Adenylate kinase-catalyzed phosphotransfer in the myocardium: Increased contribution in heart failure

Petras P. Dzeja, Konradas T. Vitkevicius, Margaret M. Redfield, John C. Burnett, Andre Terzic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Although the downregulation of creatine kinase activity has been associated with heart failure, creatine kinase-deficient transgenic hearts have a preserved contractile function. This suggests the existence of alternative phosphotransfer pathways in the myocardium, the identity of which is still unknown. In this study, we examined the contribution of adenylate kinase-catalyzed phosphotransfer to myocardial energetics. In the isolated mitochondria/actomyosin system, which possesses endogenous adenylate kinase activity in both compartments, substrates for adenylate kinase promoted the rate and amplitude of actomyosin contraction that was further enhanced by purified adenylate kinase. Inhibition of adenylate kinase activity diminished both actomyosin contraction and mitochondrial respiration, which indicated reduced energy flow between mitochondria and myofibrils. In intact myocardium, the net adenylate kinase-catalyzed phosphotransfer rate was 10% of the total ATP turnover rate as measured by 18O-phosphoryl labeling in conjunction with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. In pacing-induced failing heart, adenylate kinase-catalyzed phosphotransfer increased by 134% and contributed 21% to the total ATP turnover. Concomitantly, the contribution by creatine kinase dropped from 89% in normal hearts to 40% in failing hearts. These phosphotransfer changes were associated with reduced levels of metabolically active ATP but maintained overall ATP turnover rate. Thus, this study provides evidence that adenylate kinase facilitates the transfer of high-energy phosphoryls and signal communication between mitochondria and actomyosin in cardiac muscle, with an increased contribution to cellular phosphotransfer in heart failure. This phosphotransfer function renders adenylate kinase an important component for optimal myocardial bioenergetics and a compensatory mechanism in response to impaired intracellular energy flux in the failing heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1143
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 1999


  • Actomyosin
  • Adenylate kinase
  • Bioenergetics
  • Creatine kinase
  • Heart failure
  • Mitochondria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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