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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Associations of MMP-2, BAX, and Bcl-2 mRNA and Protein Expressions with Development of Atrial Fibrillation

Shu-Ling Diao, Hui-Pu Xu, Bei Zhang, Bao-Xin Ma, Xian-Liang Liu

Department of Cardiology, The Affiliated Hospital of Binzhou Medical College, Binzhou, Shandong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:1497-1507

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.895715

Available online:

Published: 2016-05-04


BACKGROUND: To examine changes of mRNA and protein expressions of MMP-2, Bcl-2, and BAX in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients, and investigate the correlations among these 3 biomarkers.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Rheumatic heart disease patients (n=158) undergoing cardiac surgical procedures for mitral valve repair or replacement were included as the AF group (n=123), containing paroxysmal AF (n=42), persistent AF (n=36), and permanent AF (n=45). Rheumatic heart disease patients with sinus rhythm (SR) (n=35) were enrolled as the SR group (control group). Immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were applied to detect the protein and mRNA expression levels of MMP-2, Bcl-2, and BAX. Apoptosis was observed with light and electron microscopes and detected by TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL).
RESULTS: Compared with the SR group, the left atrial diameters (LADs), protein and mRNA expression levels of MMP-2 and BAX, apoptotic index (AI), and Bcl-2/BAX ratio were evidently increased in the 3 AF groups, but protein and mRNA expression levels of Bcl-2 decreased in the AF groups (all P<0.05). Correlation analysis found that MMP-2 protein expression levels was positively correlated with BAX expression, but negatively correlated with Bcl-2 expression levels.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study results suggest that elevated MMP-2 expression and disturbance balance of Bcl-2/BAX expressions may be associated with the development and maintenance of AF. MMP-2 may be involved in the development of AF through promoting BAX expressions and inhibiting Bcl-2.

Keywords: Arrhythmia, Sinus - pathology, Atrial Fibrillation - pathology, Gene Expression Regulation, In Situ Nick-End Labeling, Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 - metabolism, Myocytes, Cardiac - pathology, RNA, Messenger - metabolism, bcl-2-Associated X Protein - metabolism