Doctor of Philosophy, Peking University (2010)
Joseph Wu, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Drug-induced arrhythmia is one of the most common causes of drug development failure and withdrawal from market. This study tested whether human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) combined with a low-impedance microelectrode array (MEA) system could improve on industry-standard preclinical cardiotoxicity screening methods, identify the effects of well-characterized drugs, and elucidate underlying risk factors for drug-induced arrhythmia. hiPSC-CMs may be advantageous over immortalized cell lines because they possess similar functional characteristics as primary human cardiomyocytes and can be generated in unlimited quantities.Pharmacological responses of beating embryoid bodies exposed to a comprehensive panel of drugs at 65 to 95 days postinduction were determined. Responses of hiPSC-CMs to drugs were qualitatively and quantitatively consistent with the reported drug effects in literature. Torsadogenic hERG blockers, such as sotalol and quinidine, produced statistically and physiologically significant effects, consistent with patch-clamp studies, on human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes hESC-CMs. False-negative and false-positive hERG blockers were identified accurately. Consistent with published studies using animal models, early afterdepolarizations and ectopic beats were observed in 33% and 40% of embryoid bodies treated with sotalol and quinidine, respectively, compared with negligible early afterdepolarizations and ectopic beats in untreated controls.We found that drug-induced arrhythmias can be recapitulated in hiPSC-CMs and documented with low impedance MEA. Our data indicate that the MEA/hiPSC-CM assay is a sensitive, robust, and efficient platform for testing drug effectiveness and for arrhythmia screening. This system may hold great potential for reducing drug development costs and may provide significant advantages over current industry standard assays that use immortalized cell lines or animal models.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.000570
View details for PubMedID 24030418
In the brain and heart, auxiliary Kv channel-interacting proteins (KChIPs) co-assemble with pore-forming Kv4 ?-subunits to form a native K(+) channel complex and regulate the expression and gating properties of Kv4 currents. Among the KChIP1-4 members, KChIP4a exhibits a unique N terminus that is known to suppress Kv4 function, but the underlying mechanism of Kv4 inhibition remains unknown. Using a combination of confocal imaging, surface biotinylation, and electrophysiological recordings, we identified a novel endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention motif, consisting of six hydrophobic and aliphatic residues, 12-17 (LIVIVL), within the KChIP4a N-terminal KID, that functions to reduce surface expression of Kv4-KChIP complexes. This ER retention capacity is transferable and depends on its flanking location. In addition, adjacent to the ER retention motif, the residues 19-21 (VKL motif) directly promote closed-state inactivation of Kv4.3, thus leading to an inhibition of channel current. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that KChIP4a suppresses A-type Kv4 current via ER retention and enhancement of Kv4 closed-state inactivation.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M113.466052
View details for PubMedID 23576435
Cardiotoxicity is a leading cause for drug attrition during pharmaceutical development and has resulted in numerous preventable patient deaths. Incidents of adverse cardiac drug reactions are more common in patients with preexisting heart disease than the general population. Here we generated a library of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) from patients with various hereditary cardiac disorders to model differences in cardiac drug toxicity susceptibility for patients of different genetic backgrounds.Action potential duration and drug-induced arrhythmia were measured at the single cell level in hiPSC-CMs derived from healthy subjects and patients with hereditary long QT syndrome, familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and familial dilated cardiomyopathy. Disease phenotypes were verified in long QT syndrome, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy hiPSC-CMs by immunostaining and single cell patch clamp. Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) and the human ether-a-go-go-related gene expressing human embryonic kidney cells were used as controls. Single cell PCR confirmed expression of all cardiac ion channels in patient-specific hiPSC-CMs as well as hESC-CMs, but not in human embryonic kidney cells. Disease-specific hiPSC-CMs demonstrated increased susceptibility to known cardiotoxic drugs as measured by action potential duration and quantification of drug-induced arrhythmias such as early afterdepolarizations and delayed afterdepolarizations.We have recapitulated drug-induced cardiotoxicity profiles for healthy subjects, long QT syndrome, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy patients at the single cell level for the first time. Our data indicate that healthy and diseased individuals exhibit different susceptibilities to cardiotoxic drugs and that use of disease-specific hiPSC-CMs may predict adverse drug responses more accurately than the standard human ether-a-go-go-related gene test or healthy control hiPSC-CM/hESC-CM screening assays.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.001883
View details for PubMedID 23519760
Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a prevalent hereditary cardiac disorder linked to arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. While the causes of HCM have been identified as genetic mutations in the cardiac sarcomere, the pathways by which sarcomeric mutations engender myocyte hypertrophy and electrophysiological abnormalities are not understood. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying HCM development, we generated patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) from a ten-member family cohort carrying a hereditary HCM missense mutation (Arg663His) in the MYH7 gene. Diseased iPSC-CMs recapitulated numerous aspects of the HCM phenotype including cellular enlargement and contractile arrhythmia at the single-cell level. Calcium (Ca(2+)) imaging indicated dysregulation of Ca(2+) cycling and elevation in intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) are central mechanisms for disease pathogenesis. Pharmacological restoration of Ca(2+) homeostasis prevented development of hypertrophy and electrophysiological irregularities. We anticipate that these findings will help elucidate the mechanisms underlying HCM development and identify novel therapies for the disease.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stem.2012.10.010
View details for Web of Science ID 000313839500014
View details for PubMedID 23290139
Molecular imaging has proven to be a vital tool in the characterization of stem cell behavior in vivo. However, the integration of reporter genes has typically relied on random integration, a method that is associated with unwanted insertional mutagenesis and positional effects on transgene expression.To address this barrier, we used genome editing with zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology to integrate reporter genes into a safe harbor gene locus (PPP1R12C, also known as AAVS1) in the genome of human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells for molecular imaging.We used ZFN technology to integrate a construct containing monomeric red fluorescent protein, firefly luciferase, and herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase reporter genes driven by a constitutive ubiquitin promoter into a safe harbor locus for fluorescence imaging, bioluminescence imaging, and positron emission tomography imaging, respectively. High efficiency of ZFN-mediated targeted integration was achieved in both human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. ZFN-edited cells maintained both pluripotency and long-term reporter gene expression. Functionally, we successfully tracked the survival of ZFN-edited human embryonic stem cells and their differentiated cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells in murine models, demonstrating the use of ZFN-edited cells for preclinical studies in regenerative medicine.Our study demonstrates a novel application of ZFN technology to the targeted genetic engineering of human pluripotent stem cells and their progeny for molecular imaging in vitro and in vivo.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.274969
View details for Web of Science ID 000311994700042
View details for PubMedID 22967807
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great hopes for therapeutic application in various diseases. Although ongoing research is dedicated to achieving clinical translation of iPSCs, further understanding of the mechanisms that underlie complex pathogenic conditions is required. Compared with other classical models for studying diseases, iPSCs provide considerable advantages. A newly emerging application of iPSCs is in vitro disease modeling, which can significantly improve the never-ending search for new pharmacological cures. Here, we will discuss current efforts to create iPSC-dependent patient-specific disease models. Furthermore, we will review the use of iPSCs for development and testing of new therapeutic agents and the implications for high-throughput drug screening.
View details for DOI 10.1097/FJC.0b013e318247f642
View details for Web of Science ID 000309977900012
View details for PubMedID 22240913
KChIP4a shows a high homology with other members of the family of Kv channel-interacting proteins (KChIPs) in the conserved C-terminal core region, but exhibits a unique modulation of Kv4 channel gating and surface expression. Unlike KChIP1, the KChIP4 splice variant KChIP4a has been shown to inhibit surface expression and function as a suppressor of channel inactivation of Kv4. In this study, we sought to determine whether the multitasking KChIP4a modulates Kv4 function in a clamping fashion similar to that shown by KChIP1. Injection of Kv4.3 T1 zinc mutants into Xenopus oocytes resulted in the nonfunctional expression of Kv4.3 channels. Coexpression of Kv4.3 zinc mutants with WT KChIP4a gave rise to the functional expression of Kv4.3 current. Oocyte surface labeling results confirm the correlation between functional rescue and enhanced surface expression of zinc mutant proteins. Chimeric mutations that replace the Kv4.3 N-terminus with N-terminal KChIP4a or N-terminal deletion of KChIP4a further demonstrate that the functional rescue of Kv4.3 channel tetramerization mutants depends on the KChIP4a core region, but not its N-terminus. Structure-guided mutation of two critical residues of core KChIP4a attenuated functional rescue and tetrameric assembly. Moreover, size exclusion chromatography combined with fast protein liquid chromatography showed that KChIP4a can drive zinc mutant monomers to assemble as tetramers. Taken together, our results show that KChIP4a can rescue the function of tetramerization-defective Kv4 monomers. Therefore, we propose that core KChIP4a functions to promote tetrameric assembly and enhance surface expression of Kv4 channels by a clamping action, whereas its N-terminus inhibits surface expression of Kv4 by a mechanism that remains elusive.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.03.044
View details for Web of Science ID 000278913500015
View details for PubMedID 20550899
Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity has been implicated in the etiology of stroke, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases. NMDA receptors (NMDARs) play a pivotal role in excitotoxic injury; however, clinical trials testing NMDAR antagonists as neuroprotectants have been discouraging. The development of novel neuroprotectant molecules is being vigorously pursued. Here, we report that downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM) significantly inhibits surface expression of NMDARs and NMDAR-mediated current. Overexpression of DREAM showed neuroprotection against excitotoxic neuronal injury, whereas knockdown of DREAM enhanced NMDA-induced toxicity. DREAM could directly bind to the C0 domain of the NR1 subunit. Although DREAM contains multiple binding sites for the NR1 subunit, residues 21-40 of the N terminus are the main binding site for the NR1 subunit. Thus, 21-40 residues might relieve the autoinhibition conferred by residues 1-50 and derepress the DREAM core domain by a competitive mechanism. Intriguingly, the cell-permeable TAT-21-40 peptide, constructed according to the critical binding site of DREAM to the NR1 subunit, inhibits NMDAR-mediated currents in primary cultured hippocampal neurons and has a neuroprotective effect on in vitro neuronal excitotoxic injury and in vivo ischemic brain damage. Moreover, both pretreatment and posttreatment of TAT-21-40 is effective against excitotoxicity. In summary, this work reveals a novel, negative regulator of NMDARs and provides an attractive candidate for the treatment of excitotoxicity-related disease.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1312-10.2010
View details for Web of Science ID 000278288200015
View details for PubMedID 20519532
Dynamic inactivation in Kv4 A-type K(+) current plays a critical role in regulating neuronal excitability by shaping action potential waveform and duration. Multifunctional auxiliary KChIP1-4 subunits, which share a high homology in their C-terminal core regions, exhibit distinctive modulation of inactivation and surface expression of pore-forming Kv4 subunits. However, the structural differences that underlie the functional diversity of Kv channel-interacting proteins (KChIPs) remain undetermined. Here we have described the crystal structure of KChIP4a at 3.0A resolution, which shows distinct N-terminal alpha-helices that differentiate it from other KChIPs. Biochemical experiments showed that competitive binding of the Kv4.3 N-terminal peptide to the hydrophobic groove of the core of KChIP4a causes the release of the KChIP4a N terminus that suppresses the inactivation of Kv4.3 channels. Electrophysiology experiments confirmed that the first N-terminal alpha-helix peptide (residues 1-34) of KChIP4a, either by itself or fused to N-terminal truncated Kv4.3, can confer slow inactivation. We propose that N-terminal binding of Kv4.3 to the core of KChIP4a mobilizes the KChIP4a N terminus, which serves as the slow inactivation gate.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M807704200
View details for Web of Science ID 000263416600026
View details for PubMedID 19109250
The cytoplamsic auxiliary KChIPs modulate surface expression and gating properties of Kv4 channels. Recent co-crystal structure of Kv4.3 N-terminus and KChIP1 reveals a clamping action of the complex in which a single KChIP1 molecule laterally binds two neighboring Kv4.3 N-termini at different locations, thus forming two contact interfaces involved in the protein-protein interaction. In the second interface, it functions to stabilize the tetrameric assembly, but the role it plays in channel trafficking remains elusive. In this study, we examined the effects of KChIP1 on Kv4 protein trafficking in COS-7 cells expressing EGFP-tagged Kv4.3 channels using confocal microscopy. Mutations either in KChIP1 (KChIP1 L39E-Y57A-K61A) or Kv4.3 (Kv4.3 E70A-F73E) that disrupt the protein-protein interaction within the second interface can reduce surface expression of Kv4 channel proteins. Kv4.3 C110A, the Zn2+ binding site mutation in T1 domain, that disrupts the tetrameric assembly of the channels can be rescued by WT KChIP1, but not the KChIP1 triple mutant. These results were further confirmed by whole cell current recordings in oocytes. Our findings show that key residues of second interface involved in stabilizing tetrameric assembly can regulate the channel trafficking, indicating an intrinsic link between tetrameric assembly and channel trafficking. The results also suggest that formation of octameric Kv4 and KChIP complex by KChIPs clamping takes place before their trafficking to final destination on the cell surface.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11064-008-9688-7
View details for Web of Science ID 000259190900022
View details for PubMedID 18401705