreover, using LITAF knockout mice, we demonstrated that LITAF deficiency exacerbated cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis compared with wild-type mice. Mechanistically, LITAF directly binds to the N-terminal of ASK1, thus disrupting the dimerization of ASK1 and blocking ASK1 activation, ultimately inhibiting ASK1-JNK/p38 signaling over-activation and protecting against cardiac hypertrophy. Furthermore, AAV9-mediated LITAF overexpression attenuated cardiac hypertrophy in vivo. Conclusions: Our findings uncover the novel role of LITAF as a negative regulator of cardiac remodeling. Targeting the interaction between LITAF and ASK1 could be a promising therapeutic strategy for pathological cardiac remodeling.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.