CaMKIIδ interacts directly with IKKβ and modulates NF-kB signalling in adult cardiac fibroblasts

Martin, Tamara P. and McCluskey, Claire and Cunningham, Margaret R. and Beattie, James and Paul, Andrew and Currie, Susan (2018) CaMKIIδ interacts directly with IKKβ and modulates NF-kB signalling in adult cardiac fibroblasts. Cellular Signalling. ISSN 1873-3913 (

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Calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase IIδ (CaMKIIδ) acts as a molecular switch regulating cardiovascular Ca2+ handling and contractility in health and disease. Activation of CaMKIIδ is also known to regulate cardiovascular inflammation and is reported to be required for pro-inflammatory NF-κB signalling. In this study the aim was to characterise how CaMKIIδ interacts with and modulates NF-κB signalling and whether this interaction exists in non-contractile cells of the heart. Recombinant or purified CaMKIIδ and the individual inhibitory -κB kinase (IKK) proteins of the NF-κB signalling pathway were used in autoradiography and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) to explore potential interactions between both components. Primary adult rat cardiac fibroblasts were then used to study the effects of selective CaMKII inhibition on pharmacologically-induced NF-κB activation as well as interaction between CaMKII and specific IKK isoforms in a cardiac cellular setting. Autoradiography analysis suggested that CaMKIIδ phosphorylated IKKβ but not IKKα. SPR analysis further supported a direct interaction between CaMKIIδ and IKKβ but not between CaMKIIδ and IKKα or IKKγ. CaMKIIδ regulation of IκΒα degradation was explored in adult cardiac fibroblasts exposed to pharmacological stimulation. Cells were stimulated with agonist in the presence or absence of a CaMKII inhibitor, autocamtide inhibitory peptide (AIP). Selective inhibition of CaMKII resulted in reduced NF-κB activation, as measured by agonist-stimulated IκBα degradation. Importantly, and in agreement with the recombinant protein work, an interaction between CaMKII and IKKβ was evident following Proximity Ligation Assays in adult cardiac fibroblasts. This study provides new evidence supporting direct interaction between CaMKIIδ and IKKβ in pro-inflammatory signalling in cardiac fibroblasts and could represent a feature that may be exploited for therapeutic benefit.