Characterisation and regulation of E2F-6 and E2F-6b in the rat heart: a potential target for myocardial regeneration?
Movassagh, M., Bicknell, K. A. and Brooks, G. (2006) Characterisation and regulation of E2F-6 and E2F-6b in the rat heart: a potential target for myocardial regeneration? Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 58 (1). pp. 73-82. ISSN 0022-3573
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1211/jpp.58.1.0009
The E2F transcription factors are instrumental in regulating cell cycle progression and growth, including that in cardiomyocytes, which exit the cell cycle shortly after birth. E2F-6 has been demonstrated to act as a transcriptional repressor; however, its potential role in normal cardiomyocyte proliferation and hypertrophy has not previously been investigated. Here we report the isolation and characterisation of E2F-6 and E2F-6b in rat cardiomyocytes and consider its potential as a target for myocardial regeneration following injury. At the mRNA level, both rat E2F-6 and the alternatively spliced variant, E2F-6b, were expressed in E18 myocytes and levels were maintained throughout development into adulthood. Interestingly, E2F-6 protein expression was down-regulated during myocyte development suggesting that it is regulated post-transcriptionally in these cells. During myocyte hypertrophy, the mRNA expressions of E2F-6 and E2F-6b were not regulated whereas E2F-6 protein was up-regulated significantly. Indeed, E2F-6 protein expression levels closely parallel the developmental withdrawal of myocytes from the cell cycle and the subsequent reactivation of their cell cycle machinery during hypertrophic growth. Furthermore, depletion of E2F-6, using anti-sense technology, results in death of cultured neonatal myocytes. Taken together, abrogation of E2F-6 expression in neonatal cardiomyocytes leads to a significant decrease in their viability, consistent with the notion that E2F-6 might be required for maintaining normal myocyte growth.