DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.16957 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 16957: PRKAG2 Directly Interacts With Myosin Heavy Chains to Modulate Myocyte Electrical and Morphological Changes in Cardiac Hypertrophy

Wandi Zhu, Kusumika Saha, Micah Burch, Ashmita KC, Max Homilius, Rachelle Victorio, Dajun Quan, Alexander Williams, Chiara Evans, Calum Macrae
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: Mutations in the PRKAG2 gene cause a complex myocardial disorder characterized by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and conduction disturbances. While prior studies associated PRKAG2 -linked hypertrophy with increased glycogen storage, many HCM phenotypes in the disorder remain unexplained by this effect alone. We aimed to uncover the molecular mechanisms by which PRKAG2 mutations induce myocyte hypertrophy and electrical changes during cardiac development.

Methods: We created transgenic zebrafish expressing WT (Tg WT ) and pathological mutant (Tg R299Q ) murine Prkag2 cDNA under a myocardium-specific promoter. Using these models, we studied the impact of Prkag2 variant on myocyte electrical activity, metabolism, and cytoarchitecture across cardiogenesis and in mature hearts.

Results: Tg R299Q adult fish showed hypertrophic cardiomyocytes, swollen mitochondria, and shortened sarcomere length compared to Tg WT and WT, mirroring human HCM phenotypes. The glycogen content was elevated in adult hearts but not during early cardiogenesis. Despite the absence of glycogen accumulation at 6-day post fertilization, Tg R299Q hearts showed electrical abnormalities, including a reduced conduction velocity, decreased Ca 2+ amplitude, and prolonged action potential durations in both atria and ventricles, compared to Tg WT and WT. Co-immunoprecipitation and proximity ligation assay revealed physical interactions between Prkag2 and myosin heavy chain (MYH), with the R299Q variant enhancing this interaction and altering the subcellular localization of Prkag2 from mitochondria to sarcomeres. Knockdown of the fish homolog of MYH7 ( vmhcl ) restored the early electrical disturbances caused by Tg R299Q . This abnormal MYH-Prkag2 interaction disturbed mitochondria and sarcomere organization contributing to altered myocyte cytoarchitecture observed in Tg R299Q .

Conclusions: Mutant PRKAG2 altered cardiac excitability and Ca 2+ handling during embryogenesis, preceding glycogen accumulation. Enhanced binding between Prkag2 and MYHs contributed to these early changes. Our study revealed a novel link between sarcomere proteins and metabolic regulators in cardiac hypertrophy, suggesting a new therapeutic avenue for treating HCM.

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