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A series of recent studies report novel roles for Pak1, a key member of the highly conserved family of serine-threonine protein kinases regulated by Ras-related small G-proteins, Cdc42/Rac1, in cardiac physiology and cardioprotection. Previous studies had identified Pak1 in the regulation of hypertrophic remodeling that could potentially lead to heart failure. This article provides a review of more recent findings on the roles of Pak1 in cardiac Ca(2+) homeostasis. These findings identified crucial roles for Pak1 in cardiomyocyte Ca(2+) handling and demonstrated that it functions through unique mechanisms involving regulation of the post-transcriptional activity of key Ca(2+)-handling proteins, including the expression of Ca(2+)-ATPase SERCA2a, along with the speculative possibility of an involvement in the maintenance of transverse (T)-tubular structure. They highlight important regulatory functions of Pak1 in Ca(2+) homeostasis in cardiac cells, and identify novel potential therapeutic strategies directed at manipulation of Pak1 signaling for the management of cardiac disease, particularly heart failure.

Original publication

DOI

10.3389/fphys.2015.00076

Type

Journal article

Journal

Front Physiol

Publication Date

2015

Volume

6

Keywords

Ca2+ homeostasis, Pak1, heart