. The parent project is built around 20 years of mechanistic and translational research based on two fundamental discoveries: 1) 2-deoxy ATP (dATP) is a potent natural nucleotide stimulant of cardiac contractility (via improved myosin binding to actin & faster detachment after the power stroke), and 2) hiPSC- CMs that overexpress the rate-limiting enzyme for dATP synthesis, ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), have both increased contractility and deliver dATP to the rest of the heart via gap junctions. Thus we are testing the hypothesis that engineering hiPSC-CMs to elevate RNR (RNR-hiPSC-CMs) will improve outcomes in cell replacement therapy for MI (compared with control hiPSC-CMs), improving contractility of both graft and native myocardium. There are several highly novel aspects to our approach. 1) It is the first proposed use of cellular nucleotide manipulation to improve in vivo cardiac function. 2) The approach is not limited to replacement of lost tissue (with hiPSC-CMs) with a better functioning graft, but may also substantially benefit the post-MI depressed function of native myocardium. 3) The first use of engineered hiPSC-CMs to deliver what is effectively a small molecule therapy (dATP), a natural compound that improves heart muscle contraction. This effectively makes hiPSC-CMs a drug delivery device with cardiac specific delivery and effects.
Aim 1 develops and test engineered mutations in RNR that increase it?s stability and activity in cardiomyocytes and their ability to titrate increasing levels of dATP produced in hiPSC-CMs.
Aim 2 uses AAV vectors for RNR variants, selected from Aim 1, to investigate their capacity to improve cardiac function in a mouse model of myocardial infarct and heart failure.
Aim 3 will produce engineered hiPS cell lines that will act as dATP ?donor cells? following differentiation, for transplantation into acute MI and more challenging chronic MI athymic rat models to determine their capacity to improve function beyond transplantation of non-engineered hiPSC-CMs. We will evaluate the persistence of these effects and determine the long-term stability and viability of these cell lines. We expect significant contractile improvement of both the graft and native myocardium with RNR-hiPSC-CMs vs. hiPSC-CMs and this effect will be modulated by the dATP producing capacity of the transplanted cells. Results from these studies will elucidate the potential of this combination cell- and small molecule therapy to ameliorate or even improve pump function in failing hearts. This supplement, as the candidates research project will extend the project with 2 aims.
Aim 1 will investigate the mechanism by which cardiac muscle using dATP is less susceptible to reductions in contractile strength when pH is reduced, such as occurs in ischemia.
Aim 2 will determine whether elevation (rescue) of cardiac function can occur in a different model of dilated cardiomyopathy (than MI), that occurring in Deuchenne?s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) using a rat transgenic model.
ENGINEERED STEM CELLS FOR CARDIAC REPAIR Project Narrative Experiments proposed in the parent award will study a novel combined cell and gene therapy based approach to improving cardiac function following myocardial infarct (heart attack). The approaches used increase expression of the enzyme (Ribonucleotide Reductase) that converts ATP to 2-deoxy ATP (dATP), which increases heart contractile capacity. The supplement application will study the mechanisms of how dATP protects contraction in an acidic environment like that found in ischemic hearts, and will test the therapy in an additional model of dilated cardiomyopathy caused by Deuchenne?s Muscular Dystrophy.
|Zhou, Bo; Tian, Rong (2018) Mitochondrial dysfunction in pathophysiology of heart failure. J Clin Invest 128:3716-3726|
|Leonard, Andrea; Bertero, Alessandro; Powers, Joseph D et al. (2018) Afterload promotes maturation of human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes in engineered heart tissues. J Mol Cell Cardiol 118:147-158|
|Regnier, Michael (2018) Mechanistic complexity of contractile dysfunction in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Gen Physiol 150:1051-1053|