CaMKII Serine 280 O-GlcNAcylation Links Diabetic Hyperglycemia to Proarrhythmia

Bence Hegyi, Anna Fasoli, Christopher Y. Ko, Benjamin W. Van, Chidera C. Alim, Erin Y. Shen, Marisa M. Ciccozzi, Srinivas Tapa, Crystal M Ripplinger, Jeffrey R. Erickson, Julie B C Bossuyt, Donald M. Bers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale: Diabetic hyperglycemia is associated with cardiac dysfunction and increased arrhythmia risk, and CaMKII (calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II) function has been implicated. CaMKII activity is promoted by both oxidation and O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) of known CaMKII sites. Objective: To investigate which posttranslational modifications occur in human diabetic hearts and how they alter electrophysiological and Ca2+handling properties in hyperglycemia. Methods and Results: We assessed echocardiography, electrophysiology, Ca2+-handling, and protein expression in site-specific CaMKII mutant mice (O-GlcNAc-resistant S280A and oxidation-resistant MM281/2VV knock-ins, and global and cardiac-specific knockouts), in myocytes subjected to acute hyperglycemia and Ang II (angiotensin II) and mice after streptozotocin injections (to induce diabetes). Human patients with diabetes exhibit elevated CaMKII O-GlcNAcylation but not oxidation. In mice, acute hyperglycemia increased spontaneous diastolic Ca2+sparks and waves and arrhythmogenic action potential changes (prolongation, alternans, and delayed afterdepolarizations), all of which required CaMKII-S280 O-GlcNAcylation. Ang II effects were dependent on NOX2 (NADPH oxidase 2)-mediated CaMKII MM281/2 oxidation. Diabetes led to much greater Ca2+leak, RyR2 S2814 phosphorylation, electrophysiological remodeling, and increased susceptibility to in vivo arrhythmias, requiring CaMKII activation, predominantly via S280 O-GlcNAcylation and less via MM281/2 oxidation. These effects were present in myocytes at normal glucose but were exacerbated with the in vivo high circulating glucose. PLB (phospholamban) O-GlcNAcylation was increased and coincided with reduced PLB S16 phosphorylation in diabetes. Dantrolene, which reverses CaMKII-dependent proarrhythmic RyR-mediated Ca2+leak, also prevented hyperglycemia-induced APD prolongation and delayed afterdepolarizations. Conclusions: We found that CaMKII-S280 O-GlcNAcylation is required for increased arrhythmia susceptibility in diabetic hyperglycemia, which can be worsened by an additional Ang II-NOX2-CaMKII MM281/2 oxidation pathway. CaMKII-dependent RyR2 S2814 phosphorylation markedly increases proarrhythmic Ca2+leak and PLB O-GlcNAcylation may limit sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+reuptake, leading to impaired excitation-contraction coupling and arrhythmogenesis in diabetic hyperglycemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-113
Number of pages16
JournalCirculation research
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • acetylglucosamine
  • action potential
  • electrophysiology
  • hyperglycemia
  • phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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