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, 6 (17), 2120-6

Role of Beta-Catenin in Adult Cardiac Remodeling

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Role of Beta-Catenin in Adult Cardiac Remodeling

Laura Zelarayan et al. Cell Cycle.

Abstract

The adult heart has a uniform cellular response to adapt to injury after infarct or increased wall stress in chronic hypertension: hypertrophy of adult cardiomyocytes increases muscle fiber mass while at the same time apoptosis of cardiomyocytes may lead to further loss of contractile mass. The existence and quantitative amount of endogenous cardiac regeneration is currently under intense dispute, no clear picture has yet emerged. Recently, cardiac precursor cells and the signaling pathways controlling their differentiation in the adult organ have come into focus. In heart development, beta-catenin was identified to play a biphasic role in cardiomyocyte differentiation. While initially WNT/beta-catenin activation is required to commit mesenchymal cells to the cardiac lineage, downregulation of beta-catenin is needed for cardiomyocyte differentiation at later stages. Recent genetic data published by our lab suggest beta-catenin downregulation to be beneficial for adult cardiac remodeling. Here we discuss these data in the context of beta-catenin's role in adult cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, apoptosis and possibly regeneration.

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