Diseases caused by gene haploinsufficiency in humans commonly lack a phenotype in mice that are heterozygous for the orthologous factor, impeding the study of complex phenotypes and critically limiting the discovery of therapeutics. Laboratory mice have longer telomeres relative to humans, potentially protecting against age-related disease caused by haploinsufficiency. Here, we demonstrate that telomere shortening in NOTCH1-haploinsufficient mice is sufficient to elicit age-dependent cardiovascular disease involving premature calcification of the aortic valve, a phenotype that closely mimics human disease caused by NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency. Furthermore, progressive telomere shortening correlated with severity of disease, causing cardiac valve and septal disease in the neonate that was similar to the range of valve disease observed within human families. Genes that were dysregulated due to NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency in mice with shortened telomeres were concordant with proosteoblast and proinflammatory gene network alterations in human NOTCH1 heterozygous endothelial cells. These dysregulated genes were enriched for telomere-contacting promoters, suggesting a potential mechanism for telomere-dependent regulation of homeostatic gene expression. These findings reveal a critical role for telomere length in a mouse model of age-dependent human disease and provide an in vivo model in which to test therapeutic candidates targeting the progression of aortic valve disease.
Christina V. Theodoris, Foteini Mourkioti, Yu Huang, Sanjeev S. Ranade, Lei Liu, Helen M. Blau, Deepak Srivastava
Ischemic heart disease resulting from myocardial infarction (MI) is the most prevalent form of heart disease in the United States. Post-MI cardiac remodeling is a multifaceted process that includes activation of fibroblasts and a complex immune response. T-regulatory cells (Tregs), a subset of CD4+ T cells, have been shown to suppress the innate and adaptive immune response and limit deleterious remodeling following myocardial injury. However, the mechanisms by which injured myocardium recruits suppressive immune cells remain largely unknown. Here, we have shown a role for Hippo signaling in the epicardium in suppressing the post-infarct inflammatory response through recruitment of Tregs. Mice deficient in epicardial YAP and TAZ, two core Hippo pathway effectors, developed profound post-MI pericardial inflammation and myocardial fibrosis, resulting in cardiomyopathy and death. Mutant mice exhibited fewer suppressive Tregs in the injured myocardium and decreased expression of the gene encoding IFN-γ, a known Treg inducer. Furthermore, controlled local delivery of IFN-γ following MI rescued Treg infiltration into the injured myocardium of YAP/TAZ mutants and decreased fibrosis. Collectively, these results suggest that epicardial Hippo signaling plays a key role in adaptive immune regulation during the post-MI recovery phase.
Vimal Ramjee, Deqiang Li, Lauren J. Manderfield, Feiyan Liu, Kurt A. Engleka, Haig Aghajanian, Christopher B. Rodell, Wen Lu, Vivienne Ho, Tao Wang, Li Li, Anamika Singh, Dasan M. Cibi, Jason A. Burdick, Manvendra K. Singh, Rajan Jain, Jonathan A. Epstein
Failure of trabecular myocytes to undergo appropriate cell cycle withdrawal leads to ventricular noncompaction and heart failure. Signaling of growth factor receptor ERBB2 is critical for myocyte proliferation and trabeculation. However, the mechanisms underlying appropriate downregulation of trabecular ERBB2 signaling are little understood. Here, we have found that the endocytic adaptor proteins NUMB and NUMBL were required for downregulation of ERBB2 signaling in maturing trabeculae. Loss of NUMB and NUMBL resulted in a partial block of late endosome formation, resulting in sustained ERBB2 signaling and STAT5 activation. Unexpectedly, activated STAT5 overrode Hippo-mediated inhibition and drove YAP1 to the nucleus. Consequent aberrant cardiomyocyte proliferation resulted in ventricular noncompaction that was markedly rescued by heterozygous loss of function of either ERBB2 or YAP1. Further investigations revealed that NUMB and NUMBL interacted with small GTPase Rab7 to transition ERBB2 from early to late endosome for degradation. Our studies provide insight into mechanisms by which NUMB and NUMBL promote cardiomyocyte cell cycle withdrawal and highlight previously unsuspected connections between pathways that are important for cardiomyocyte cell cycle reentry, with relevance to ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy and regenerative medicine.
Maretoshi Hirai, Yoh Arita, C. Jane McGlade, Kuo-Fen Lee, Ju Chen, Sylvia M. Evans
Myocardial infarction (MI) results in the generation of dead cells in the infarcted area. These cells are swiftly removed by phagocytes to minimize inflammation and limit expansion of the damaged area. However, the types of cells and molecules responsible for the engulfment of dead cells in the infarcted area remain largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that cardiac myofibroblasts, which execute tissue fibrosis by producing extracellular matrix proteins, efficiently engulf dead cells. Furthermore, we identified a population of cardiac myofibroblasts that appears in the heart after MI in humans and mice. We found that these cardiac myofibroblasts secrete milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor 8 (MFG-E8), which promotes apoptotic engulfment, and determined that serum response factor is important for MFG-E8 production in myofibroblasts. Following MFG-E8–mediated engulfment of apoptotic cells, myofibroblasts acquired antiinflammatory properties. MFG-E8 deficiency in mice led to the accumulation of unengulfed dead cells after MI, resulting in exacerbated inflammatory responses and a substantial decrease in survival. Moreover, MFG-E8 administration into infarcted hearts restored cardiac function and morphology. MFG-E8–producing myofibroblasts mainly originated from resident cardiac fibroblasts and cells that underwent endothelial-mesenchymal transition in the heart. Together, our results reveal previously unrecognized roles of myofibroblasts in regulating apoptotic engulfment and a fundamental importance of these cells in recovery from MI.
Michio Nakaya, Kenji Watari, Mitsuru Tajima, Takeo Nakaya, Shoichi Matsuda, Hiroki Ohara, Hiroaki Nishihara, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Akiko Hashimoto, Mitsuho Nishida, Akiomi Nagasaka, Yuma Horii, Hiroki Ono, Gentaro Iribe, Ryuji Inoue, Makoto Tsuda, Kazuhide Inoue, Akira Tanaka, Masahiko Kuroda, Shigekazu Nagata, Hitoshi Kurose
Cardiac hypertrophic growth in response to pathological cues is associated with reexpression of fetal genes and decreased cardiac function and is often a precursor to heart failure. In contrast, physiologically induced hypertrophy is adaptive, resulting in improved cardiac function. The processes that selectively induce these hypertrophic states are poorly understood. Here, we have profiled 2 repressive epigenetic marks, H3K9me2 and H3K27me3, which are involved in stable cellular differentiation, specifically in cardiomyocytes from physiologically and pathologically hypertrophied rat hearts, and correlated these marks with their associated transcriptomes. This analysis revealed the pervasive loss of euchromatic H3K9me2 as a conserved feature of pathological hypertrophy that was associated with reexpression of fetal genes. In hypertrophy, H3K9me2 was reduced following a miR-217–mediated decrease in expression of the H3K9 dimethyltransferases EHMT1 and EHMT2 (EHMT1/2). miR-217–mediated, genetic, or pharmacological inactivation of EHMT1/2 was sufficient to promote pathological hypertrophy and fetal gene reexpression, while suppression of this pathway protected against pathological hypertrophy both in vitro and in mice. Thus, we have established a conserved mechanism involving a departure of the cardiomyocyte epigenome from its adult cellular identity to a reprogrammed state that is accompanied by reexpression of fetal genes and pathological hypertrophy. These results suggest that targeting miR-217 and EHMT1/2 to prevent H3K9 methylation loss is a viable therapeutic approach for the treatment of heart disease.
Bernard Thienpont, Jan Magnus Aronsen, Emma Louise Robinson, Hanneke Okkenhaug, Elena Loche, Arianna Ferrini, Patrick Brien, Kanar Alkass, Antonio Tomasso, Asmita Agrawal, Olaf Bergmann, Ivar Sjaastad, Wolf Reik, Hywel Llewelyn Roderick
Homeostatic control of tissue oxygenation is achieved largely through changes in blood flow that are regulated by the classic physiological response of hypoxic vasodilation. The role of nitric oxide (NO) in the control of blood flow is a central tenet of cardiovascular biology. However, extensive evidence now indicates that hypoxic vasodilation entails
Rongli Zhang, Douglas T. Hess, James D. Reynolds, Jonathan S. Stamler
Rapid impulse propagation in the heart is a defining property of pectinated atrial myocardium (PAM) and the ventricular conduction system (VCS) and is essential for maintaining normal cardiac rhythm and optimal cardiac output. Conduction defects in these tissues produce a disproportionate burden of arrhythmic disease and are major predictors of mortality in heart failure patients. Despite the clinical importance, little is known about the gene regulatory network that dictates the fast conduction phenotype. Here, we have used signal transduction and transcriptional profiling screens to identify a genetic pathway that converges on the NRG1-responsive transcription factor ETV1 as a critical regulator of fast conduction physiology for PAM and VCS cardiomyocytes.
Akshay Shekhar, Xianming Lin, Fang-Yu Liu, Jie Zhang, Huan Mo, Lisa Bastarache, Joshua C. Denny, Nancy J. Cox, Mario Delmar, Dan M. Roden, Glenn I. Fishman, David S. Park
The canonical atrial myocyte (AM) is characterized by sparse transverse tubule (TT) invaginations and slow intracellular Ca2+ propagation but exhibits rapid contractile activation that is susceptible to loss of function during hypertrophic remodeling. Here, we have identified a membrane structure and Ca2+-signaling complex that may enhance the speed of atrial contraction independently of phospholamban regulation. This axial couplon was observed in human and mouse atria and is composed of voluminous axial tubules (ATs) with extensive junctions to the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) that include ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2) clusters. In mouse AM, AT structures triggered Ca2+ release from the SR approximately 2 times faster at the AM center than at the surface. Rapid Ca2+ release correlated with colocalization of highly phosphorylated RyR2 clusters at AT-SR junctions and earlier, more rapid shortening of central sarcomeres. In contrast, mice expressing phosphorylation-incompetent RyR2 displayed depressed AM sarcomere shortening and reduced in vivo atrial contractile function. Moreover, left atrial hypertrophy led to AT proliferation, with a marked increase in the highly phosphorylated RyR2-pS2808 cluster fraction, thereby maintaining cytosolic Ca2+ signaling despite decreases in RyR2 cluster density and RyR2 protein expression. AT couplon “super-hubs” thus underlie faster excitation-contraction coupling in health as well as hypertrophic compensatory adaptation and represent a structural and metabolic mechanism that may contribute to contractile dysfunction and arrhythmias.
Sören Brandenburg, Tobias Kohl, George S.B. Williams, Konstantin Gusev, Eva Wagner, Eva A. Rog-Zielinska, Elke Hebisch, Miroslav Dura, Michael Didié, Michael Gotthardt, Viacheslav O. Nikolaev, Gerd Hasenfuss, Peter Kohl, Christopher W. Ward, W. Jonathan Lederer, Stephan E. Lehnart
Ventricular arrhythmias are among the most severe complications of heart disease and can result in sudden cardiac death. Patients at risk currently receive implantable defibrillators that deliver electrical shocks to terminate arrhythmias on demand. However, strong electrical shocks can damage the heart and cause severe pain. Therefore, we have tested optogenetic defibrillation using expression of the light-sensitive channel channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in cardiac tissue. Epicardial illumination effectively terminated ventricular arrhythmias in hearts from transgenic mice and from WT mice after adeno-associated virus–based gene transfer of ChR2. We also explored optogenetic defibrillation for human hearts, taking advantage of a recently developed, clinically validated in silico approach for simulating infarct-related ventricular tachycardia (VT). Our analysis revealed that illumination with red light effectively terminates VT in diseased, ChR2-expressing human hearts. Mechanistically, we determined that the observed VT termination is due to ChR2-mediated transmural depolarization of the myocardium, which causes a block of voltage-dependent Na+ channels throughout the myocardial wall and interrupts wavefront propagation into illuminated tissue. Thus, our results demonstrate that optogenetic defibrillation is highly effective in the mouse heart and could potentially be translated into humans to achieve nondamaging and pain-free termination of ventricular arrhythmia.
Tobias Bruegmann, Patrick M. Boyle, Christoph C. Vogt, Thomas V. Karathanos, Hermenegild J. Arevalo, Bernd K. Fleischmann, Natalia A. Trayanova, Philipp Sasse
NADPH oxidases (Noxes) produce ROS that regulate cell growth and death. NOX4 expression in cardiomyocytes (CMs) plays an important role in cardiac remodeling and injury, but the posttranslational mechanisms that modulate this enzyme are poorly understood. Here, we determined that FYN, a Src family tyrosine kinase, interacts with the C-terminal domain of NOX4. FYN and NOX4 colocalized in perinuclear mitochondria, ER, and nuclear fractions in CMs, and FYN expression negatively regulated NOX4-induced O2– production and apoptosis in CMs. Mechanistically, we found that direct phosphorylation of tyrosine 566 on NOX4 was critical for this FYN-mediated negative regulation. Transverse aortic constriction activated FYN in the left ventricle (LV), and FYN-deficient mice displayed exacerbated cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction and increased ROS production and apoptosis. Deletion of
Shouji Matsushima, Junya Kuroda, Peiyong Zhai, Tong Liu, Shohei Ikeda, Narayani Nagarajan, Shin-ichi Oka, Takashi Yokota, Shintaro Kinugawa, Chiao-Po Hsu, Hong Li, Hiroyuki Tsutsui, Junichi Sadoshima
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a common cause of mortality in congenital heart disease (CHD). Many gene abnormalities are associated with cardiac hypertrophy, but their function in cardiac development is not well understood. Loss-of-function mutations in
Jessica Lauriol, Janel R. Cabrera, Ashbeel Roy, Kimberly Keith, Sara M. Hough, Federico Damilano, Bonnie Wang, Gabriel C. Segarra, Meaghan E. Flessa, Lauren E. Miller, Saumya Das, Roderick Bronson, Kyu-Ho Lee, Maria I. Kontaridis
Mutations in the T-box transcription factor TBX20 are associated with multiple forms of congenital heart defects, including cardiac septal abnormalities, but our understanding of the contributions of endocardial TBX20 to heart development remains incomplete. Here, we investigated how TBX20 interacts with endocardial gene networks to drive the mesenchymal and myocardial movements that are essential for outflow tract and atrioventricular septation. Selective ablation of
Cornelis J. Boogerd, Ivy Aneas, Noboru Sakabe, Ralph J. Dirschinger, Quen J. Cheng, Bin Zhou, Ju Chen, Marcelo A. Nobrega, Sylvia M. Evans
Alternatively activated (also known as M2) macrophages are involved in the repair of various types of organs. However, the contribution of M2 macrophages to cardiac repair after myocardial infarction (MI) remains to be fully characterized. Here, we identified CD206+F4/80+CD11b+ M2-like macrophages in the murine heart and demonstrated that this cell population predominantly increases in the infarct area and exhibits strengthened reparative abilities after MI. We evaluated mice lacking the kinase TRIB1 (
Manabu Shiraishi, Yasunori Shintani, Yusuke Shintani, Hidekazu Ishida, Rie Saba, Atsushi Yamaguchi, Hideo Adachi, Kenta Yashiro, Ken Suzuki
RNA splicing is a major contributor to total transcriptome complexity; however, the functional role and regulation of splicing in heart failure remain poorly understood. Here, we used a total transcriptome profiling and bioinformatic analysis approach and identified a muscle-specific isoform of an RNA splicing regulator, RBFox1 (also known as A2BP1), as a prominent regulator of alternative RNA splicing during heart failure. Evaluation of developing murine and zebrafish hearts revealed that RBFox1 is induced during postnatal cardiac maturation. However, we found that RBFox1 is markedly diminished in failing human and mouse hearts. In a mouse model, RBFox1 deficiency in the heart promoted pressure overload–induced heart failure. We determined that RBFox1 is a potent regulator of RNA splicing and is required for a conserved splicing process of transcription factor MEF2 family members that yields different MEF2 isoforms with differential effects on cardiac hypertrophic gene expression. Finally, induction of RBFox1 expression in murine pressure overload models substantially attenuated cardiac hypertrophy and pathological manifestations. Together, this study identifies regulation of RNA splicing by RBFox1 as an important player in transcriptome reprogramming during heart failure that influence pathogenesis of the disease.
Chen Gao, Shuxun Ren, Jae-Hyung Lee, Jinsong Qiu, Douglas J. Chapski, Christoph D. Rau, Yu Zhou, Maha Abdellatif, Astushi Nakano, Thomas M. Vondriska, Xinshu Xiao, Xiang-Dong Fu, Jau-Nian Chen, Yibin Wang
Increased sodium influx via incomplete inactivation of the major cardiac sodium channel NaV1.5 is correlated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in humans. Here, we sought to determine whether increased sodium entry is sufficient to cause the structural and electrophysiological perturbations that are required to initiate and sustain AF. We used mice expressing a human NaV1.5 variant with a mutation in the anesthetic-binding site (F1759A-NaV1.5) and demonstrated that incomplete Na+ channel inactivation is sufficient to drive structural alterations, including atrial and ventricular enlargement, myofibril disarray, fibrosis and mitochondrial injury, and electrophysiological dysfunctions that together lead to spontaneous and prolonged episodes of AF in these mice. Using this model, we determined that the increase in a persistent sodium current causes heterogeneously prolonged action potential duration and rotors, as well as wave and wavelets in the atria, and thereby mimics mechanistic theories that have been proposed for AF in humans. Acute inhibition of the sodium-calcium exchanger, which targets the downstream effects of enhanced sodium entry, markedly reduced the burden of AF and ventricular arrhythmias in this model, suggesting a potential therapeutic approach for AF. Together, our results indicate that these mice will be important for assessing the cellular mechanisms and potential effectiveness of antiarrhythmic therapies.
Elaine Wan, Jeffrey Abrams, Richard L. Weinberg, Alexander N. Katchman, Joseph Bayne, Sergey I. Zakharov, Lin Yang, John P. Morrow, Hasan Garan, Steven O. Marx
Cardiomyopathy is a common human disorder that is characterized by contractile dysfunction and cardiac remodeling. Genetic mutations and altered expression of genes encoding many signaling molecules and contractile proteins are associated with cardiomyopathy; however, how cardiomyocytes sense pathophysiological stresses in order to then modulate cardiac remodeling remains poorly understood. Here, we have described a regulator in the heart that harmonizes the progression of cardiac hypertrophy and dilation. We determined that expression of the myocyte-enriched protein cardiac ISL1-interacting protein (CIP, also known as MLIP) is reduced in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. As CIP is highly conserved between human and mouse, we evaluated the effects of CIP deficiency on cardiac remodeling in mice. Deletion of the CIP-encoding gene accelerated progress from hypertrophy to heart failure in several cardiomyopathy models. Conversely, transgenic and AAV-mediated CIP overexpression prevented pathologic remodeling and preserved cardiac function. CIP deficiency combined with lamin A/C deletion resulted in severe dilated cardiomyopathy and cardiac dysfunction in the absence of stress. Transcriptome analyses of CIP-deficient hearts revealed that the p53- and FOXO1-mediated gene networks related to homeostasis are disturbed upon pressure overload stress. Moreover, FOXO1 overexpression suppressed stress-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in CIP-deficient cardiomyocytes. Our studies identify CIP as a key regulator of cardiomyopathy that has potential as a therapeutic target to attenuate heart failure progression.
Zhan-Peng Huang, Masaharu Kataoka, Jinghai Chen, Gengze Wu, Jian Ding, Mao Nie, Zhiqiang Lin, Jianming Liu, Xiaoyun Hu, Lixin Ma, Bin Zhou, Hiroko Wakimoto, Chunyu Zeng, Jan Kyselovic, Zhong-Liang Deng, Christine E. Seidman, J.G. Seidman, William T. Pu, Da-Zhi Wang
Recent genome-wide association studies have revealed that variations near the gene locus encoding the transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 14 (
Yanhong Guo, Yanbo Fan, Jifeng Zhang, Gwen A. Lomberk, Zhou Zhou, Lijie Sun, Angela J. Mathison, Minerva T. Garcia-Barrio, Ji Zhang, Lixia Zeng, Lei Li, Subramaniam Pennathur, Cristen J. Willer, Daniel J. Rader, Raul Urrutia, Y. Eugene Chen
Mitochondrial homeostasis is critical for tissue health, and mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to numerous diseases, including heart failure. Here, we have shown that the transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) governs mitochondrial biogenesis, metabolic function, dynamics, and autophagic clearance. Adult mice with cardiac-specific
Xudong Liao, Rongli Zhang, Yuan Lu, Domenick A. Prosdocimo, Panjamaporn Sangwung, Lilei Zhang, Guangjin Zhou, Puneet Anand, Ling Lai, Teresa C. Leone, Hisashi Fujioka, Fang Ye, Mariana G. Rosca, Charles L. Hoppel, P. Christian Schulze, E. Dale Abel, Jonathan S. Stamler, Daniel P. Kelly, Mukesh K. Jain
Ischemic injury in the heart induces an inflammatory cascade that both repairs damage and exacerbates scar tissue formation. Cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) are a stem-like population that is derived ex vivo from cardiac biopsies; they confer both cardioprotection and regeneration in acute myocardial infarction (MI). While the regenerative effects of CDCs in chronic settings have been studied extensively, little is known about how CDCs confer the cardioprotective process known as cellular postconditioning. Here, we used an in vivo rat model of ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury–induced MI and in vitro coculture assays to investigate how CDCs protect stressed cardiomyocytes. Compared with control animals, animals that received CDCs 20 minutes after IR had reduced infarct size when measured at 48 hours. CDCs modified the myocardial leukocyte population after ischemic injury. Specifically, introduction of CDCs reduced the number of CD68+ macrophages, and these CDCs secreted factors that polarized macrophages toward a distinctive cardioprotective phenotype that was not M1 or M2. Systemic depletion of macrophages with clodronate abolished CDC-mediated cardioprotection. Using both in vitro coculture assays and a rat model of adoptive transfer after IR, we determined that CDC-conditioned macrophages attenuated cardiomyocyte apoptosis and reduced infarct size, thereby recapitulating the beneficial effects of CDC therapy. Together, our data indicate that CDCs limit acute injury by polarizing an effector macrophage population within the heart.
Geoffrey de Couto, Weixin Liu, Eleni Tseliou, Baiming Sun, Nupur Makkar, Hideaki Kanazawa, Moshe Arditi, Eduardo Marbán
The sinoatrial node (SAN) maintains a rhythmic heartbeat; therefore, a better understanding of factors that drive SAN development and function is crucial to generation of potential therapies, such as biological pacemakers, for sinus arrhythmias. Here, we determined that the LIM homeodomain transcription factor ISL1 plays a key role in survival, proliferation, and function of pacemaker cells throughout development. Analysis of several
Xingqun Liang, Qingquan Zhang, Paola Cattaneo, Shaowei Zhuang, Xiaohui Gong, Nathanael J. Spann, Cizhong Jiang, Xinkai Cao, Xiaodong Zhao, Xiaoli Zhang, Lei Bu, Gang Wang, H.S. Vincent Chen, Tao Zhuang, Jie Yan, Peng Geng, Lina Luo, Indroneal Banerjee, Yihan Chen, Christopher K. Glass, Alexander C. Zambon, Ju Chen, Yunfu Sun, Sylvia M. Evans