Metabolic Remodeling Induced by Mitochondrial Aldehyde Stress Stimulates Tolerance to Oxidative Stress in the Heart
A. M Wolf,
Rationale: Aldehyde accumulation is regarded as a pathognomonic feature of oxidative stress–associated cardiovascular disease.
Objective: We investigated how the heart compensates for the accelerated accumulation of aldehydes.
Methods and Results: Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) has a major role in aldehyde detoxification in the mitochondria, a major source of aldehydes. Transgenic (Tg) mice carrying an Aldh2 gene with a single nucleotide polymorphism (Aldh2*2) were developed. This polymorphism has a dominant-negative effect and the Tg mice exhibited impaired ALDH activity against a broad range of aldehydes. Despite a shift toward the oxidative state in mitochondrial matrices, Aldh2*2 Tg hearts displayed normal left ventricular function by echocardiography and, because of metabolic remodeling, an unexpected tolerance to oxidative stress induced by ischemia/reperfusion injury. Mitochondrial aldehyde stress stimulated eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 phosphorylation. Subsequent translational and transcriptional activation of activating transcription factor-4 promoted the expression of enzymes involved in amino acid biosynthesis and transport, ultimately providing precursor amino acids for glutathione biosynthesis. Intracellular glutathione levels were increased 1.37-fold in Aldh2*2 Tg hearts compared with wild-type controls. Heterozygous knockout of Atf4 blunted the increase in intracellular glutathione levels in Aldh2*2 Tg hearts, thereby attenuating the oxidative stress–resistant phenotype. Furthermore, glycolysis and NADPH generation via the pentose phosphate pathway were activated in Aldh2*2 Tg hearts. (NADPH is required for the recycling of oxidized glutathione.)
Conclusions: The findings of the present study indicate that mitochondrial aldehyde stress in the heart induces metabolic remodeling, leading to activation of the glutathione–redox cycle, which confers resistance against acute oxidative stress induced by ischemia/reperfusion.