• Erickson JR, Joiner ML, Guan X, Kutschke W, Yang J, Oddis CV, Bartlett RK, Lowe JS, O'Donnell SE, Aykin-Burns N, Zimmerman MC, Zimmerman K, Ham AJ, Weiss RM, Spitz DR, Shea MA, Colbran RJ, Mohler PJ, Anderson ME. A dynamic pathway for calcium-independent activation of CaMKII by methionine oxidation. Cell. 2008 May 2;133(3). 462-74. PMID: 18455987 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC2435269. NIHMSID: NIHMS49700.

Abstract 

Calcium/calmodulin (Ca2+/CaM)-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) couples increases in cellular Ca2+ to fundamental responses in excitable cells. CaMKII was identified over 20 years ago by activation dependence on Ca2+/CaM, but recent evidence shows that CaMKII activity is also enhanced by pro-oxidant conditions. Here we show that oxidation of paired regulatory domain methionine residues sustains CaMKII activity in the absence of Ca2+/CaM. CaMKII is activated by angiotensin II (AngII)-induced oxidation, leading to apoptosis in cardiomyocytes both in vitro and in vivo. CaMKII oxidation is reversed by methionine sulfoxide reductase A (MsrA), and MsrA-/- mice show exaggerated CaMKII oxidation and myocardial apoptosis, impaired cardiac function, and increased mortality after myocardial infarction. Our data demonstrate a dynamic mechanism for CaMKII activation by oxidation and highlight the critical importance of oxidation-dependent CaMKII activation to AngII and ischemic myocardial apoptosis.