Journal Article

Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase facilitates the organization of cardiomyocytes during mid-gestation through modulating protein geranylgeranylation in mouse heart

Zhong Chen, Na Xu, Danyang Chong, Shan Guan, Chen Jiang, Zhongzhou Yang and Chaojun Li

in Cardiovascular Research

Published on behalf of European Society of Cardiology

Volume 114, issue 7, pages 965-978
Published in print June 2018 | ISSN: 0008-6363
Published online February 2018 | e-ISSN: 1755-3245 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvy042
Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase facilitates the organization of cardiomyocytes during mid-gestation through modulating protein geranylgeranylation in mouse heart

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Abstract

Aims

With the maturation of placenta, ventricular chamber maturation enhances cardiac contractile performance to adapt to the metabolic demand of growing embryo. The organization of cardiomyocytes is required for the morphological remodelling in ventricular chamber maturation. However, the mechanism governing the establishment of cardiac cytoarchitecture during ventricular chamber maturation is still poorly studied.

Methods and results

Here, we found that the expression of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase (Ggpps), which mediates protein geranylgeranylation, increased in the mouse heart after the onset of placental function. By using different Cre lines, we found that the cardiac inactivation of Ggpps by the Nkx2.5Cre/+ line disrupted protein geranylgeranylation as early as E9.5, which affected ventricular chamber maturation and resulted in mid-gestational embryonic lethality. In contrast, α-SMA-Cre line mediated the disruption of protein geranylgeranylation from E13.5 did not affect embryonic heart development. Further analysis of Nkx2.5Cre/+; Ggppsfl/fl mutants showed that the loss of Ggpps caused disorganized cardiac cytoarchitecture as early as E11.5 by disturbing cell–cell junctions. Ggpps inactivation decreased Rho GTPase geranylgeranylation and their activity, which might account for the disruption of cell–cell junctions. Moreover, elevating the protein geranylgeranylation by supplement of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) could recover the Ggpps deficient induced defects of cytoarchitecture and cell–cell junctions in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusion

Our present study demonstrates that GGPPS-mediated protein geranylgeranylation plays an indispensable role in the ventricular chamber maturation and acts as a stage-specific signal to regulate the establishment of cardiac cytoarchitecture during mid-gestation.

Keywords: Ggpps; Protein geranylgeranylation; Ventricular chamber maturation; Cell–cell junctions; Samll GTPase

Journal Article.  7182 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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