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    Background The conversion of fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocytes may regenerate myocardial tissue from cardiac scar through in situ cell transdifferentiation. The efficiency transdifferentiation is low, especially for human cells. We explored the leveraging of Hippo pathway intermediates to enhance induced cardiomyocyte generation. Methods and Results We screened Hippo effectors Yap (yes-associated protein), Taz (transcriptional activator binding domain), and Tead1 (TEA domain transcription factor 1; Td) for their reprogramming efficacy with cardio-differentiating factors Gata4, Mef2C, and Tbx5 (GMT). Td induced nearly 3-fold increased expression of cardiomyocyte marker cTnT (cardiac troponin T) by mouse embryonic and adult rat fibroblasts versus GMT administration alone (P<0.0001), while Yap and Taz failed to enhance cTnT expression. Serial substitution demonstrated that Td replacement of TBX5 induced the greatest cTnT expression enhancement and sarcomere organization in rat fibroblasts treated with all GMT substitutions (GMTd versus GMT: 17±1.2% versus 5.4±0.3%, P<0.0001). Cell contractility (beating) was seen in 6% of GMTd-treated cells by 4 weeks after treatment, whereas no beating GMT-treated cells were observed. Human cardiac fibroblasts likewise demonstrated increased cTnT expression with GMTd versus GMT treatment (7.5±0.3% versus 3.0±0.3%, P<0.01). Mechanistically, GMTd administration increased expression of the trimethylated lysine 4 of histone 3 (H3K4me3) mark at the promoter regions of cardio-differentiation genes and mitochondrial biogenesis regulator genes in rat and human fibroblast, compared with GMT. Conclusions These data suggest that the Hippo pathway intermediate Tead1 is an important regulator of cardiac reprogramming that increases the efficiency of maturate induced cardiomyocytes generation and may be a vital component of human cardiodifferentiation strategies.


    Vivek P Singh, Jaya P Pinnamaneni, Aarthi Pugazenthi, Deepthi Sanagasetti, Megumi Mathison, James F Martin, Jianchang Yang, Todd K Rosengart. Hippo Pathway Effector Tead1 Induces Cardiac Fibroblast to Cardiomyocyte Reprogramming. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2021 Dec 21;10(24):e022659

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    PMID: 34889103

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