Sarikhani M, Garbern JC, Ma S, Sereda R, Conde J, Krähenbühl G, Escalante GO, Ahmed A, Buenrostro JD, Lee RT. 2020. Sustained Activation of AMPK Enhances Differentiation of Human iPSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes via Sirtuin Activation. Stem cell reports. 15(2):498-514. Pubmed: 32649901 DOI:S2213-6711(20)30233-2


Recent studies suggest that metabolic regulation may improve differentiation of cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a master regulator of metabolic activities. We investigated whether AMPK participates in iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte differentiation. We observed that AMPK phosphorylation at Thr172 increased at day 9 but then decreased after day 11 of differentiation to cardiomyocytes. Inhibition of AMPK with compound C significantly reduced mRNA and protein expression of cardiac troponins TNNT2 and TNNI3. Moreover, sustained AMPK activation using AICAR from days 9 to 14 of differentiation increased mRNA and protein expression of both TNNT2 and TNNI3. AICAR decreased acetylation of histone 3 at Lys9 and 56 and histone 4 at Lys16 (known target sites for nuclear-localized sirtuins [SIRT1, SIRT6]), suggesting that AMPK activation enhances sirtuin activity. Sustained AMPK activation during days 9-14 of differentiation induces sirtuin-mediated histone deacetylation and may enhance cardiomyocyte differentiation from iPSCs.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Photo of Jason Buenrostro

The Buenrostro lab is broadly dedicated to advancing our knowledge of gene regulation and the downstream consequences on cell fate decisions.

Photo of Rich Lee

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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