A microRNA program regulates the balance between cardiomyocyte hyperplasia and hypertrophy and stimulates cardiac regeneration

Andrea Raso, Ellen Dirkx, Vasco Sampaio-Pinto, H. (Hamid) el Azzouzi, Ryan J. Cubero, Daniel W. Sorensen, Lara Ottaviani, Servé Olieslagers, Manon M. Huibers, Roel de Weger, Sailay Siddiqi, Silvia Moimas, Consuelo Torrini, Lorena Zentillin, Luca Braga, Diana S. Nascimento, Paula A. da Costa Martins, Jop H. van Berlo, Serena Zacchigna, Mauro GiaccaLeon J. De Windt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Myocardial regeneration is restricted to early postnatal life, when mammalian cardiomyocytes still retain the ability to proliferate. The molecular cues that induce cell cycle arrest of neonatal cardiomyocytes towards terminally differentiated adult heart muscle cells remain obscure. Here we report that the miR-106b~25 cluster is higher expressed in the early postnatal myocardium and decreases in expression towards adulthood, especially under conditions of overload, and orchestrates the transition of cardiomyocyte hyperplasia towards cell cycle arrest and hypertrophy by virtue of its targetome. In line, gene delivery of miR-106b~25 to the mouse heart provokes cardiomyocyte proliferation by targeting a network of negative cell cycle regulators including E2f5, Cdkn1c, Ccne1 and Wee1. Conversely, gene-targeted miR-106b~25 null mice display spontaneous hypertrophic remodeling and exaggerated remodeling to overload by derepression of the prohypertrophic transcription factors Hand2 and Mef2d. Taking advantage of the regulatory function of miR-106b~25 on cardiomyocyte hyperplasia and hypertrophy, viral gene delivery of miR-106b~25 provokes nearly complete regeneration of the adult myocardium after ischemic injury. Our data demonstrate that exploitation of conserved molecular programs can enhance the regenerative capacity of the injured heart.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4808
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
E.D. is supported by a VENI award 916-150-16 from the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMW), an EMBO Long-term Fellowship (EMBO ALTF 848-2013) and a FP7 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (Project number 627539). V.S.P. was funded by a fellowship from the FCT/ Ministério da Ciência, Tec-nologia e Inovação SFRH/BD/111799/2015. P.D.C.M. is an Established Investigator of the Dutch Heart Foundation. L.D.W. acknowledges support from the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance (ARENA-PRIME). L.D.W. was further supported by grant 311549 from the European Research Council (ERC), a VICI award 918-156-47 from the Dutch Research Council and Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 813716 (TRAIN-HEART).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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