A Heterozygous Mutation in Cardiac Troponin T Promotes Ca2+ Dysregulation and Adult Cardiomyopathy in Zebrafish

Sarah M Kamel, Charlotte D Koopman, Fabian Kruse, Sven Willekers, Sonja Chocron, Jeroen Bakkers

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Cardiomyopathies are a group of heterogeneous diseases that affect the muscles of the heart, leading to early morbidity and mortality in young and adults. Genetic forms of cardiomyopathy are caused predominantly by mutations in structural components of the cardiomyocyte sarcomeres, the contractile units of the heart, which includes cardiac Troponin T (TnT). Here, we generated mutations with CRISPR/Cas9 technology in the zebrafish tnnt2a gene, encoding cardiac TnT, at a mutational "hotspot" site to establish a zebrafish model for genetic cardiomyopathies. We found that a heterozygous tnnt2a mutation deleting Arginine at position 94 and Lysine at position 95 of TnT causes progressive cardiac structural changes resulting in heart failure. The cardiac remodeling is presented by an enlarged atrium, decreased ventricle size, increased myocardial stress as well as increased fibrosis. As early as five days post fertilization, larvae carrying the TnT RK94del mutation display diastolic dysfunction and impaired calcium dynamics related to increased Ca2+ sensitivity. In conclusion, adult zebrafish with a heterozygous TnT-RK94del mutation develop cardiomyopathy as seen in patients with TnT mutations and therefore represent a promising model to study disease mechanisms and to screen for putative therapeutic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2021

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