New discovery of ‘powerful clinical strategy’ for treating heart disease – ThePrint – ANIFeed

Washington [US]June 20 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Houston have unveiled a new technology that not only repairs heart muscle cells in mice, but also regenerates them after a heart attack or myocardial infarction, as it is medically known.

Published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Aging, the groundbreaking finding has the potential to become a powerful clinical strategy for treating heart disease in humans, according to Robert Schwartz, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at UH. College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The new technology developed by the team of researchers uses synthetic messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) to deliver mutated transcription factors — proteins that control the conversion of DNA to RNA — to mouse hearts.

“No one has been able to do this to this extent, and we think it could become a potential treatment for humans,” said Schwartz, who led the study with recently graduated PhD Siyu Xiao and Dinakar Iyer, a research assistant professor. biology and biochemistry.

Synthetic mRNA contributes to stem cell-like growth

The researchers showed that two mutated transcription factors, Stemin and YAP5SA, work together to increase the replication of cardiomyocytes, or heart muscle cells, isolated from mouse hearts. These experiments were performed in vitro on tissue culture dishes.

“What we’re trying to do is dedifferentiate the cardiomyocytes into a more stem cell-like state so they can regenerate and proliferate,” Xiao said.

Stemin turns on stem cell-like properties of heart muscle cells. Stemin’s critical role in their experiments was discovered by Iyer, who said the transcription factor was a “game changer.” Meanwhile, YAP5SA works by promoting organ growth, causing the myocytes to replicate even more.

In a separate finding published in the same journal, the team will report that Stemin and YAP5SA repaired damaged mouse hearts in vivo. Notably, myocyte nuclei replicated at least 15-fold in 24 hours after heart injections that delivered those transcription factors.

Bradley McConnell, professor of pharmacology, and graduate student Emilio Lucero at the UH College of Pharmacy, contributed to the study by producing the model of an adult mouse with an infarction.

“When both transcription factors were injected into infarcted adult mouse hearts, the results were astounding,” Schwartz said. “The lab found that cardiac myocytes multiplied rapidly within a day, while hearts were restored to near-normal heart pumping function with little scarring in the following month.”

An additional advantage of using synthetic mRNA, according to Xiao, is that it disappears within a few days as opposed to viral delivery. Gene therapies delivered to cells by viral vectors raise several biosafety concerns because they are not easily stopped. In contrast, mRNA-based delivery quickly flips and disappears.

A limited number of cardiomyocytes

Schwartz and Iyer worked on this research for several years and Xiao focused on this research during her doctoral studies at UH. She graduated in the fall of 2020.

“I feel honored and lucky to have been a part of this,” Xiao said. “This is a huge heart regeneration study, especially given the clever strategy of using mRNA to deliver Stemin and YAP5SA.”

The findings are especially important because less than 1% of adult heart muscle cells can regenerate. “Most people die with most of the same cardiomyocytes they had in the first month of life,” she said. When there is a heart attack and heart muscle cells die, the heart’s contractile ability can be lost.

The study was funded in part by the University of Houston, a Cullen Endowed Chair, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Leducq Foundation, and a sponsored research agreement from Animatus Biosciences, LLC. (ANI)

This report is automatically generated by the ANI news service. ThePrint is not responsible for its content.

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