Despite evidence for sex-specific cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology, the biological basis for this dimorphism remains to be explored. Apart from hormonal factors, gender-related characteristics may reside in the function of sex chromosomes during cardiac development. In this study, we investigated the differential expression of the male-specific region of the Y chromosome (MSY) genes and their X counterparts during cardiac differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). We observed alterations in mRNA and protein levels of TBL1Y, PCDH11Y, ZFY, KDM5D, USP9Y, RPS4Y1, DDX3Y, PRY, XKRY, BCORP1, RBMY, HSFY, and UTY, which accompanied changes in intracellular localization. Of them, the abundance of a Y chromosome missing protein, TBL1Y, showed a significant increase during differentiation while the expression level of its X counterpart decreased. Consistently, reducing TBL1Y cellular level using siRNA approach influenced cardiac differentiation by reducing its efficacy as well as increasing the probability of impaired contractions. TBL1Y knockdown may have negatively impacted cardiogenesis by CtBP stabilization. Furthermore, we presented compelling experimental evidence to distinguish TBL1Y from TBL1X, its highly similar X chromosome homologue, and proposed reclassification of TBL1Y as "found missing protein" (PE1). Our results demonstrated that MSY proteins may play an important role in cardiac development.
Keywords: Chromosome-Centric Human Proteome Project (C-HPP); TBL1Y; Y chromosome; cardiac differentiation; human embryonic stem cell.