Heart and Circulatory Physiology

A-kinase anchoring proteins: scaffolding proteins in the heart

Dario Diviani, Kimberly L. Dodge-Kafka, Jinliang Li, Michael S. Kapiloff


The pleiotropic cyclic nucleotide cAMP is the primary second messenger responsible for autonomic regulation of cardiac inotropy, chronotropy, and lusitropy. Under conditions of prolonged catecholaminergic stimulation, cAMP also contributes to the induction of both cardiac myocyte hypertrophy and apoptosis. The formation of localized, multiprotein complexes that contain different combinations of cAMP effectors and regulatory enzymes provides the architectural infrastructure for the specialization of the cAMP signaling network. Scaffolds that bind protein kinase A are called “A-kinase anchoring proteins” (AKAPs). In this review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of how PKA is compartmentalized within the cardiac myocyte by AKAPs and how AKAP complexes modulate cardiac function in both health and disease.

  • protein kinase A
  • cardiac myocyte
  • signal transduction
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