MiR-25 Tough Decoy Enhances Cardiac Function in Heart Failure.
ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs are promising therapeutic targets, because their inhibition has the potential to normalize gene expression in diseased states. Recently, our group found that miR-25 is a key SERCA2a regulating microRNA, and we showed that multiple injections of antagomirs against miR-25 enhance cardiac contractility and function through SERCA2a restoration in a murine heart failure model. However, for clinical application, a more stable suppressor of miR-25 would be desirable. Tough Decoy (TuD) inhibitors are emerging as a highly effective method for microRNA inhibition due to their resistance to endonucleolytic degradation, high miRNA binding affinity, and efficient delivery. We generated a miR-25 TuD inhibitor and subcloned it into a cardiotropic AAV9 vector to evaluate its efficacy. The AAV9 TuD showed selective inhibition of miR-25 in vitro cardiomyoblast culture. In vivo, AAV9-miR-25 TuD delivered to the murine pressure-overload heart failure model selectively decreased expression of miR-25, increased levels of SERCA2a protein, and ameliorated cardiac dysfunction and fibrosis. Our data indicate that miR-25 TuD is an effective long-term suppressor of miR-25 and a promising therapeutic candidate to treat heart failure.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Impaired myocardial sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2a (SERCA2a) activity is a hallmark of failing hearts, and SERCA2a gene therapy improves cardiac function in animals and patients with heart failure (HF). Deregulation of microRNAs has been demonstrated in HF pathophysiology. We studied the effects of therapeutic AAV9.SERCA2a gene therapy on cardiac miRNome expression and focused on regulation, expression, and function of miR-1 in reverse remodelled failing hearts.<h4>Methods and results</h4>We studied a chronic post-myocardial infarction HF model treated with AAV9.SERCA2a gene therapy. Heart failure resulted in a strong deregulation of the cardiac miRNome. miR-1 expression was decreased in failing hearts, but normalized in reverse remodelled hearts after AAV9.SERCA2a gene delivery. Increased Akt activation in cultured cardiomyocytes led to phosphorylation of FoxO3A and subsequent exclusion from the nucleus, resulting in miR-1 gene silencing. In vitro SERCA2a expression also rescued miR-1 in failing cardiomyocytes, whereas SERCA2a inhibition reduced miR-1 levels. In vivo, Akt and FoxO3A were highly phosphorylated in failing hearts, but reversed to normal by AAV9.SERCA2a, leading to cardiac miR-1 restoration. Likewise, enhanced sodium-calcium exchanger 1 (NCX1) expression during HF was normalized by SERCA2a gene therapy. Validation experiments identified NCX1 as a novel functional miR-1 target.<h4>Conclusion</h4>SERCA2a gene therapy of failing hearts restores miR-1 expression by an Akt/FoxO3A-dependent pathway, which is associated with normalized NCX1 expression and improved cardiac function.
Project description:RATIONALE:Abnormal SUMOylation has emerged as a characteristic of heart failure (HF) pathology. Previously, we found reduced SUMO1 (small ubiquitin-like modifier 1) expression and SERCA2a (sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase) SUMOylation in human and animal HF models. SUMO1 gene delivery or small molecule activation of SUMOylation restored SERCA2a SUMOylation and cardiac function in HF models. Despite the critical role of SUMO1 in HF, the regulatory mechanisms underlying SUMO1 expression are largely unknown. OBJECTIVE:To examine miR-146a-mediated SUMO1 regulation and its consequent effects on cardiac morphology and function. METHODS AND RESULTS:In this study, miR-146a was identified as a SUMO1-targeting microRNA in the heart. A strong correlation was observed between miR-146a and SUMO1 expression in failing mouse and human hearts. miR-146a was manipulated in cardiomyocytes through AAV9 (adeno-associated virus serotype 9)-mediated gene delivery, and cardiac morphology and function were analyzed by echocardiography and hemodynamics. Overexpression of miR-146a reduced SUMO1 expression, SERCA2a SUMOylation, and cardiac contractility in vitro and in vivo. The effects of miR-146a inhibition on HF pathophysiology were examined by transducing a tough decoy of miR-146a into mice subjected to transverse aortic constriction. miR-146a inhibition improved cardiac contractile function and normalized SUMO1 expression. The regulatory mechanisms of miR-146a upregulation were elucidated by examining the major miR-146a-producing cell types and transfer mechanisms. Notably, transdifferentiation of fibroblasts triggered miR-146a overexpression and secretion through extracellular vesicles, and the extracellular vesicle-associated miR-146a transfer was identified as the causative mechanism of miR-146a upregulation in failing cardiomyocytes. Finally, extracellular vesicles isolated from failing hearts were shown to contain high levels of miR-146a and exerted negative effects on the SUMO1/SERCA2a signaling axis and hence cardiomyocyte contractility. CONCLUSIONS:Taken together, our results show that miR-146a is a novel regulator of the SUMOylation machinery in the heart, which can be targeted for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Heart failure is characterized by a debilitating decline in cardiac function, and recent clinical trial results indicate that improving the contractility of heart muscle cells by boosting intracellular calcium handling might be an effective therapy. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are dysregulated in heart failure but whether they control contractility or constitute therapeutic targets remains speculative. Using high-throughput functional screening of the human microRNAome, here we identify miRNAs that suppress intracellular calcium handling in heart muscle by interacting with messenger RNA encoding the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium uptake pump SERCA2a (also known as ATP2A2). Of 875 miRNAs tested, miR-25 potently delayed calcium uptake kinetics in cardiomyocytes in vitro and was upregulated in heart failure, both in mice and humans. Whereas adeno-associated virus 9 (AAV9)-mediated overexpression of miR-25 in vivo resulted in a significant loss of contractile function, injection of an antisense oligonucleotide (antagomiR) against miR-25 markedly halted established heart failure in a mouse model, improving cardiac function and survival relative to a control antagomiR oligonucleotide. These data reveal that increased expression of endogenous miR-25 contributes to declining cardiac function during heart failure and suggest that it might be targeted therapeutically to restore function.
Project description:Insertion of completely complementary microRNA (miR) target sites (miRTS) into a transgene has been shown to be a valuable approach to specifically repress transgene expression in non-targeted tissues. miR-122TS have been successfully used to silence transgene expression in the liver following systemic application of cardiotropic adeno-associated virus (AAV) 9 vectors. For miR-206-mediated skeletal muscle-specific silencing of miR-206TS-bearing AAV9 vectors, however, we found this approach failed due to the expression of another member (miR-1) of the same miR family in heart tissue, the intended target. We introduced single-nucleotide substitutions into the miR-206TS and searched for those which prevented miR-1-mediated cardiac repression. Several mutated miR-206TS (m206TS), in particular m206TS-3G, were resistant to miR-1, but remained fully sensitive to miR-206. All these variants had mismatches in the seed region of the miR/m206TS duplex in common. Furthermore, we found that some m206TS, containing mismatches within the seed region or within the 3' portion of the miR-206, even enhanced the miR-206- mediated transgene repression. In vivo expression of m206TS-3G- and miR-122TS-containing transgene of systemically applied AAV9 vectors was strongly repressed in both skeletal muscle and the liver but remained high in the heart. Thus, site-directed mutagenesis of miRTS provides a new strategy to differentiate transgene de-targeting of related miRs.
Project description:RNA interference (RNAi) has the potential to be a novel therapeutic strategy in diverse areas of medicine. Here, we report on targeted RNAi for the treatment of heart failure, an important disorder in humans that results from multiple causes. Successful treatment of heart failure is demonstrated in a rat model of transaortic banding by RNAi targeting of phospholamban, a key regulator of cardiac Ca(2+) homeostasis. Whereas gene therapy rests on recombinant protein expression as its basic principle, RNAi therapy uses regulatory RNAs to achieve its effect.We describe structural requirements to obtain high RNAi activity from adenoviral and adeno-associated virus (AAV9) vectors and show that an adenoviral short hairpin RNA vector (AdV-shRNA) silenced phospholamban in cardiomyocytes (primary neonatal rat cardiomyocytes) and improved hemodynamics in heart-failure rats 1 month after aortic root injection. For simplified long-term therapy, we developed a dimeric cardiotropic adeno-associated virus vector (rAAV9-shPLB) to deliver RNAi activity to the heart via intravenous injection. Cardiac phospholamban protein was reduced to 25%, and suppression of sacroplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase in the HF groups was rescued. In contrast to traditional vectors, rAAV9 showed high affinity for myocardium but low affinity for liver and other organs. rAAV9-shPLB therapy restored diastolic (left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, dp/dt(min), and tau) and systolic (fractional shortening) functional parameters to normal ranges. The massive cardiac dilation was normalized, and cardiac hypertrophy, cardiomyocyte diameter, and cardiac fibrosis were reduced significantly. Importantly, no evidence was found of microRNA deregulation or hepatotoxicity during these RNAi therapies.Our data show for the first time the high efficacy of an RNAi therapeutic strategy in a cardiac disease.
Project description:Sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2a (SERCA2a) gene therapy improves mechanical function in heart failure and is under evaluation in a clinical trial. A critical question is whether SERCA2a gene therapy predisposes to increased sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium (SR Ca(2+)) leak, cellular triggered activity, and ventricular arrhythmias in the failing heart.We studied the influence of SERCA2a gene therapy on ventricular arrhythmogenesis in a rat chronic heart failure model. ECG telemetry studies revealed a significant antiarrhythmic effect of SERCA2a gene therapy with reduction of both spontaneous and catecholamine-induced arrhythmias in vivo. SERCA2a gene therapy also reduced susceptibility to reentry arrhythmias in ex vivo programmed electrical stimulation studies. Subcellular Ca(2+) homeostasis and spontaneous SR Ca(2+) leak characteristics were measured in failing cardiomyocytes transfected in vivo with a novel AAV9.SERCA2a vector. SR Ca(2+) leak was reduced after SERCA2a gene therapy, with reversal of the greater spark mass observed in the failing myocytes, despite normalization of SR Ca(2+) load. SERCA2a reduced ryanodine receptor phosphorylation, thereby resetting SR Ca(2+) leak threshold, leading to reduced triggered activity in vitro. Both indirect effects of reverse remodeling and direct SERCA2a effects appear to underlie the antiarrhythmic action.SERCA2a gene therapy stabilizes SR Ca(2+) load, reduces ryanodine receptor phosphorylation and decreases SR Ca(2+) leak, and reduces cellular triggered activity in vitro and spontaneous and catecholamine-induced ventricular arrhythmias in vivo in failing hearts. SERCA2a gene therapy did not therefore predispose to arrhythmias and may represent a novel antiarrhythmic strategy in heart failure.
Project description:Understanding the function of individual microRNA (miRNA) species in mice would require the production of hundreds of loss-of-function strains. To accelerate analysis of miRNA biology in mammals, we combined recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors with miRNA 'tough decoys' (TuDs) to inhibit specific miRNAs. Intravenous injection of rAAV9 expressing anti-miR-122 or anti-let-7 TuDs depleted the corresponding miRNA and increased its mRNA targets. rAAV producing anti-miR-122 TuD but not anti-let-7 TuD reduced serum cholesterol by >30% for 25 weeks in wild-type mice. High-throughput sequencing of liver miRNAs from the treated mice confirmed that the targeted miRNAs were depleted and revealed that TuDs induced miRNA tailing and trimming in vivo. rAAV-mediated miRNA inhibition thus provides a simple way to study miRNA function in adult mammals and a potential therapy for dyslipidemia and other diseases caused by miRNA deregulation.
Project description:Stem cell and gene therapies are being pursued as strategies for repairing damaged cardiac tissue following myocardial infarction in an attempt to prevent heart failure. The chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) and its ligand, CXCL12, play a critical role in stem cell recruitment post-acute myocardial infarction. Whereas progenitor cell migration via the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis is well characterized, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of CXCR4 mediated modulation of cardiac hypertrophy and failure. We used gene therapy to test the effects of CXCR4 gene delivery on adverse ventricular remodeling due to pressure overload. We assessed the effect of cardiac overexpression of CXCR4 during trans-aortic constriction (TAC) using a cardiotropic adeno-associated viral vector (AAV9) carrying the CXCR4 gene. Cardiac overexpression of CXCR4 in mice with pressure overload prevented ventricular remodeling, preserved capillary density and maintained function as determined by echocardiography and in vivo hemodynamics. In isolated adult rat cardiac myocytes, CXCL12 treatment prevented isoproterenol induced hypertrophy and interrupted the calcineurin/NFAT pathway. Finally, a complex involving the L-type calcium channel, ?2-adrenoceptor, and CXCR4 (Cav1.2/?2AR/CXCR4) was identified in healthy cardiac myocytes and was shown to dissociate as a consequence of heart failure. CXCR4 administered to the heart via gene transfer prevents pressure overload induced heart failure. The identification of CXCR4 participation in a Cav1.2-?2AR regulatory complex provides further insight into the mechanism by which CXCR4 modulates calcium homeostasis and chronic pressure overload responses in the cardiac myocyte. Together these results suggest that AAV9.CXCR4 gene therapy is a potential therapeutic approach for congestive heart failure.
Project description:Small ubiquitin-like modifier type 1 (SUMO-1) has been shown to play a critical role in the dysfunction of the cardiac isoform of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA2a) pump in the setting of heart failure. In cardiac hypertrophy, the role of SUMO-1 has not been defined and our study's goals were to examine the effects of modulating SUMO-1 on the hypertrophic response both in vitro and in vivo and to examine whether oxidative stress (during cardiac hypertrophy) is abrogated by SUMO-1 gene transfer.In mice undergoing transverse aortic constriction (TAC), SUMO-1 levels increased slightly during the compensated stage of hypertrophy and then dropped sharply during the transition to heart failure. In isolated cardiomyocytes, SUMO-1 gene transfer inhibited the hypertrophic response in the presence of phenylephrine. Adeno-associated vector type 9 (AAV9) gene transfer of SUMO-1 prevented the heart from undergoing hypertrophy after TAC and prevented the development of left ventricular dysfunction. Furthermore, SUMO-1 gene transfer blocked the negative effects of H2O2 on SERCA2a activity in cardiac myocytes, while in vivo indices of oxidative stress were decreased by SUMO-1 in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.The results of this study indicate that post-translational modifications of SERCA2a caused by the toxic environment of the hypertrophied and failing myocardium can be prevented by SUMO-1. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21, 1986-2001.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The targeting of Ca(2+) cycling has emerged as a potential therapy for the treatment of severe heart failure. These approaches include gene therapy directed at overexpressing sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) ATPase, or ablation of phospholamban (PLN) and associated protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) protein complexes. We previously reported that PP1?, one of the PP1 catalytic subunits, predominantly suppresses Ca(2+) uptake in the SR among the three PP1 isoforms, thereby contributing to Ca(2+) downregulation in failing hearts. In the present study, we investigated whether heart-failure-inducible PP1?-inhibition by adeno-associated viral-9 (AAV9) vector mediated gene therapy is beneficial for preventing disease progression in genetic cardiomyopathic mice. METHODS: We created an adeno-associated virus 9 (AAV9) vector encoding PP1? short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) or negative control (NC) shRNA. A heart failure inducible gene expression system was employed using the B-type natriuretic protein (BNP) promoter conjugated to emerald-green fluorescence protein (EmGFP) and the shRNA sequence. AAV9 vectors (AAV9-BNP-EmGFP-PP1?shRNA and AAV9-BNP-EmGFP-NCshRNA) were injected into the tail vein (2×10(11) GC/mouse) of muscle LIM protein deficient mice (MLPKO), followed by serial analysis of echocardiography, hemodynamic measurement, biochemical and histological analysis at 3 months. RESULTS: In the MLPKO mice, BNP promoter activity was shown to be increased by detecting both EmGFP expression and the induced reduction of PP1? by 25% in the myocardium. Inducible PP1?shRNA delivery preferentially ameliorated left ventricular diastolic function and mitigated adverse ventricular remodeling. PLN phosphorylation was significantly augmented in the AAV9-BNP-EmGFP-PP1?shRNA injected hearts compared with the AAV9-BNP-EmGFP-NCshRNA group. Furthermore, BNP production was reduced, and cardiac interstitial fibrosis was abrogated at 3 months. CONCLUSION: Heart failure-inducible molecular targeting of PP1? has potential as a novel therapeutic strategy for heart failure.