Myocardial injury in mammals leads to heart failure through pathological cardiac remodelling that includes hypertrophy, fibrosis and ventricular dilatation. Central to this is inability of the mammalian cardiomyocyte to self-renew due to entering a quiescent state after birth. Modulation of the cardiomyocyte cell-cycle after injury is therefore a target mechanism to limit damage and potentiate repair and regeneration. Here we show that cardiomyocyte specific over-expression of the nuclear-matrix associated DNA replication protein, CIZ1, extends their window of proliferation during cardiac development, delaying onset of terminal differentiation without compromising function. CIZ1 expressing hearts are enlarged, but the cardiomyocytes are smaller with an overall increase in number, correlating with increased DNA replication after birth and retention of an increased proportion of mono-nucleated cardiomyocytes into adulthood. Furthermore, these CIZ1 induced changes in the heart reduce the impact of myocardial injury, identifying CIZ1 as a putative therapeutic target for cardiac repair
- Received August 31, 2016.
- Accepted November 25, 2016.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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