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Pajak L, Jin F, Xiao GH, Soonpaa MH, Field LJ, Yeung RS
Sustained cardiomyocyte DNA synthesis in whole embryo cultures lacking the TSC2 gene product
American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology (1997) 42:H1619-H1627.
Abstract
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is characterized by the appearance of nonmalignant tumors that affect a wide spectrum of organs, including the heart. TSC disease-causing genes have been identified on chromosomes 9 (TSC1) and 16 (TSC2). This study examined the impact of the TSC2 gene product on cardiomyocyte proliferation and terminal differentiation. We took advantage of the observation that Eker rats carry a germ- line TSC2 mutation. Rats heterozygous for the mutation (TSC2(EK/+)) are predisposed to renal carcinoma, whereas animals homozygous for the mutation (TSC2(EK/EK)) die in utero during midgestation. Spontaneously contractile cardiomyocytes were observed after multiple passages of whole embryo cultures prepared from embryonic day 12.5 TSC2(EK/EK) fetuses but not from TSC2(EK/+) or wild-type fetuses. The TSC2(EK/EK) cardiomyocytes continued to actively synthesize DNA after as many as eight passages. Cytological, ultrastructural, and molecular analyses indicated that the TSC2(EK/EK) cardiomyocytes retained a highly differentiated phenotype similar to that observed for normal rat cardiomyocytes during late embryonic and early neonatal life. These results suggested that the TSC2 gene product is required for normal cardiomyocyte cell-cycle withdrawal and terminal differentiation.
Note
Publication Date: 1997-09-01.
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