Abstract 20492: Mlf1 Regulates Myocyte Proliferation in Postnatal Hearts
Lower vertebrates, such as newt and zebrafish, retain a robust cardiac regenerative capacity following injury. Although adult mammals lack this cardiac regenerative potential, there is ample interest in understanding how heart regeneration occurs, and to reawaken this process in adult humans. Recently, we showed that mice are capable of regenerating their hearts shortly after birth following injury. This regenerative response is associated with robust proliferation of cardiomyocytes without significant hypertrophy or fibrosis. However, this regenerative capacity is lost by 7 days postnatally, coinciding with cell cycle arrest. In an effort to determine the mechanism of cardiomyocytes cell cycle arrest after the first week of life, we performed a gene array after cardiac injury at multiple post-natal time points. This enabled us to identify a number of transcription factors that are differentially expressed during this postnatal window. We recently reported that one of these transcription factors Meis1 regulates postnatal cell cycle arrest of cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, Myeloid leukemia factor 1 (Mlf1), a bhlh transcription factor that has not been previously studied in the heart has similar dysregulated pattern following injury. Our preliminary data with in-vitro knockdown of Mlf1 in cardiomyocyte resulted in 2-fold increase in cardiomyocyte proliferation. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry results indicated that the endogenous expression and nuclear localization of Mlf1 in the post-natal cardiomyocytes coincides with cell cycle arrest. To explore this pattern, we generated a cardiomyocyte-specific Mlf1 knockout mouse, and showed that loss of Mlf1 results in robust cardiomyocyte proliferation in postnatal hearts (P14). Additionally, we confirmed previous reports that Mlf1 regulates p53 and induces cell cycle arrest by induction of CDK inhibitors like p21 and p57 in these Mlf1 KO mice. This suggests a role of Mlf1 in promoting reactivation of injured myocardium through induction of cardiomyocyte proliferation. These findings will further provide evidences of molecular mechanisms involved in the dormant regenerative capacity in adult mammals that can be a potential target of therapeutic approaches.
Author Disclosures: S. Muralidhar: None. F. Xiao: None. S. Thet: None. H. Sadek: None.
This research has received full or partial funding support from the American Heart Association.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.