Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is upregulated in diabetes and significantly contributes to cardiac remodeling with increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias. Diabetes is frequently associated with atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, and heart failure, which may further enhance CaMKII. Activation of CaMKII occurs downstream of neurohormonal stimulation (e.g. via G-protein coupled receptors) and involve various posttranslational modifications including autophosphorylation, oxidation, S-nitrosylation and O-GlcNAcylation. CaMKII signaling regulates diverse cellular processes in a spatiotemporal manner including excitation-contraction and excitation-transcription coupling, mechanics and energetics in cardiac myocytes. Chronic activation of CaMKII results in cellular remodeling and ultimately arrhythmogenic alterations in Ca2+ handling, ion channels, cell-to-cell coupling and metabolism. This review addresses the detrimental effects of the upregulated CaMKII signaling to enhance the arrhythmogenic substrate and trigger mechanisms in the heart. We also briefly summarize preclinical studies using kinase inhibitors and genetically modified mice targeting CaMKII in diabetes. The mechanistic understanding of CaMKII signaling, cardiac remodeling and arrhythmia mechanisms may reveal new therapeutic targets and ultimately better treatment in diabetes and heart disease in general.
- Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II
- Excitation-contraction coupling
- Posttranslational modifications
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine