Study Suggests New Target for Heart Drugs
Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of heart failure are beta-blockers and nitrates, which help to relax blood vessels and decrease the heart’s workload. The drugs were thought to produce those effects through distinct molecular pathways, but according to a new study led by scientists at Temple Univ. School of Medicine, both types of drugs may help the failing heart by counteracting the effects of an enzyme known as GRK2. The findings suggest that new drugs aimed specifically at GRK2, which can trigger the death of heart cells, could protect the heart from progressive disease.
The study, which appears online in the journal Science Signaling, describes a previously uncharacterized interaction between GRK2 and an enzyme called endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), in which the two enzymes attempt to block one another’s activity, with different outcomes on heart function.
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