Novel cholesterol-dependent regulation of cardiac KATP subunit expression revealed using histone deacetylase inhibitors

Robert Geiger, Naheed Fatima, James F. Schooley, Jeremy T. Smyth, Mark C. Haigney, Thomas P. Flagg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We recently discovered that the histone deacetylase inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA), increases expression of the sulfonylurea receptor 2 (SUR2; Abcc9) subunit of the ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channel in HL-1 cardiomyocytes. Interestingly, the increase in SUR2 was abolished with exogenous cholesterol, suggesting that cholesterol may regulate channel expression. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that TSA increases SUR2 by depleting cholesterol and activating the sterol response element binding protein (SREBP) family of transcription factors. Treatment of HL-1 cardiomyocytes with TSA (30 ng/ml) caused a time-dependent increase in SUR2 mRNA expression that correlates with the time course of cholesterol depletion assessed by filipin staining. Consistent with the cholesterol-dependent regulation of SREBP increasing SUR2 mRNA expression, we observe a significant increase in SREBP cleavage and translocation to the nucleus following TSA treatment that is inhibited by exogenous cholesterol. Further supporting the role of SREBP in mediating the effect of TSA on KATP subunit expression, SREBP1 significantly increased luciferase reporter gene expression driven by the upstream SUR2 promoter. Lastly, HL-1 cardiomyocytes treated with the SREBP inhibitor PF429242 significantly suppresses the effect of TSA on SUR2 gene expression. These results demonstrate that SREBP is an important regulator of KATP channel expression and suggest a novel method by which hypercholesterolemia may exert negative effects on the cardiovascular system, namely, by suppressing expression of the KATP channel.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14675
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Abcc9
  • SUR2
  • trichostatin A


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