Reprogramming heart failure

Two groups at the University of California, San Francisco and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have separately shown that delivering transcription factors directly to the heart reprogrammed cardiac fibroblasts and improved heart function in mouse models of post-myocardial infarction heart failure.1,2 Because the approach acts directly on endogenous cardiac cells, it could avoid the problems associated with transplanting exogenous cells to improve heart function.

LoneStar Heart Inc. has licensed the UT Southwestern technology.

In 2010, the UCSF lab led by Deepak Srivastava had shown in vitro that retrovirus-mediated expression of three transcription factors-GATA binding protein 4 (Gata4), myocyte enhancer factor 2C (Mef2c) and T-box 5 (Tbx5)-reprogrammed mouse cardiac fibroblasts into cells with a cardiomyocyte phenotype.3 They also showed that it was

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