Lammerding J, Kamm RD, Lee RT. 2004. Mechanotransduction in cardiac myocytes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1015:53-70. Pubmed: 15201149


Cardiac myocytes react to diverse mechanical demands with a multitude of transient and long-term responses to normalize the cellular mechanical environment. Several stretch-activated signaling pathways have been identified, most prominently guanine nucleotide binding proteins (G-proteins), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), Janus-associated kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT), protein kinase C (PKC), calcineurin, intracellular calcium regulation, and several autocrine and paracrine factors. Multiple levels of crosstalk exist between pathways. The cellular response to changes in the mechanical environment can lead to cardiac myocyte hypertrophy, cellular growth that can be accompanied by pathological myocyte dysfunction, and tissue fibrosis. Several candidates for the primary mechanosensor in cardiac myocytes have been identified, ranging from stretch-activated ion channels in the membrane to yet-unknown mechanosensitive mechanisms in the nucleus. New and refined experimental techniques will exploit advances in molecular biology and biological imaging to study mechanotransduction in isolated cells and genetically engineered mice to explore the function of individual proteins.

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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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