Myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R) injury, a complicated pathophysiological process, is regulated by lots of signaling pathways. Here in our present study, we identified TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1), an IKK-related serine/threonine kinase, as a protective regulator in MI/R injury. Our results indicated that TBK1 was decreased in MI/R injury in mice. However, after overexpressing TBK1 through an intramyocardial injection of TBK1 adenovirus, TBK1 overexpression improved cardiac function detected by echocardiography, decreased infarct size detected by Evans Blue and TTC staining, reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis measured by TUNEL staining and alleviated disruption of mitochondria and cardiac muscle fibers detected by TEM in response to MI/R injury. Consistently, TBK1 overexpression ameliorated mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate (OCR) in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs) in response to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) injury. Mechanistically, TBK1 overexpression upregulated Bcl-2 (an anti-apoptotic protein) but downregulated Bax (a pro-apoptotic protein) in vivo and in vitro. Collectively, our findings uncovered a pivotal function of TBK1 in MI/R injury through regulating the levels of apoptotic proteins for the first time, which might represent a promising target in treating MI/R patients in the future.
Keywords: Apoptotic proteins Myocardial ischemia/reperfusion OCR TANK-Binding kinase 1 TBK1 adenovirus