Abstract 15489: Altered Biomechanical Properties of PKP2-deficient Hl-1 Cardiac Cells
Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (AC) is a genetic disease caused by mutations in genes encoding the intercalated disk (ID) proteins. ID is a multiprotein complex providing cell-cell junction and connecting the nucleus to the extracellular matrix, and playing a pivotal role for maintaining the structural integrity of the heart tissue. Mutations in PKP2 encoding plakophilin 2 (PKP2) are the most common causes of AC. The objective of this study was to investigate the biomechanical properties of the PKP2-knock down HL-1 mouse cardiac myocytes (PKP2-KD). PKP2 protein levels were reduced by 66 to 75% upon shRNA-targeting of the Pkp2 mRNA. Nuclear stiffness (Young’s modulus) and the force required to deform the nucleus were assessed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Nuclear stiffness was decreased significantly (5 times) in PKP2-KD HL-1 myocytes as compared to wild-type (WT) myocytes, indicating an increased elasticity and/or susceptibility of the nucleus to be deformed (2 times). Interestingly, cell adhesion was also reduced (10 times) in the PKP2-KD myocytes, indicating a pivotal role of ID proteins in maintaining cell adhesion and mechanical integrity in cardiomyocytes. In the stress-relaxation test, while the decay time value was comparable between WT and PKP2-KD cells, relaxation force and cell deformation values were decreased 3 and 8 times, respectively, in PKP2-KD HL-1 myocytes, confirming the finding in the Young’s modulus. Moreover, the relaxation test revealed a reduced viscosity, highlighting a compromised cytoskeletal stability induced by the PKP2 deficiency. RNA-Sequencing and Ingenuity Canonical Pathway analysis identified integrin, tight junction, and the canonical Wnt signaling, among the most disturbed pathways in the PKP2-KD HL-1 myocytes. The findings indicate that the deficiency of a component of the ID protein markedly affects the whole-cellular biomechanics, which is expected to affect tissue stability, leading to activation of the mechano-transduction pathways.
Author Disclosures: L. Puzzi: None. V. Martinelli: None. M. Weiss: None. P. Gurha: None. A.J. Marian: None. O. Sbaizero: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.