Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in patients with heart failure (HF) is allied with an imbalance in reduction and oxidation (redox) signaling in cardiomyocytes; however, the basic pathways and mechanisms governing redox homeostasis in cardiomyocytes are not fully understood. Here, we show that cytochrome b5 reductase 3 (CYB5R3), an enzyme known to regulate redox signaling in erythrocytes and vascular cells, is essential for cardiomyocyte function. Using a conditional cardiomyocyte-specific CYB5R3-knockout mouse, we discovered that deletion of CYB5R3 in male, but not female, adult cardiomyocytes causes cardiac hypertrophy, bradycardia, and SCD. The increase in SCD in CYB5R3-KO mice is associated with calcium mishandling, ventricular fibrillation, and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Molecular studies reveal that CYB5R3-KO hearts display decreased adenosine triphosphate (ATP), increased oxidative stress, suppressed coenzyme Q levels, and hemoprotein dysregulation. Finally, from a translational perspective, we reveal that the high-frequency missense genetic variant rs1800457, which translates into a CYB5R3 T117S partial loss-of-function protein, associates with decreased event-free survival (~20%) in Black persons with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Together, these studies reveal a crucial role for CYB5R3 in cardiomyocyte redox biology and identify a genetic biomarker for persons of African ancestry that may potentially increase the risk of death from HFrEF.
Nolan T. Carew, Heidi M. Schmidt, Shuai Yuan, Joseph C. Galley, Robert Hall, Helene M. Altmann, Scott A. Hahn, Megan P. Miller, Katherine C. Wood, Bethann Gabris, Margaret C. Stapleton, Sean Hartwick, Marco Fazzari, Yijen L. Wu, Mohamed Trebak, Brett A. Kaufman, Charles F. McTiernan, Francisco J. Schopfer, Placido Navas, Patrick H. Thibodeau, Dennis M. McNamara, Guy Salama, Adam C. Straub