Researchers in Texas Heart Institute’s Cardiomyocyte Renewal Laboratory published study results in the high-impact journal Nature which unveil new insights in the functionality of the Hippo pathway – a genetic pathway related to heart regeneration that was previously discovered by the lab’s researchers. The study revealed a direct correlation between the dystrophin glycoprotein complex (DGC) and the Hippo pathway, which inhibits cardiomyocyte proliferation, thereby restricting the heart’s ability to repair itself after injury.
The team – led by department Director James F. Martin, MD, PhD – learned that DGC binds with the Hippo pathway effector molecule Yap (which typically promotes growth), and it is this molecular interaction that stops the proliferation of cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) from occurring. Understanding the underlying molecular interactions that control function of the Hippo pathway is critical to being able to develop safe and effective therapies that enable regeneration and repair of heart muscle tissue.
“The adult mammalian heart’s regenerative capacity is limited due to the reduced ability of cardiomyocytes to progress through mitosis. This regenerative ability exists at birth, but is lost postnatally, leading researchers to believe you could not make cardiomyocytes more proliferative,” said Dr. Martin. “However, our work has shown that is not the case, and that heart tissue renewal is possible which is really exciting.”
DGC is essential in maintaining balance between cardiomyocyte proliferation and apoptosis (cell death). In the absence of DGC, Yap would be able to enter the cell’s nucleus and promote cardiomyocyte production. This means inhibiting the reaction between DGC and Yap would enable cardiomyocytes to be more proliferative thereby leading to heart tissue renewal.
Dr. Martin’s lab will use the findings of this study to develop different ways to manipulate protein interactions within the heart, which they hope will eventually lead to safe treatments for patients suffering from heart failure or even following a heart attack.
In addition to the opportunities for new regenerative heart treatments, this research could also lead to treatments for Muscular Dystrophy (MD), particularly Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), an aggressive form of MD which does not have a cure. DMD is caused by an absence of DGC, making Dr. Martin’s findings helpful in better understanding the role DGC plays in cardiac molecular interactions.
“Coming to MD Anderson right away saved my life. And now, it’s giving me my best opportunity to stay that way,” says Linda Duggan.She shares her #breastcancer story: https://t.co/M8aKrfdF6J @WTereffeMD @AbigailCaudleMD #bcsm #endcancer
The Accountable Health Communities Training Team at @UTexasSPH is working to integrate healthcare and public health implementation teams to address social needs of patients: https://t.co/A0WatIJj7X #ManyFacesOfUTHealth
See how Dr. Priya Davar stays fit in this week's Healthy Habits. https://t.co/Ro6Gpdox4t #healthy #habits
Veterans help with recovery in areas hit hardest by Hurricane Michael https://t.co/9nujT461Kk via @WJHG_TV
#VAResearchInAction: A multisite VA study on coronary artery bypass graft surgery, published in 2009, has helped improve how doctors perform the operation by showing the advantages of on, vs off-pump surgery for patients https://t.co/IBg4XPc9Ub via @VAECHCS @VAResearch https://t.co/YBhlQlGRBN
Ready to help give #cancer the boot? Join us for our @BootWalk on Saturday, Nov. 9.Register today: https://t.co/5Fne3tyOUj #endcancer https://t.co/prUGIjYRK7
“As a doctor, I should’ve known better,” says #colorectalcancer survivor Dr. Kenneth Rolston of putting off a #colonoscopy: https://t.co/29x843CW8j #CancerMoonshot #endcancer
Join Dr. Matthew Ellis and staff member Josh Newby tomorrow for the @KomenHouston's Metastatic Breast Cancer Webinar on clinical trials. Learn more: https://t.co/pcgeeYq6ox #metastaticbreastcancer #MetastaticBreastCancerAwarenessDay
On the @USNavy birthday, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Foster E. Looney, who earned a Navy Cross for striking a carrier during World War II: https://t.co/2qfsmqIjDJ
Did you know lowering your blood pressure 15 points cuts your heart attack risk by 60%? See what you can do to bring your number down. https://t.co/I3bPMst5Vk #bloodpressure #hearthealth
@WambiCares @ANCCMagCon Thanks for the shout-out
RT @ATTSportsNetSW: TK'S Keys to the Game brought to you by @MethodistHosp@RealToddKalas tells us his keys to the @astros Game 1 of the…
@itsgreg72 Thank you for sharing your comment with us. Houston Methodist strives to deliver the highest quality, service and care to all our patients. We would like to discuss this issue. Please call 713.441.4100 or visit https://t.co/wPtazimDiv
University of Houston@UHouston
RT @UHCougarFB: TOUCHDOWN COOGS!@BrysonSmith_17 with a dime to Jeremy Singleton.UC 14, UH 10 (11:36/2Q) #GoCoogs https://t.co/cvxE550l…
University of Houston@UHouston
RT @UHCougars: There is still time for @UHouston students to claim their tickets to today’s game!The TDECU Stadium box office is open!…