TFAM overexpression reduces pathological cardiac remodeling

Mol Cell Biochem. 2019 Apr;454(1-2):139-152. doi: 10.1007/s11010-018-3459-9. Epub 2018 Oct 23.


Heart failure (HF) is a functional lack of myocardial performance due to a loss of molecular control over increases in calcium and ROS, resulting in proteolytic degradative advances and cardiac remodeling. Mitochondria are the molecular powerhouse of cells, shifting the sphere of cardiomyocyte stability and performance. Functional mitochondria rely on the molecular abilities of safety factors such as TFAM to maintain physiological parameters. Mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) creates a mitochondrial nucleoid structure around mtDNA, protecting it from mutation, inhibiting NFAT (ROS activator/hypertrophic stimulator), and transcriptionally activates Serca2a to decrease calcium mishandling. Calpain1 and MMP9 are proteolytic degratory factors that play a major role in cardiomyocyte decline in HF. Current literature depicts major decreases in TFAM as HF progresses. We aim to assess TFAM function against Calpain1 and MMP9 proteolytic activity and its role in cardiac remodeling. To this date, no publication has surfaced describing the effects of aortic banding (AB) as a surgical HF model in TFAM-TG mice. HF models were created via AB in TFAM transgenic (TFAM-TG) and C57BLJ-6 (WT) mice. Eight weeks post AB, functional analysis revealed a successful banding procedure, resulting in cardiac hypertrophy as observed via echocardiography. Pulse wave and color doppler show increased aortic flow rates as well as turbulent flow at the banding site. Preliminary results of cardiac tissue immuno-histochemistry of HF-control mice show decreased TFAM and compensatory increases in Serca2a fluorescent expression, along with increased Calpain1 and MMP9 expression. Protein, RNA, and IHC analysis will further assess TFAM-TG results post-banding. Echocardiography shows more cardiac stability and functionality in HF-induced TFAM-TG mice than the control counterpart. These findings complement our published in vitro results. Overall, this suggests that TFAM has molecular therapeutic potential to reduce protease expression.

Keywords: Calpain1; Heart failure; MMP9; NFAT; Serca2a; TFAM transgenic.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calpain / genetics
  • Cardiomegaly
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Heart Failure / genetics
  • Heart Failure / metabolism*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / genetics
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / metabolism
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / physiology*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myocardium
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases / genetics
  • Up-Regulation


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Tfam protein, mouse
  • Calpain
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases