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2020/10/13
Gap junction protein beta 4 plays an important role in cardiac function in humans, rodents, and zebrafish

2020/05/28
A novel orexin antagonist from a natural plant was discovered using zebrafish behavioural analysis

2019/10/15
C3orf70 Is Involved in Neural and Neurobehavioral Development

2019/09/22
Generation of a Triple-Transgenic Zebrafish Line for Assessment of Developmental Neurotoxicity during Neuronal Differentiation

2019/07/17
Aging-associated microstructural deterioration of vertebra in zebrafish

tGap junction protein beta 4 plays an important role in cardiac function in humans, rodents, and zebrafish

                     
2020/10/13

PLoS One. 2020 Oct 13;15(10):e0240129.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240129. eCollection 2020.

Ryuji Okamoto, Itaru Goto, Yuhei Nishimura, Issei Kobayashi, Ryotaro Hashizume, Yoshinori Yoshida, Rie Ito, Yuhko Kobayashi, Misato Nishikawa, Yusuf Ali, Shunsuke Saito, Toshio Tanaka, Yoshiki Sawa, Masaaki Ito, Kaoru Dohi

Abstract
Aims: GJB4 encodes a transmembrane connexin protein (Cx30.3) that is a component of gap junctions. This study investigated whether GJB4 plays an important role in human heart disease and function.

Methods and results: We examined a patient and her older brother who both presented with complicated severe hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and whose parents are healthy married cousins. The gene exome analysis showed 340 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that caused amino acid changes for which the patient was homozygous and both parents were heterozygous. After excluding all known common (>10%) SNP gene mutations, the gene for GJB4 was the only identified gene that is possibly associated with cardiac muscle. The resultant E204A substitution exists in the 4th transmembrane domain. GJB4-E204A impaired the binding with gap junction protein A1 (GJA1) compared with GJB4-WT. The expression of GJB4 was induced in rat disease models of left and right ventricle hypertrophy and mouse disease models of adriamycin-induced cardiomyopathy and myocardial infarction, while it was not detected at all in control. An immunohistochemical study was performed for autopsied human hearts and the explanted heart of the patient. GJB4 was expressed and colocalized with GJA1 in intercalated discs in human diseased hearts, which was extensively enhanced in the explanted heart of the patient. The abnormal expression and localization of GJB4 were observed in beating spheres of patient's induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (CMs). We generated knockout zebrafish of GJB4 by CRISPR/Cas9 and the endodiastolic volume and the ventricular ejection fraction were significantly lower in GJB4-deficient than in wild-type zebrafish at five days post-fertilization.

Conclusions: These results indicate both that GJB4 is defined as a new connexin in diseased hearts, of which mutation can cause a familial form of HCM, and that GJB4 may be a new target for the treatment of cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction.

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PLOS ONE