Andrea A Domenighetti

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Publications (32)178.97 Total impact

  • D. S. Gokhin · J. Ochala · A. A. Domenighetti · V. M. Fowler

    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Cell Science
  • David S Gokhin · Julien Ochala · Andrea A Domenighetti · Velia M Fowler
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    ABSTRACT: Sarcomeric tropomodulin (Tmod) isoforms, Tmod1 and Tmod4, cap thin filament pointed ends and functionally interact with leiomodin (Lmod) isoforms, Lmod2 and Lmod3, to control myofibril organization, thin filament lengths, and actomyosin crossbridge formation in skeletal muscle fibers. Here, we show that Tmod4 is more abundant than Tmod1 on both the transcript and protein levels in a variety of muscle types, but the relative abundances of sarcomeric Tmods are muscle-specific. We then generate Tmod4(-/-) mice, which exhibit normal thin filament lengths, myofibril organization, and skeletal muscle contractile function due to compensatory upregulation of Tmod1, together with an Lmod isoform switch wherein Lmod3 is downregulated and Lmod2 is upregulated. However, RNAi depletion of Tmod1 from either wild-type or Tmod4(-/-) muscle fibers leads to thin filament elongation by ∼15%. Thus, Tmod1 per se, rather than total sarcomeric Tmod levels, controls thin filament lengths in mouse skeletal muscle, while Tmod4 appears to be dispensable for thin filament length regulation. These findings identify Tmod1 as the key direct regulator of thin filament length in skeletal muscle, in both adult muscle homeostasis and in developmentally compensated contexts.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Development
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    ABSTRACT: A fundamental requirement of cells is their ability to transduce and interpret their mechanical environment. This ability contributes to regulation of growth, differentiation and adaptation in many cell types. The intermediate filament (IF) system not only provides passive structural support to the cell, but recent evidence points to IF involvement in active biological processes such as signaling, mechanotransduction and gene regulation. However, the mechanisms that underlie these processes are not well known. Skeletal muscle cells provide a convenient system to understand IF function since the major muscle specific IF, desmin, is expressed in high abundance and is highly organized. Here we show that desmin plays both structural and regulatory roles in muscle cells by demonstrating that desmin is required for the maintenance of myofibrillar alignment, nuclear deformation, stress production and JNK-mediated stress sensing. Finite element modeling of the muscle IF system suggests that desmin immediately below the sarcolemma is the most functionally significant. This demonstration of biomechanical integration by the desmin IF system suggests that it plays an active biological role in muscle in addition to its accepted structural role.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Cell Science
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    ABSTRACT: The transcriptome is subject to multiple changes during pathogenesis, including the use of alternate 5' start-sites that can affect transcription levels and output. Current RNA sequencing techniques can assess mRNA levels, but do not robustly detect changes in 5' start-site use. Here, we developed a transcriptome sequencing strategy that detects genome-wide changes in start-site usage (5'RNA-Seq) and applied this methodology to identify regulatory events that occur in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Compared with transcripts from WT mice, 92 genes had altered start-site usage in a mouse model of HCM, including four-and-a-half LIM domains protein 1 (Fhl1). HCM-induced altered transcriptional regulation of Fhl1 resulted in robust myocyte expression of a distinct protein isoform, a response that was conserved in humans with genetic or acquired cardiomyopathies. Genetic ablation of Fhl1 in HCM mice was deleterious, which suggests that Fhl1 transcriptional changes provide salutary effects on stressed myocytes in this disease. Because Fhl1 is a chromosome X-encoded gene, stress-induced changes in its transcription may contribute to gender differences in the clinical severity of HCM. Our findings indicate that 5'RNA-Seq has the potential to identify genome-wide changes in 5' start-site usage that are associated with pathogenic phenotypes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · The Journal of clinical investigation
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    ABSTRACT: Vinculin (Vcl) links actin filaments to integrin and cadherin-based cellular junctions. Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) binds connexin-43 (Cx43), cadherin and actin. Vcl and ZO-1 anchor the actin cytoskeleton to the sarcolemma.Since loss of Vcl from cardiomyocytes caused mal-distribution of Cx43 and predisposed cardiomyocyte-specific Vcl knockout mice with preserved heart function to arrhythmic sudden death, we hypothesized that Vcl and ZO-1 would interact and that loss of this interaction would destabilize gap junctions.Results:Vcl, Cx43 and ZO-1 colocalized at the intercalated disc (ICD). Loss of cardiomyocyte Vcl caused parallel loss of ZO-1 from ICDs. Vcl co-immunoprecipitated Cx43 and ZO-1, and directly bound ZO-1 in yeast two-hybrid studies. Vcl gene excision in neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes caused reduction of Vcl transcript and protein expression, leading to:1) decreased protein expression of Cx43, ZO-1, talin, and β1D-integrin, 2) reduced PI3K activation, 3) increased activation of Akt, Erk1, and Erk2, and 4) cardiomyocyte necrosis.Summary:This is the first study showing a direct interaction between Vcl and ZO-1 and illustrates how Vcl plays a critical role in stabilizing gap junctions and myocyte integrity.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Journal of Cell Science
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    ABSTRACT: Recent human genetic studies have provided evidences that sporadic or inherited missense mutations in four-and-a-half LIM domain protein 1 (FHL1), resulting in alterations in FHL1 protein expression, are associated with rare congenital myopathies, including reducing body myopathy and Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. However, it remains to be clarified whether mutations in FHL1 cause skeletal muscle remodeling owing to gain- or loss- of FHL1 function. In this study, we used FHL1-null mice lacking global FHL1 expression to evaluate loss of function effects on skeletal muscle homeostasis. Histological and functional analyses of soleus, tibialis anterior, and sternohyoideus muscles demonstrated that FHL1-null mice develop an age-dependent myopathy associated with myofibrillar and intermyofibrillar (mitochondrial and sarcoplasmic reticulum) disorganization, impaired muscle oxidative capacity and increased autophagic activity. A longitudinal study established decreased survival rates in FHL1-null mice, associated with age-dependent impairment of muscle contractile function and a significantly lower exercise capacity. Analysis of primary myoblasts isolated from FHL1-null muscles demonstrated early muscle fiber differentiation and maturation defects, which could be rescued by re-expression of the FHL1A isoform, highlighting that FHL1A is necessary for proper muscle fiber differentiation and maturation in vitro. Overall, our data show that loss of FHL1 function leads to myopathy in vivo and suggest that loss of function of FHL1 may be one of the mechanisms underlying muscle dystrophy in patients with FHL1 mutations.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Human Molecular Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported that excess of deoxycorticosterone-acetate (DOCA)/salt-induced cardiac hypertrophy in the absence of hypertension in one-renin gene mice. This model allows us to study molecular mechanisms of high-salt intake in the development of cardiovascular remodeling, independently of blood pressure in a high mineralocorticoid state. In this study, we compared the effect of 5-wk low- and high-salt intake on cardiovascular remodeling and cardiac differential gene expression in mice receiving the same amount of DOCA. Differential gene and protein expression was measured by high-density cDNA microarray assays, real-time PCR and Western blot analysis in DOCA-high salt (HS) vs. DOCA-low salt (LS) mice. DOCA-HS mice developed cardiac hypertrophy, coronary perivascular fibrosis, and left ventricular dysfunction. Differential gene and protein expression demonstrated that high-salt intake upregulated a subset of genes encoding for proteins involved in inflammation and extracellular matrix remodeling (e.g., Col3a1, Col1a2, Hmox1, and Lcn2). A major subset of downregulated genes encoded for transcription factors, including myeloid differentiation primary response (MyD) genes. Our data provide some evidence that vascular remodeling, fibrosis, and inflammation are important consequences of a high-salt intake in DOCA mice. Our study suggests that among the different pathogenic factors of cardiac and vascular remodeling, such as hypertension and mineralocorticoid excess and sodium intake, the latter is critical for the development of the profibrotic and proinflammatory phenotype observed in the heart of normotensive DOCA-treated mice.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
  • Marcel Egger · Andrea A Domenighetti
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic elevation of plasma angiotensin II (Ang II) is a major determinant in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy and congestive heart failure. However, the molecular mechanisms by which the direct actions of Ang II on cardiomyocytes contribute to excitation-contraction coupling (ECC) remodeling are not precisely known. We review this question, as well as acute Ang II-mediated modulation of ECC. In addition, we discuss adaptive/maladaptive modulation of cardiomyocyte ECC under chronic endogenous Ang II overproduction in the heart induced by local overexpression of the of the renin-angiotensin system in the mouse.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2010 · Trends in cardiovascular medicine
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    ABSTRACT: There is clinical evidence to suggest that impaired myocardial glucose uptake contributes to the pathogenesis of hypertrophic, insulin-resistant cardiomyopathy. The goal of this study was to determine whether cardiac deficiency of the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter, GLUT4, has deleterious effect on cardiomyocyte excitation-contraction coupling. Cre-Lox mouse models of cardiac GLUT4 knockdown (KD, 85% reduction) and knockout (KO, >95% reduction), which exhibit similar systemic hyperinsulinemic and hyperglycemic states, were investigated. The Ca(2+) current (I(Ca)) and Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) fluxes, Na(+)-H(+) exchanger (NHE) activity, and contractile performance of GLUT4-deficient myocytes was examined using whole-cell patch-clamp, epifluorescence, and imaging techniques. GLUT4-KO exhibited significant cardiac enlargement characterized by cardiomyocyte hypertrophy (40% increase in cell area) and fibrosis. GLUT4-KO myocyte contractility was significantly diminished, with reduced mean maximum shortening (5.0+/-0.4% vs. 6.2+/-0.6%, 5 Hz). Maximal rates of shortening and relaxation were also reduced (20-25%), and latency was delayed. In GLUT4-KO myocytes, the I(Ca) density was decreased (-2.80+/-0.29 vs. -5.30+/-0.70 pA/pF), and mean I(NCX) was significantly increased in both outward (by 60%) and inward (by 100%) directions. GLUT4-KO expression levels of SERCA2 and RyR2 were reduced by approximately 50%. NHE-mediated H(+) flux in response to NH(4)Cl acid loading was markedly elevated GLUT4-KO myocytes, associated with doubled expression of NHE1. These findings demonstrate that, independent of systemic endocrinological disturbance, cardiac GLUT4 deficiency per se provides a lesion sufficient to induce profound alterations in cardiomyocyte Ca(2+) and pH homeostasis. Our investigation identifies the cardiac GLUT4 as a potential primary molecular therapeutic target in ameliorating the functional deficits associated with insulin-resistant cardiomyopathy.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2009 · Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
  • K. Gusev · A.A. Domenighetti · L. M. D. Delbridge · T. Pedrazzini · E. Niggli · M. Egger

    No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Circulation Research
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac hypertrophy is associated with alterations in cardiomyocyte excitation-contraction coupling (ECC) and Ca(2+) handling. Chronic elevation of plasma angiotensin II (Ang II) is a major determinant in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy and congestive heart failure. However, the molecular mechanisms by which the direct actions of Ang II on cardiomyocytes contribute to ECC remodeling are not precisely known. This question was addressed using cardiac myocytes isolated from transgenic (TG1306/1R [TG]) mice exhibiting cardiac specific overexpression of angiotensinogen, which develop Ang II-mediated cardiac hypertrophy in the absence of hemodynamic overload. Electrophysiological techniques, photolysis of caged Ca(2+) and confocal Ca(2+) imaging were used to examine ECC remodeling at early ( approximately 20 weeks of age) and late ( approximately 60 weeks of age) time points during the development of cardiac dysfunction. In young TG mice, increased cardiac Ang II levels induced a hypertrophic response in cardiomyocyte, which was accompanied by an adaptive change of Ca(2+) signaling, specifically an upregulation of the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger-mediated Ca(2+) transport. In contrast, maladaptation was evident in older TG mice, as suggested by reduced sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) content resulting from a shift in the ratio of plasmalemmal Ca(2+) removal and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) uptake. This was associated with a conserved ECC gain, consistent with a state of hypersensitivity in Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release. Together, our data suggest that chronic elevation of cardiac Ang II levels significantly alters cardiomyocyte ECC in the long term, and thereby contractility, independently of hemodynamic overload and arterial hypertension.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2009 · Circulation Research
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    ABSTRACT: In the damaged heart, cardiac adaptation relies primarily on cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. The recent discovery of cardiac stem cells in the postnatal heart, however, suggests that these cells could participate in the response to stress via their capacity to regenerate cardiac tissues. Using models of cardiac hypertrophy and failure, we demonstrate that components of the Notch pathway are up-regulated in the hypertrophic heart. The Notch pathway is an evolutionarily conserved cell-to-cell communication system, which is crucial in many developmental processes. Notch also plays key roles in the regenerative capacity of self-renewing organs. In the heart, Notch1 signaling takes place in cardiomyocytes and in mesenchymal cardiac precursors and is activated secondary to stimulated Jagged1 expression on the surface of cardiomyocytes. Using mice lacking Notch1 expression specifically in the heart, we show that the Notch1 pathway controls pathophysiological cardiac remodeling. In the absence of Notch1, cardiac hypertrophy is exacerbated, fibrosis develops, function is altered, and the mortality rate increases. Therefore, in cardiomyocytes, Notch controls maturation, limits the extent of the hypertrophic response, and may thereby contribute to cell survival. In cardiac precursors, Notch prevents cardiogenic differentiation, favors proliferation, and may facilitate the expansion of a transient amplifying cell compartment.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2009 · Journal of Experimental Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The response of cardiomyocytes to biomechanical stress can determine the pathophysiology of hypertrophic cardiac disease, and targeting the pathways regulating these responses is a therapeutic goal. However, little is known about how biomechanical stress is sensed by the cardiomyocyte sarcomere to transduce intracellular hypertrophic signals or how the dysfunction of these pathways may lead to disease. Here, we found that four-and-a-half LIM domains 1 (FHL1) is part of a complex within the cardiomyocyte sarcomere that senses the biomechanical stress-induced responses important for cardiac hypertrophy. Mice lacking Fhl1 displayed a blunted hypertrophic response and a beneficial functional response to pressure overload induced by transverse aortic constriction. A link to the Galphaq (Gq) signaling pathway was also observed, as Fhl1 deficiency prevented the cardiomyopathy observed in Gq transgenic mice. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that FHL1 plays an important role in the mechanism of pathological hypertrophy by sensing biomechanical stress responses via the N2B stretch sensor domain of titin and initiating changes in the titin- and MAPK-mediated responses important for sarcomere extensibility and intracellular signaling. These studies shed light on the physiological regulation of the sarcomere in response to hypertrophic stress.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2009 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
  • G E Ackermann · A A Domenighetti · A Deten · I Bonath · I Marenholz · T Pedrazzini · P Erne · C W Heizmann
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    ABSTRACT: S100A1 is a Ca(2+)-binding protein and predominantly expressed in the heart. We have generated a mouse line of S100A1 deficiency by gene trap mutagenesis to investigate the impact of S100A1 ablation on heart function. Electrocardiogram recordings revealed that after beta-adrenergic stimulation S100A1-deficient mice had prolonged QT, QTc and ST intervals and intraventricular conduction disturbances reminiscent of 2 : 1 bundle branch block. In order to identify genes affected by the loss of S100A1, we profiled the mutant and wild type cardiac transcriptomes by gene array analysis. The expression of several genes functioning to the electrical activity of the heart were found to be significantly altered. Although the default prediction would be that mRNA and protein levels are highly correlated, comprehensive immunoblot analyses of salient up- or down-regulated candidate genes of any cellular network revealed no significant changes on protein level. Taken together, we found that S100A1 deficiency results in cardiac repolarization delay and alternating ventricular conduction defects in response to sympathetic activation accompanied by a significantly different transcriptional regulation.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · General Physiology and Biophysics
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    ABSTRACT: The hypertrophic heart rat (HHR) was derived from the spontaneously hypertensive rat of the Okamoto strain and develops cardiac hypertrophy in the absence of hypertension. The genetic basis of this hypertrophy is unknown. Therefore, we compared gene expression profiles in the left ventricular myocardium of young (8-10 weeks of age) and old (38-50 weeks) HHR with rats from an age-matched control strain, the normal heart rat (NHR). cDNA microarrays (National Institute of Aging [NIA], 15,247 clones) were used to evaluate gene expression in cardiac-derived Cy3 and Cy5 labeled cDNA. M values (log2[Cy5/Cy3]) were obtained and significant differential expression was identified using an empirical Bayesian approach with specific results verified using real-time PCR. Compared with NHR, HHR cardiac weight index (heart weight/ body weight) was significantly elevated at both ages (young: 5.5 +/- 0.5 vs. 3.9 +/- 0.2; old: 4.2 +/- 0.3 vs. 3.4 +/- 0.2 mg/g; p < 0.05) with no difference in body weight or in tail-cuff blood pressure detected between the strains at either age. Differential expression was observed in 65 and 390 clones in young and old HHR, respectively, with more genes exhibiting down-regulation than up-regulation in both instances (young: down 44 vs. up 21; old: down 292 vs. up 98). Our data suggest a role for the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway and the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-mediated activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) in the etiology of cardiac enlargement in the HHR. These findings support the candidature of previously identified cardiotrophic agents in contributing to the cardiac enlargement in the normotensive HHR, and also identify novel genetic factors which may be involved in the genesis of primary cardiac hypertrophy.
    Full-text · Article · May 2008 · Hypertension Research
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    ABSTRACT: Impaired glucose uptake is associated with both cardiac hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction, but whether there are common underlying mechanisms linking these conditions is yet to be determined. Using a 'gene dose' Cre-Lox GLUT4-deficient murine model, we examined the effect of suppressed glucose availability on global myocardial gene expression and glycolysis substrate bypass on the function of isolated perfused hearts. Performance of hearts from 22- to 60-week-old male GLUT4 knockout (KO, >95% reduction in GLUT4), GLUT4 knockdown (KD, 85% reduction in cardiac GLUT4) and C57Bl/6 wild-type (WT) controls was measured ex vivo in Langendorff mode perfusion. DNA microarray was used to profile mRNA expression differences between GLUT4-KO and GLUT4-KD hearts. At 22 weeks, GLUT4-KO hearts exhibited cardiac hypertrophy and impaired contractile function ex vivo, characterized by a 40% decrease in developed pressure. At 60 weeks, dysfunction was accentuated in GLUT4-KO hearts and evident in GLUT4-KD hearts. Exogenous pyruvate (5 mM) restored systolic pressure to a level equivalent to WT (GLUT4-KO, 176.8+/-13.2 mmHg vs. WT, 146.4+/-9.56 mmHg) in 22-week-old GLUT4-KO hearts but not in 60-week-old GLUT4-KO hearts. In GLUT4-KO, DNA microarray analysis detected downregulation of a number of genes centrally involved in mitochondrial oxidation and upregulation of other genes indicative of a shift to cytosolic beta-oxidation of long chain fatty acids. A direct link between cardiomyocyte GLUT4 deficiency, hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction is demonstrated. These data provide mechanistic insight into the myocardial metabolic adaptations associated with short and long-term insulin resistance and indicate a window of opportunity for substrate intervention and functional 'rescue'.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
  • N Rosenblatt-Velin · S Ogay · A Felley · A Domenighetti · M Lepore · Th Pedrazzini

    No preview · Article · Jun 2007 · Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology

  • No preview · Article · Jun 2007 · Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac hypertrophy is an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. It predisposes patients to heart failure, QT interval prolongation and ventricular arrhythmias. Angiotensin II (Ang II) exerts direct actions on cardiac tissue inducing cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and electro-mechanical dysfunction. However, a direct association between Ang II and cardiomyocyte electrical remodeling has yet to be demonstrated. Transgenic TG1306/1R (TG) mice with cardiac-specific Ang II overproduction demonstrate blood pressure-independent cardiac hypertrophy and exhibit significant increase in sudden death associated with mechanical dysfunction. The present study makes use of TG mice to evaluate the direct effects of high levels of intracardiac Ang II on cardiac electrophysiology. Surface-limb ECG measurements were recorded on 50- to 60-week-old TG and wild-type (WT) mice. QT interval was significantly prolonged (+20%) in TG mice relative to WT. TG mice also showed an increased incidence of ventricular arrhythmias. QT prolongation was associated with prolongation of cardiomyocyte action potential at 90% repolarization (APD90). The change in APD90 correlated with a reduction in IK1 potassium current density in TG vs. WT cardiomyocytes (at -70 mV: 0.3+/-0.1 pA/pF vs. 0.8+/-0.2 pA/pF, P<0.05). In TG mice, reduction in IK1 was associated with a significant reduction (-50%) of the mRNA encoding Kir2.1 and Kir2.2 subunits of IK1-related KCNJ2 and KCNJ12 potassium channels. These data suggest that cardiac Ang II overproduction leads to the emergence of a long QT syndrome resulting from an IK1-dependent prolongation of the action potential duration through modulation of channel subunit expression.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: The cardiac sodium channel Na(v)1.5 plays a key role in cardiac excitability and conduction. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the role of the PDZ domain-binding motif formed by the last three residues (Ser-Ile-Val) of the Na(v)1.5 C-terminus. Pull-down experiments were performed using Na(v)1.5 C-terminus fusion proteins and human or mouse heart protein extracts, combined with mass spectrometry analysis. These experiments revealed that the C-terminus associates with dystrophin, and that this interaction was mediated by alpha- and beta-syntrophin proteins. Truncation of the PDZ domain-binding motif abolished the interaction. We used dystrophin-deficient mdx(5cv) mice to study the role of this protein complex in Na(v)1.5 function. Western blot experiments revealed a 50% decrease in the Na(v)1.5 protein levels in mdx(5cv) hearts, whereas Na(v)1.5 mRNA levels were unchanged. Patch-clamp experiments showed a 29% decrease of sodium current in isolated mdx(5cv) cardiomyocytes. Finally, ECG measurements of the mdx(5cv) mice exhibited a 19% reduction in the P wave amplitude, and an 18% increase of the QRS complex duration, compared with controls. These results indicate that the dystrophin protein complex is required for the proper expression and function of Na(v)1.5. In the absence of dystrophin, decreased sodium current may explain the alterations in cardiac conduction observed in patients with dystrophinopathies.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2006 · Circulation Research

Publication Stats

685 Citations
178.97 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2008-2014
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Department of Medicine
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2005-2009
    • University Hospital of Lausanne
      • Département de médecine
      Lausanne, VD, Switzerland
  • 2003-2009
    • University of Melbourne
      • Department of Physiology
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2000-2009
    • University of Lausanne
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland