Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and pathological cardiac hypertrophy are characterized by mitochondrial structural and functional abnormalities. In this issue of the JCI, Zhuang et al. discovered 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ) through a screen of mitochondrially targeted compounds. The authors described the effects of DNJ in restoring mitochondria and preventing cardiac myocyte hypertrophy in cellular models carrying a mutant mitochondrial gene, MT-RNR2, which is causally implicated in familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. DNJ worked via stabilization of the mitochondrial inner-membrane GTPase OPA1 and other, hitherto unknown, mechanisms to preserve mitochondrial crista and respiratory chain components. The discovery is likely to spur development of a class of therapeutics that restore mitochondrial health to prevent cardiomyopathy and heart failure.
Restoration of mitochondrial structure and function ameliorates pathologic cardiac hypertrophy and preserves normal function.