Instructor, Cardiovascular Institute
Disruption of mitochondria-sarcoplasmic reticulum microdomain connectomics contributes to sinus node dysfunction in heart failure.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
2022; 119 (36): e2206708119
The sinoatrial node (SAN), the leading pacemaker region, generates electrical impulses that propagate throughout the heart. SAN dysfunction with bradyarrhythmia is well documented in heart failure (HF). However, the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. Mitochondria are critical to cellular processes that determine the life or death of the cell. The release of Ca2+ from the ryanodine receptors 2 (RyR2) on the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) at mitochondria-SR microdomains serves as the critical communication to match energy production to meet metabolic demands. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that alterations in the mitochondria-SR connectomics contribute to SAN dysfunction in HF. We took advantage of a mouse model of chronic pressure overload-induced HF by transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and a SAN-specific CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knockdown of mitofusin-2 (Mfn2), the mitochondria-SR tethering GTPase protein. TAC mice exhibited impaired cardiac function with HF, cardiac fibrosis, and profound SAN dysfunction. Ultrastructural imaging using electron microscope (EM) tomography revealed abnormal mitochondrial structure with increased mitochondria-SR distance. The expression of Mfn2 was significantly down-regulated and showed reduced colocalization with RyR2 in HF SAN cells. Indeed, SAN-specific Mfn2 knockdown led to alterations in the mitochondria-SR microdomains and SAN dysfunction. Finally, disruptions in the mitochondria-SR microdomains resulted in abnormal mitochondrial Ca2+ handling, alterations in localized protein kinase A (PKA) activity, and impaired mitochondrial function in HF SAN cells. The current study provides insights into the role of mitochondria-SR microdomains in SAN automaticity and possible therapeutic targets for SAN dysfunction in HF patients.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2206708119
View details for PubMedID 36044551
- Modeling Effects of Immunosuppressive Drugs on Human Hearts Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiac Organoids and Single-Cell RNA Sequencing. Circulation 2022; 145 (17): 1367-1369
Generation of three induced pluripotent stem cell lines (SCVIi014-A, SCVIi015-A, and SCVIi016-A) from patients with LQT1 caused by heterozygous mutations in the KCNQ1 gene.
Stem cell research
2021; 55: 102492
Congenital long QT syndrome type 1 (LQT1) results from KCNQ1 mutations that cause loss of Kv7.1 channel function, leading to arrhythmias, syncope, and sudden cardiac death. Here, we generated three human-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of LQT1 patients carrying pathogenic variants (c.569 G>A, c.585delG, and c.573_577delGCGCT) in KCNQ1. All lines show typical iPSC morphology, high expression of pluripotent markers, normal karyotype, and are able to differentiate into three germ layers in vitro. These lines are valuable resources for studying the pathological mechanisms of LQT1 caused by KCNQ1 mutations.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.scr.2021.102492
View details for PubMedID 34411974
Endocardial/endothelial angiocrines regulate cardiomyocyte development and maturation and induce features of ventricular non-compaction.
European heart journal
AIMS: Non-compaction cardiomyopathy is a devastating genetic disease caused by insufficient consolidation of ventricular wall muscle that can result in inadequate cardiac performance. Despite being the third most common cardiomyopathy, the mechanisms underlying the disease, including the cell types involved, are poorly understood. We have previously shown that endothelial cell-specific deletion of the chromatin remodeller gene Ino80 results in defective coronary vessel development that leads to ventricular non-compaction in embryonic mouse hearts. We aimed to identify candidate angiocrines expressed by endocardial and ECs inwildtype and LVNC conditions in Tie2Cre;Ino80fl/fl transgenic embryonic mouse hearts, and test the effect of these candidates on cardiomyocyte proliferation and maturation.METHODS AND RESULTS: We used single-cell RNA-sequencing to characterize endothelial and endocardial defects in Ino80-deficient hearts. We observed a pathological endocardial cell population in the non-compacted hearts and identified multiple dysregulated angiocrine factors that dramatically affected cardiomyocyte behaviour. We identified Col15A1 as a coronary vessel-secreted angiocrine factor, downregulated by Ino80-deficiency, that functioned to promote cardiomyocyte proliferation. Furthermore, mutant endocardial and endothelial cells (ECs) up-regulated expression of secreted factors, such as Tgfbi, Igfbp3, Isg15, and Adm, which decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation and increased maturation.CONCLUSIONS: These findings support a model where coronary ECs normally promote myocardial compaction through secreted factors, but that endocardial and ECs can secrete factors that contribute to non-compaction under pathological conditions.
View details for DOI 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab298
View details for PubMedID 34279605
- Atlas of Exosomal microRNAs Secreted From Human iPSC-Derived Cardiac Cell Types. Circulation 2020; 142 (18): 1794–96
Single-Cell RNA-seq Unveils Unique Transcriptomic Signatures of Organ-Specific Endothelial Cells.
Background: Endothelial cells (ECs) display considerable functional heterogeneity depending on the vessel and tissue in which they are located. While these functional differences are presumably imprinted in the transcriptome, the pathways and networks which sustain EC heterogeneity have not been fully delineated. Methods: To investigate the transcriptomic basis of EC specificity, we analyzed single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) data from tissue-specific mouse ECs generated by the Tabula Muris consortium. We employed a number of bioinformatics tools to uncover markers and sources of EC heterogeneity from scRNA-seq data. Results: We found a strong correlation between tissue-specific EC transcriptomic measurements generated by either scRNA-seq or bulk RNA-seq, thus validating the approach. Using a graph-based clustering algorithm, we found that certain tissue-specific ECs cluster strongly by tissue (e.g. liver, brain) whereas others (i.e. adipose, heart) have considerable transcriptomic overlap with ECs from other tissues. We identified novel markers of tissue-specific ECs and signaling pathways that may be involved in maintaining their identity. Sex was a considerable source of heterogeneity in the endothelial transcriptome and we discovered Lars2 to be a gene that is highly enriched in ECs from male mice. In addition, we found that markers of heart and lung ECs in mice were conserved in human fetal heart and lung ECs. Finally, we identified potential angiocrine interactions between tissue-specific ECs and other cell types by analyzing ligand and receptor expression patterns. Conclusions: In summary, we use scRNA-seq data generated by the Tabula Muris consortium to uncover transcriptional networks that maintain tissue-specific EC identity and to identify novel angiocrine and functional relationships between tissue-specific ECs.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.041433
View details for PubMedID 32929989
Intrinsic Endocardial Defects Contribute to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Cell stem cell
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a complex congenital heart disease characterized by abnormalities in the left ventricle, associated valves, and ascending aorta. Studies have shown intrinsic myocardial defects but do not sufficiently explain developmental defects in the endocardial-derived cardiac valve, septum, and vasculature. Here, we identify a developmentally impaired endocardial population in HLHS through single-cell RNA profiling of hiPSC-derived endocardium and human fetal heart tissue with an underdeveloped left ventricle. Intrinsic endocardial defects contribute to abnormal endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition, NOTCH signaling, and extracellular matrix organization, key factors in valve formation. Endocardial abnormalities cause reduced cardiomyocyte proliferation and maturation by disrupting fibronectin-integrin signaling, consistent with recently described de novo HLHS mutations associated with abnormal endocardial gene and fibronectin regulation. Together, these results reveal a critical role for endocardium in HLHS etiology and provide a rationale for considering endocardial function in regenerative strategies.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stem.2020.07.015
View details for PubMedID 32810435
Generation of Quiescent Cardiac Fibroblasts Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Myocardial fibrosis is a hallmark of cardiac remodeling, which can progressively lead to heart failure, a leading cause of death worldwide. The effector cells of fibrosis in the heart are cardiac fibroblasts (CFs). There is currently no effective therapeutic strategy clinically available to specifically attenuate maladaptive responses of CFs. Large-scale applications such as high-throughput drug screening are difficult due to the limited availability of human primary CFs, thus limiting the development of future treatments. Here, we describe a robust induction protocol that can be used to generate a scalable, consistent, genetically defined source of quiescent CFs from human induced pluripotent stem cells for cardiac fibrosis modeling, drug discovery, and tissue engineering.
View details for DOI 10.1007/7651_2020_300
View details for PubMedID 32671814
Single-Cell RNA-seq Unveils Unique Transcriptomic Signatures of Organ-Specific Endothelial Cells
LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2019
View details for Web of Science ID 000511467800391
Generation of Quiescent Cardiac Fibroblasts from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for In Vitro Modeling of Cardiac Fibrosis.
RATIONALE: Activated fibroblasts are the major cell type that secrete excessive extracellular matrix in response to injury, contributing to pathological fibrosis and leading to organ failure. Effective anti-fibrotic therapeutic solutions, however, are not available due to the poorly defined characteristics and unavailability of tissue-specific fibroblasts. Recent advances in single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) fill such gaps of knowledge by enabling delineation of the developmental trajectories and identification of regulatory pathways of tissue-specific fibroblasts among different organs.OBJECTIVE: This study aims to define the transcriptome profiles of tissue-specific fibroblasts using recently reported mouse scRNA-seq atlas, and to develop a robust chemically defined protocol to derive cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for in vitro modeling of cardiac fibrosis and drug screening.METHODS AND RESULTS: By analyzing the single-cell transcriptome profiles of fibroblasts from 10 selected mouse tissues, we identified distinct tissue-specific signature genes, including transcription factors that define the identities of fibroblasts in the heart, lungs, trachea, and bladder. We also determined that CFs in large are of the epicardial lineage. We thus developed a robust chemically-defined protocol that generates CFs from human iPSCs. Functional studies confirmed that iPSC-derived CFs preserved a quiescent phenotype and highly resembled primary CFs at the transcriptional, cellular, and functional levels. We demonstrated that this cell-based platform is sensitive to both pro- and anti-fibrosis drugs. Finally, we showed that crosstalk between cardiomyocytes and CFs via the atrial/brain natriuretic peptide-natriuretic peptide receptor 1 pathway is implicated in suppressing fibrogenesis.CONCLUSIONS: This study uncovers unique gene signatures that define tissue-specific identities of fibroblasts. The bona fide quiescent CFs derived from human iPSCs can serve as a faithful in vitro platform to better understand the underlying mechanisms of cardiac fibrosis and to screen anti-fibrotic drugs.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.315491
View details for PubMedID 31288631
Modelling diastolic dysfunction in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients.
European heart journal
Diastolic dysfunction (DD) is common among hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients, causing major morbidity and mortality. However, its cellular mechanisms are not fully understood, and presently there is no effective treatment. Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) hold great potential for investigating the mechanisms underlying DD in HCM and as a platform for drug discovery.In the present study, beating iPSC-CMs were generated from healthy controls and HCM patients with DD. Micropatterned iPSC-CMs from HCM patients showed impaired diastolic function, as evidenced by prolonged relaxation time, decreased relaxation rate, and shortened diastolic sarcomere length. Ratiometric Ca2+ imaging indicated elevated diastolic [Ca2+]i and abnormal Ca2+ handling in HCM iPSC-CMs, which were exacerbated by β-adrenergic challenge. Combining Ca2+ imaging and traction force microscopy, we observed enhanced myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity (measured as dF/Δ[Ca2+]i) in HCM iPSC-CMs. These results were confirmed with genome-edited isogenic iPSC lines that carry HCM mutations, indicating that cytosolic diastolic Ca2+ overload, slowed [Ca2+]i recycling, and increased myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity, collectively impairing the relaxation of HCM iPSC-CMs. Treatment with partial blockade of Ca2+ or late Na+ current reset diastolic Ca2+ homeostasis, restored diastolic function, and improved long-term survival, suggesting that disturbed Ca2+ signalling is an important cellular pathological mechanism of DD. Further investigation showed increased expression of L-type Ca2+channel (LTCC) and transient receptor potential cation channels (TRPC) in HCM iPSC-CMs compared with control iPSC-CMs, which likely contributed to diastolic [Ca2+]i overload.In summary, this study recapitulated DD in HCM at the single-cell level, and revealed novel cellular mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets of DD using iPSC-CMs.
View details for DOI 10.1093/eurheartj/ehz326
View details for PubMedID 31219556