Abstract 124: Function of the Cytoskeletal Proteins Alpha-catenins in Myocardial Growth Control
Introduction: Mammalian heart possesses regenerative potential immediately after birth and lost by one week of age. The mechanisms that govern neonatal cardiomyocyte proliferation and regenerative capacity are poorly understood. Recent reports indicate that Yap-Tead transcriptional complex is necessary and sufficient for cardiomyocyte proliferation. During postnatal development, N-cadherin/catenin adhesion complex becomes concentrated at termini of cardiomyocytes facilitating maturation of a specialized intercellular junction structure, the intercalated disc (ICD). This process coincides with the time cardiomyocytes exit cell cycle soon after birth.
Hypothesis: We hypothesize that coincident with maturation of ICD α-catenins sequester transcriptional coactivator Yap in cytosol thus preventing activation of genes critical for cardiomyocyte proliferation.
Methods: We deleted αE-catenin / αT-catenin genes (α-cat DKO) in perinatal mouse heart and knockdown (KD) α-catenins in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes to study functional impact of α-catenins ablation on ICD maturation.
Results: We previously demonstrated that adult α-cat DKO mice exhibited decrease in scar size and improved function post myocardial infarction. In present study, we investigated function of α-catenins during postnatal heart development. We found increase in the number of Yap-positive nuclei (58.7% in DKO vs. 35.8 % in WT, n=13, p<0.001) and PCNA (53.9% in DKO vs. 47.8%, n=8, p<0.05) at postnatal day 1 and day 7 of α-cat DKO heart, respectively. Loss of α-catenins resulted in reduction in N-cadherin at ICD at day 14. We observed an increase number of mononucleated myocytes and decrease number of binucleated myocytes in α-cat DKO compared to controls. Using siRNA KD, we were able to replicate α-cat DKO proliferative phenotype in vitro. The number of BrdU-positive cells was decreased in α-cat KD after interfering with Yap expression (2.91% in α-cat KD vs. 2.02% in α-cat/Yap KD, n>2500 cells, p<0.05), suggesting α-catenins regulate cell proliferation through Yap in neonatal cardiomyocytes.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that maturation of ICD regulates α-catenin-Yap interactions in cytosol, thus preventing Yap nuclear accumulation and cardiomyocyte proliferation.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.