The E2F6 repressor activates gene expression in myocardium resulting in dilated cardiomyopathy

Bart Westendorp, Jennifer L. Major, Moni Nader, Maysoon Salih, Frans H.H. Leenen, Balwant S. Tuana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The E2F/Rb pathway regulates cardiac growth and development and holds great potential as a therapeutic target. The E2F6 repressor is a unique E2F member that acts independently of pocket proteins. Forced expression of E2F6 in mouse myocardium induced heart failure and mortality, with severity of symptoms correlating to E2F6 levels. Echocardiography demonstrated a 37% increase (P<0.05) in left ventricular end-diastolic diameter and reduced ejection fraction (<40%, P<0.05) in young transgenic (Tg) mice. Microarray and qPCR analysis revealed a paradoxical increase in E2F-responsive genes, which regulate the cell cycle, without changes in cardiomyocyte cell number or size in Tg mice. Young adult Tg mice displayed a 75% (P<0.01) decrease in gap junction protein connexin-43, resulting in abnormal electrocardiogram including a 24% (P<0.05) increase in PR interval. Further, mir-206, which targets connexin-43, was up-regulated 10-fold (P<0.05) in Tg myocardium. The mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, which regulates the levels of miR-206 and connexin-43, was activated in Tg hearts. Thus, deregulated E2F6 levels evoked abnormal gene expression at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, leading to cardiac remodeling and dilated cardiomyopathy. The data highlight an unprecedented role for the strict regulation of the E2F pathway in normal postnatal cardiac function.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2569-2579
Number of pages11
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Connexin-43
  • Micro-RNA
  • Transcription factors
  • Transgenic mice


Dive into the research topics of 'The E2F6 repressor activates gene expression in myocardium resulting in dilated cardiomyopathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this