Reduction in Coenzyme A Levels Linked to Heart Failure

Rockville, Md. (November 11, 2021)—Reduced levels of coenzyme A (CoA) worsen heart failure and likely help exacerbate cardiac dysfunction during heart failure, according to a new study. In addition, the findings suggest certain metabolic pathways may be disproportionately affected by reduced CoA levels. The study is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology and has been chosen as an APSselect article for November.

CoA is a critical molecule in the metabolism. Fluctuations in the amount of the enzyme are often observed in foundational development of many diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Prior to this study, the link between CoA levels and heart failure had not been investigated. Using mice that lacked a specific enzyme for CoA production, physiologists at the Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky tested whether reduced CoA levels contribute to heart failure.

The research team uncovered that gene expression of a key CoA synthesizing enzyme is decreased during heart failure. This suggests CoA biosynthesis may be limited during heart failure, worsening the condition.

“We think reductions in CoA availability may impair the intrinsic metabolic flexibility of the heart,” said Timothy Ndagi Audam, PhD, postdoctoral fellow and the study’s first author. “With this understanding, we are now pursuing an approach to increase CoA levels in the heart. Because the failing heart is already energy-starved, an approach aimed at sustaining/improving cardiac energetics through increasing CoA levels may be a viable treatment option for managing heart failure.”

Read the full article, “Cardiac PANK1 Deletion Exacerbates Ventricular Dysfunction During Pressure Overload.” It is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program. Read all of this month’s selected research articles

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact APS Media Relations or call 301.634.7314. Find more research highlights in our Newsroom.

Physiology is a broad area of scientific inquiry that focuses on how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. The American Physiological Society connects a global, multidisciplinary community of more than 10,000 biomedical scientists and educators as part of its mission to advance scientific discovery, understand life and improve health. The Society drives collaboration and spotlights scientific discoveries through its 16 scholarly journals and programming that support researchers and educators in their work.