Background: The combination of cardiomyocyte (CM) and vascular cell (VC) fetal reprogramming upon stress culminates in end-stage heart failure (HF) by mechanisms that are not fully understood. Previous studies suggest KLF15 as a key regulator of CM hypertrophy.
Objectives: This study aimed to characterize the impact of KLF15-dependent cardiac transcriptional networks leading to HF progression, amenable to therapeutic intervention in the adult heart.
Methods: Transcriptomic bioinformatics, phenotyping of Klf15 knockout mice, Wnt-signaling-modulated hearts, and pressure overload and myocardial ischemia models were applied. Human KLF15 knockout embryonic stem cells and engineered human myocardium, and human samples were used to validate the relevance of the identified mechanisms.
Results: The authors identified a sequential, postnatal transcriptional repression mediated by KLF15 of pathways implicated in pathological tissue remodeling, including distinct Wnt-pathways that control CM fetal reprogramming and VC remodeling. The authors further uncovered a vascular program induced by a cellular crosstalk initiated by CM, characterized by a reduction of KLF15 and a concomitant activation of Wnt-dependent transcriptional signaling. Within this program, a so-far uncharacterized cardiac player, SHISA3, primarily expressed in VCs in fetal hearts and pathological remodeling was identified. Importantly, the KLF15 and Wnt codependent SHISA3 regulation was demonstrated to be conserved in mouse and human models.
Conclusions: The authors unraveled a network interplay defined by KLF15-Wnt dynamics controlling CM and VC homeostasis in the postnatal heart and demonstrated its potential as a cardiac-specific therapeutic target in HF. Within this network, they identified SHISA3 as a novel, evolutionarily conserved VC marker involved in pathological remodeling in HF.
Keywords: Wnt signaling; fetal gene reprogramming; heart failure; hypertrophic heart remodeling; vascular cells.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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