Jiang J, Burgon PG, Wakimoto H, Onoue K, Gorham JM, O'Meara CC, Fomovsky G, McConnell BK, Lee RT, Seidman JG, Seidman CE. 2015. Cardiac myosin binding protein C regulates postnatal myocyte cytokinesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112(29):9046-51. Pubmed: 26153423 DOI:10.1073/pnas.1511004112


Homozygous cardiac myosin binding protein C-deficient (Mybpc(t/t)) mice develop dramatic cardiac dilation shortly after birth; heart size increases almost twofold. We have investigated the mechanism of cardiac enlargement in these hearts. Throughout embryogenesis myocytes undergo cell division while maintaining the capacity to pump blood by rapidly disassembling and reforming myofibrillar components of the sarcomere throughout cell cycle progression. Shortly after birth, myocyte cell division ceases. Cardiac MYBPC is a thick filament protein that regulates sarcomere organization and rigidity. We demonstrate that many Mybpc(t/t) myocytes undergo an additional round of cell division within 10 d postbirth compared with their wild-type counterparts, leading to increased numbers of mononuclear myocytes. Short-hairpin RNA knockdown of Mybpc3 mRNA in wild-type mice similarly extended the postnatal window of myocyte proliferation. However, adult Mybpc(t/t) myocytes are unable to fully regenerate the myocardium after injury. MYBPC has unexpected inhibitory functions during postnatal myocyte cytokinesis and cell cycle progression. We suggest that human patients with homozygous MYBPC3-null mutations develop dilated cardiomyopathy, coupled with myocyte hyperplasia (increased cell number), as observed in Mybpc(t/t) mice. Human patients, with heterozygous truncating MYBPC3 mutations, like mice with similar mutations, have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, the mechanism leading to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in heterozygous MYBPC3(+/-) individuals is myocyte hypertrophy (increased cell size), whereas the mechanism leading to cardiac dilation in homozygous Mybpc3(-/-) mice is primarily myocyte hyperplasia.

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Rich Lee seeks to understand heart failure and metabolic diseases that accompany human aging, and translate that understanding into therapies. Lee is an active clinician, regularly treating patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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