The gp130 cytokine receptor activates a cardiomyocyte survival pathway during the transition to heart failure following the biomechanical stress of pressure overload. Although gp130 activation is observed transiently during transverse aortic constriction (TAC), its mechanism of inactivation is largely unknown in cardiomyocytes. We show here that suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), an intrinsic inhibitor of JAK, shows biphasic induction in response to TAC. The induction of SOCS3 was closely correlated with STAT3 phosphorylation, as well as the activation of an embryonic gene program, suggesting that cardiac gp130-JAK signaling is precisely controlled by this endogenous suppressor. In addition to its cytoprotective action, gp130-dependent signaling induces cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of SOCS3 to ventricular cardiomyocytes completely suppressed both hypertrophy and antiapoptotic phenotypes induced by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). To our knowledge, this is the first clear evidence that these two separate cardiomyocyte phenotypes induced by gp130 activation lie downstream of JAK. Three independent signaling pathways, STAT3, MEK1-ERK1/2, and AKT activation, that are coinduced by LIF stimulation were completely suppressed by SOCS3 overexpression. We conclude that SOCS3 is a mechanical stress–inducible gene in cardiac muscle cells and that it directly modulates stress-induced gp130 cytokine receptor signaling as the key molecular switch for a negative feedback circuit for both myocyte hypertrophy and survival.
Hideo Yasukawa, Masahiko Hoshijima, Yusu Gu, Tomoyuki Nakamura, Sylvain Pradervand, Toshikatsu Hanada, Yasushi Hanakawa, Akihiko Yoshimura, John Ross Jr., Kenneth R. Chien