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Fundamental research

13 - 02 - 2018

Restorative Cardiac Therapy: How Does the Heart Build itself?

The Asb2a protein, which is involved in the degradation of certain proteins, is an essential player in the development of the heart in the embryo.
The development of the heart in the embryo requires the transformation of cardiac progenitor cells into cardiomyocytes capable of contracting spontaneously. Cardiomyocytes are complex muscle cells that contain contractile myofibrils. Their differenciation is still largely unknown.




The Asb2a protein was discovered in leukemia studies, as being involved in the breakdown of a type of protein called filamines. Filamines play a role in the stabilization of cellular structures, particularly in muscle cells. Filamin A is also involved in the formation of heart valves.
The work that has just been published was performed in vitro on human cells and in vivo in transgenic mice lacking the Asb2a protein. It shows that the degradation of filamin A by Asb2a is essential for the construction of the cardiomyocytes’ skeleton. In its absence, the myofibrils of the cardiomyocytes are disorganized and the heart beats are ineffective and cause the death of the embryos.





The Asb2a-filamine axis must thus be considered in the search for regenerative therapies of the myocardium in case of infarction or heart failure, for example.