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Paeonol promotes Opa1-mediated mitochondrial fusion via activating the CK2α-Stat3 pathway in diabetic cardiomyopathy.


Redox Biol. 2021 Aug 10 ;46:102098. Epub 2021 Aug 10. PMID: 34418601

Abstract Title: 

Paeonol promotes Opa1-mediated mitochondrial fusion via activating the CK2α-Stat3 pathway in diabetic cardiomyopathy.


Diabetes disrupts mitochondrial function and often results in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM). Paeonol is a bioactive compound that has been reported to have pharmacological potential for cardiac and mitochondrial protection. This study aims to explore the effects of paeonol on mitochondrial disorderes in DCM and the underlying mechanisms. We showed that paeonol promoted Opa1-mediated mitochondrial fusion, inhibited mitochondrial oxidative stress, and preserved mitochondrial respiratory capacity and cardiac performance in DCM in vivo and in vitro. Knockdown of Opa1 blunted the above protective effects of paeonol in both diabetic hearts and high glucose-treated cardiomyocytes. Mechanistically, inhibitor screening, siRNA knockdown and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments showed that paeonol-promoted Opa1-mediated mitochondrial fusion required the activation of Stat3, which directly bound to the promoter of Opa1 to upregulate its transcriptional expression. Moreover, pharmmapper screening and molecular docking studies revealed that CK2α served as a direct target of paeonol that interacted with Jak2 and induced the phosphorylation and activation of Jak2-Stat3. Knockdown of CK2α blunted the promoting effect of paeonol on Jak2-Stat3 phosphorylation and Opa1-mediated mitochondrial fusion. Collectively, we have demonstrated for thefirst time that paeonol is a novel mitochondrial fusion promoter in protecting against hyperglycemia-induced mitochondrial oxidative injury and DCM at least partially via an Opa1-mediated mechanism, a process in which paeonol interacts with CK2α and restores its kinase activity that subsequently increasing Jak2-Stat3 phosphorylation and enhancing the transcriptional level of Opa1. These findings suggest that paeonol or the promotion of mitochondrial fusion might be a promising strategy for the treatment of DCM.

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