$1.54 million NIH grant to Wayne State to identify ways to improve cardiac function in heart failure

Dr. Jin, Wayne State UniversityDETROIT - Preventing heart failure is a major challenge in the management of cardiovascular diseases. β-adrenergic blockades — or β-blockers — are medications used to treat abnormal heart rhythms to protect from a heart attack after a first heart attack has occurred. While β-blockers have proven effective in treating chronic congestive heart failure, the long-term benefit of decreasing contractile kinetics is not completely understood.

With the help of a $1.54 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, a research team from Wayne State University will establish a targeted approach to sustain cardiac function during an energetic crisis and heart failure.

The study, "Modification of troponin T to improve cardiac function in heart failure," will use integrative research approaches to establish the underlying mechanism for the physiological modification of cardiac troponin T — proteins in the blood that are released when the heart muscle has been damaged that can differentiate between unstable angina and heart attack — with the ultimate goal of developing a new approach for the treatment of heart failure.

Led by Jian-Ping Jin, M.D., Ph.D., professor and William D. Traitel Endowed Chair of Physiology in the School of Medicine at Wayne State, the research team has focused on the area of protein structure-function relationships, particularly on protein engineering to improve muscle and heart functions.

According to Jin, the restrictive removal of a regulatory segment of cardiac troponin T occurs when the heart is under stress to selectively tune down contractile velocity of cardiac muscle and elongate the ejection time, which increases pumping volume with a minimized energetic cost. Together with its value in diagnostic measurements of cardiac function and adaptation, this novel mechanism provides a promising molecular target to develop new treatment of heart failure.

"The results from this project will establish a targeted approach to sustain cardiac function during energetic crisis and heart failure," Jin said. "With multilevel and integrative investigations, our study will lay the groundwork for translating this molecular mechanism into a new clinical treatment for heart failure."

The grant number for this National Institutes of Health award is HL-138007.


Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.



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Julie O'Connor

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Phone: 313-577-8845
Email: julie.oconnor@wayne.edu