Targeted expression of the SV40 large T-antigen oncoprotein (T-Ag) induces cardiomyocyte proliferation in the atria and ventricles of transgenic mice. Previous studies have identified the p53 tumor suppressor, p107 (a homologue of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor), and p193 (a novel BH3 only proapoptosis protein) as prominent T-Ag binding proteins in cardiomyocyte cell lines derived from these transgenic mice. To further explore the significance of these protein-protein interactions in the regulation of cardiomyocyte proliferation, a transgene comprising the human atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) promoter and sequences encoding a mutant T-Ag lacking the p53 binding domain was generated. Repeated micro-injection of this DNA gave rise to genetically mosaic animals with minimal transgene content, suggesting that widespread cardiac expression of mutant T-Ag was deleterious. This notion was supported by the observation that the transgene was selectively lost from the cardiac myocytes (but not the cardiac fibroblasts) in the mosaic animals. Crosses between the mosaic mice and animals expressing a cardiac restricted dominant negative p53 resulted in transgene transmission with ensuing overt cardiac tumorigenesis. Transfection of the mutant T-Ag in embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived cardiomyocytes resulted in wide-spread cell death with characteristics typical of apoptosis. Co-transfection with a dominant negative p53 transgene rescued mutant T-Ag-induced cell death in the ES-derived cardiomyocyte cultures, resulting in a marked proliferative response similar to that seen in vivo with the rescued transgenic mouse study. These results indicate that T-Ag expression in the absence of p53 functional abrogation results in cardiomyocyte death.
- Cardiac regeneration
- Cardiomyocyte terminal differentiation
- Myocardial apoptosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine