This R01 application will investigate a novel signaling pathway, the Hippo pathway, in mammalian heart regeneration. The long-term goal is to develop new treatments for patients with heart failure by generating new cardiomyocytes in the adult heart. The objectives of this application are to gain insight into molecular properties of cardiac tissue that are regulated by Hippo signaling. The central hypothesis is that Hippo signaling is a negative regulatory pathway that prevents cardiomyocyte regeneration in the adult mammalian heart.
The specific aims are to determine whether the Hippo and Wnt pathways regulate adult heart repair in a manner similar to the interaction in neonatal hearts. To determine whether an autonomous Wnt Hippo interaction occurs in heart muscle nuclei to control important genes and to investigate whether Hippo functions in a reversible manner. The project is conceptually and technically innovative. Concepts to be tested include new ideas in cardiomyocyte biology and cutting edge genome editing and interrogation technologies to address hypotheses. The significance is high because there are no treatments for heart failure due to cardiomyocyte loss. Devising ways to generate new cardiomyocytes is highly significant.

Public Health Relevance

Heart failure due to cardiomyocyte loss and pump dysfunction after ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. We strive to facilitate cardiac regeneration after heart damage to improve survival rates. Limited endogenous adult cardiomyocyte regenerative potential after acute damage results from inadequate adult cardiomyocyte proliferative capacity. Our goal is to devise new methods to promote heart repair.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Cardiovascular Differentiation and Development Study Section (CDD)
Program Officer
Schwartz, Lisa
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Texas Heart Institute
United States
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Scavuzzo, Marissa A; Hill, Matthew C; Chmielowiec, Jolanta et al. (2018) Endocrine lineage biases arise in temporally distinct endocrine progenitors during pancreatic morphogenesis. Nat Commun 9:3356
Xiao, Yang; Hill, Matthew C; Zhang, Min et al. (2018) Hippo Signaling Plays an Essential Role in Cell State Transitions during Cardiac Fibroblast Development. Dev Cell 45:153-169.e6
Li, Lele; Tao, Ge; Hill, Matthew C et al. (2018) Pitx2 maintains mitochondrial function during regeneration to prevent myocardial fat deposition. Development 145:
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Martin, James F; Perin, Emerson C; Willerson, James T (2017) Direct Stimulation of Cardiogenesis: A New Paradigm for Treating Heart Disease. Circ Res 121:13-15

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