Phenotypic screen identifies FOXO inhibitor to counteract maturation and promote expansion of human iPS cell-derived cardiomyocytes

Bioorg Med Chem. 2022 Jul 1;65:116782. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2022.116782. Epub 2022 Apr 27.


Achieving pharmacological control over cardiomyocyte proliferation represents a prime goal in therapeutic cardiovascular research. Here, we identify a novel chemical tool compound for the expansion of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes. The forkhead box O (FOXO) inhibitor AS1842856 was identified as a significant hit from an unbiased proliferation screen in early, immature hiPSC- cardiomyocytes (eCMs). The mitogenic effects of AS1842856 turned out to be robust, dose-dependent, sustained, and reversible. eCM numbers increased >30-fold as induced by AS1842856 over three passages. Phenotypically as well as by marker gene expression, the compound interestingly appeared to counteract cellular maturation both in immature hiPSC-CMs as well as in more advanced ones. Thus, FOXO inhibitor AS1842856 presents a novel proliferation inducer for the chemically defined, xeno-free expansion of hiPSC-derived CMs, while its de-differentiation effect might as well bear potential in regenerative medicine.

Keywords: Cardiomyocytes; FOXO inhibitor; FOXO transcription factor; High-content imaging; Human induced-pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs); Phenotypic screen; Proliferation.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac