Hyperglycemia induces myocardial dysfunction via epigenetic regulation of JunD

Shafaat Hussain, Abdul Waheed Khan, Alexander Akhmedov, Rosa Suades, Sarah Costantino, Francesco Paneni, Kenneth Caidahl, Shafeeq A. Mohammed, Camilla Hage, Christos Gkolfos, Hanna Björck, John Pernow, Lars H. Lund, Thomas F. Lüscher, Francesco Cosentino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: Hyperglycemia -induced reactive oxygen species are key mediators of cardiac dysfunction. JunD (Jund proto-oncogene subunit), a member of the AP-1 (activator protein-1) family of transcription factors, is emerging as a major gatekeeper against oxidative stress. However, its contribution to redox state and inflammation in the diabetic heart remains to be elucidated. Objective: The present study investigates the role of JunD in hyperglycemia-induced and reactive oxygen species-driven myocardial dysfunction. Methods and Results: JunD mRNA and protein expression were reduced in the myocardium of mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus as compared to controls. JunD downregulation was associated with oxidative stress and left ventricular dysfunction assessed by electron spin resonance spectroscopy as well as conventional and 2-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography. Furthermore, myocardial expression of free radical scavenger superoxide dismutase 1 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 was reduced, whereas the NOX2 (NADPH [nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphatase] oxidase subunit 2) and NOX4 (NADPH [nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphatase] oxidase subunit 4) were upregulated. The redox changes were associated with increased NF-κB (nuclear factor kappa B) binding activity and expression of inflammatory mediators. Interestingly, mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of JunD via the α MHC (α- myosin heavy chain) promoter (α MHC JunDtg) were protected against hyperglycemia-induced cardiac dysfunction. We also showed that JunD was epigenetically regulated by promoter hypermethylation, post-translational modification of histone marks, and translational repression by miRNA (microRNA)-673/menin. Reduced JunD mRNA and protein expression were confirmed in left ventricular specimens obtained from patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus as compared to nondiabetic subjects. Conclusions: Here, we show that a complex epigenetic machinery involving DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs mediates hyperglycemia-induced JunD downregulation and myocardial dysfunction in experimental and human diabetes mellitus. Our results pave the way for tissue-specific therapeutic modulation of JunD to prevent diabetic cardiomyopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1261-1273
Number of pages13
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • diabetes mellitus
  • heart failure
  • microRNA
  • reactive oxygen species
  • transcription factors

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