Novel technology: Repairs heart muscle cells and regenerates them following a heart attack!

 | Post date: 2022/07/4 | 
Researchers at the University of Houston hypothesized that disruption of interactions of SRF with NKX2-5 and GATA4 would lead to dedifferentiation of cardiomyocytes to a proliferative stem cell state and complement YAP-5SA to generate undifferentiated cardiomyocytes in a more primitive replicative state.
Aging is associated with sarcopenia, myocyte loss, and dysfunction. The problem is compounded as the adult heart lacks the regenerative capacity to self-repair. Serum response factor’s (SRF’s) dual activity is essential for cell replication and heart cell differentiation. SRF interacts with cofactors, such as NKX2-5 and GATA4, which give cardiac-specific gene activity, and ETS factors such as ELK1 drive cell replication. Recently, the mutant YAP-5SA of the Hippo pathway was implicated in cardiomyocyte proliferation and growth.
In this study, To weaken SRF interactions with NKX2-5 and GATA4, alanine scanning mutations were generated across the SRF N-terminus of the MADS-box. One SRF mutant, SRF153(A3), was tested along with the YAP-5SA mutant, as degradable synthetic modified mRNAs (mmRNAs), in rat primary cardiomyocytes. To measure cell replication, adult cardiomyocytes were pulsed with alpha-EdU and then DAPI stained, while gene activity was assayed by RNA sequencing. To measure chromatin remodeling, Transposon 5 was used in ATAC sequencing. They observed that single and triple alanine substitutions of mutants centering over SRF-Lys154 essentially blocked myocyte differentiation, and NKX2-5 and GATA4 failed to stabilize mutated SRF DNA binding. Instead, many stem cell factors including NANOG and OCT4 were induced. SRF153(A3) does not recognize SRF response elements per ATAC sequencing and consequently induces stem cell factors such as NANOG and OCT4, cardiomyocyte dedifferentiation, and cell cycle reentry. SRF153(A3) and YAP5SA mmRNA led to alpha-EDU incorporation in ~35% of the cardiomyocytes. DIAPH 3, a marker of the contractile ring during anaphase, appeared between and around replicated nuclei in three-month-old adult mouse cardiac myocytes. The combination of these synthetic mRNA increased nuclei replication with the expression of origin of replication genes, while genes associated with cardiomyocyte differentiation were down-regulated. ATAC sequencing revealed SRF153(A3) and YAP5SA mmRNA-induced chromatin remodeling of cell cycle, spindle, and growth factor genes by additive and synergistic activities.
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