J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(3), 24; doi:10.3390/jcdd3030024 - published 5 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: For more than a decade, stem cell therapy has been the focus of intensive efforts for the treatment of adult heart disease, and now has promise for treating the pediatric population. On the basis of encouraging results in the adult field, the application of stem cell-based strategies in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) opens a new therapy paradigm. To date, the safety and efficacy of stem cell-based products to promote cardiac repair and recovery in dilated cardiomyopathy and structural heart disease in infants have been primarily demonstrated in scattered clinical case reports, and supported by a few relevant pre-clinical models. Recently the TICAP trial has shown the safety and feasibility of intracoronary infusion of autologous cardiosphere-derived cells in children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. A focus on preemptive cardiac regeneration in the pediatric setting may offer new insights as to the timing of surgery, location of cell-based delivery, and type of cell-based regeneration that could further inform acquired cardiac disease applications. Here, we review the current knowledge on the field of stem cell therapy and tissue engineering in children with CHD, and discuss the gaps and future perspectives on cell-based strategies to treat patients with CHD.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 23; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020023 - published 16 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cardiovascular diseases including coronary artery disease are the leading cause of death worldwide. Unraveling the developmental origin of coronary vessels could offer important therapeutic implications for treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The recent identification of the endocardial source of coronary vessels reveals a heterogeneous origin of coronary arteries in the adult heart. In this review, we will highlight recent advances in finding the sources of coronary vessels in the mammalian heart from lineage-tracing models as well as differentiation studies using pluripotent stem cells. Moreover, we will also discuss how we induce neovascularization in the damaged heart through transient yet highly efficient expression of VEGF-modified mRNAs as a potentially therapeutic delivery platform.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 22; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020022 - published 15 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Popeye domain containing (POPDC) genes encode a novel class of cAMP effector proteins, which are abundantly expressed in heart and skeletal muscle. Here, we will review their role in striated muscle as deduced from work in cell and animal models and the recent analysis of patients carrying a missense mutation in POPDC1. Evidence suggests that POPDC proteins control membrane trafficking of interacting proteins. Furthermore, we will discuss the current catalogue of established protein-protein interactions. In recent years, the number of POPDC-interacting proteins has been rising and currently includes ion channels (TREK-1), sarcolemma-associated proteins serving functions in mechanical stability (dystrophin), compartmentalization (caveolin 3), scaffolding (ZO-1), trafficking (NDRG4, VAMP2/3) and repair (dysferlin) or acting as a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rho-family GTPases (GEFT). Recent evidence suggests that POPDC proteins might also control the cellular level of the nuclear proto-oncoprotein c-Myc. These data suggest that this family of cAMP-binding proteins probably serves multiple roles in striated muscle.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 21; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020021 - published 4 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The African clawed frog, Xenopus, is a valuable non-mammalian model organism to investigate vertebrate heart development and to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of human congenital heart defects (CHDs). In this review, we outline the similarities between Xenopus and mammalian cardiogenesis, and provide an overview of well-studied cardiac genes in Xenopus, which have been associated with congenital heart conditions. Additionally, we highlight advantages of modeling candidate genes derived from genome wide association studies (GWAS) in Xenopus and discuss commonly used techniques.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 20; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020020 - published 27 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The development of the dorsal vessel in Drosophila is one of the first systems in which key mechanisms regulating cardiogenesis have been defined in great detail at the genetic and molecular level. Due to evolutionary conservation, these findings have also provided major inputs into studies of cardiogenesis in vertebrates. Many of the major components that control Drosophila cardiogenesis were discovered based on candidate gene approaches and their functions were defined by employing the outstanding genetic tools and molecular techniques available in this system. More recently, approaches have been taken that aim to interrogate the entire genome in order to identify novel components and describe genomic features that are pertinent to the regulation of heart development. Apart from classical forward genetic screens, the availability of the thoroughly annotated Drosophila genome sequence made new genome-wide approaches possible, which include the generation of massive numbers of RNA interference (RNAi) reagents that were used in forward genetic screens, as well as studies of the transcriptomes and proteomes of the developing heart under normal and experimentally manipulated conditions. Moreover, genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments have been performed with the aim to define the full set of genomic binding sites of the major cardiogenic transcription factors, their relevant target genes, and a more complete picture of the regulatory network that drives cardiogenesis. This review will give an overview on these genome-wide approaches to Drosophila heart development and on computational analyses of the obtained information that ultimately aim to provide a description of this process at the systems level.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 19; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020019 - published 24 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Valosin-containing protein (VCP) is a highly conserved mechanoenzyme that helps maintain protein homeostasis in all cells and serves specialized functions in distinct cell types. In skeletal muscle, it is critical for myofibrillogenesis and atrophy. However, little is known about VCP’s role(s) in the heart. Its functional diversity is determined by differential binding of distinct cofactors/adapters, which is likely disrupted during disease. VCP mutations cause multisystem proteinopathy (MSP), a pleiotropic degenerative disorder that involves inclusion body myopathy. MSP patients display progressive muscle weakness. They also exhibit cardiomyopathy and die from cardiac and respiratory failure, which are consistent with critical myocardial roles for the enzyme. Nonetheless, efficient models to interrogate VCP in cardiac muscle remain underdeveloped and poorly studied. Here, we investigated the significance of VCP and mutant VCP in the Drosophila heart. Cardiac-restricted RNAi-mediated knockdown of TER94, the Drosophila VCP homolog, severely perturbed myofibrillar organization and heart function in adult flies. Furthermore, expression of MSP disease-causing alleles engendered cardiomyopathy in adults and structural defects in embryonic hearts. Drosophila may therefore serve as a valuable model for examining role(s) of VCP in cardiogenesis and for identifying novel heart-specific VCP interactions, which when disrupted via mutation, contribute to or elicit cardiac pathology.