Abstract 86: Cardiomyocyte-Specific Ablation of Nuclear Respiratory Factor 1 in the Mouse Leads to Dysregulation of Mitochondrial Biogenesis, Apoptosis, and Heart Failure
The DNA-binding transcription factor Nuclear Respiratory Factor 1 (NRF1) regulates mitochondrial homeostasis. Its constitutive ablation in the mouse is embryonically lethal (~E3.5). This has limited our understanding of NRF1 functionality in the heart, where mitochondrial dysfunction is often a major pathogenic factor. Therefore, we generated conditional cardiomyocyte-specific NRF1 knockout mice (MYH6-mer-Cre-mer-NRF1fl/fl or NRFfl/fl) to elucidate the role of cardiac NRF1. Two weeks after NRF1 silencing, echocardiography of NRF1fl/fl hearts revealed significant reductions in left ventricular fractional shortening (Figure A). Histology demonstrated degradation of cellular structural integrity and nuclear condensation (Figure B), with a high number of TUNEL positive nuclei compared to littermate controls (MYH6-mer-Cre-mer-NRF-1wt), indicative of apoptosis (37.8% vs. 1.1%, p < 0.001). The mRNA and protein levels of key mediators of mitochondrial biogenesis were evaluated by real-time RT-PCR and immunoblotting (Figure C & D). Compared to littermate controls, there was down-regulation of the mitochondrial encoded NADH dehydrogenase 1, implying a reduction of functional mitochondrial mass. Key biogenesis regulators PGC1-α (protein only), Nfe2l2, and NRF2 were also reduced. In total, these data support that dysregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis after loss of NRF1 results in cardiomyocyte apoptosis and reduced left ventricular function. These findings and further delineation of the mechanisms involved should lay the foundation for the exploitation of NRF1 as a therapeutic target in heart failure.
Author Disclosures: J.E. Keenan: None H. Sulliman: None A. Ulrich: None L. Mao: None C.A. Piantadosi: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.