Cardiac alterations (hypertrophic/dilated cardiomyopathy, and rhythm alterations) are one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity in propionic acidemia (PA), caused by the deficiency of the mitochondrial enzyme propionyl-CoA carboxylase (PCC), involved in the catabolism of branched-chain amino acids, cholesterol, and odd-chain fatty acids. Impaired mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation has been documented in heart biopsies of PA patients, as well as in the hypomorphic Pcca−/−(A138T) mouse model, in the latter correlating with increased oxidative damage and elevated expression of cardiac dysfunction biomarkers atrial and brain natriuretic peptides (ANP and BNP) and beta-myosin heavy chain (β-MHC). Here we characterize the cardiac phenotype in the PA mouse model by histological and echocardiography studies and identify a series of upregulated cardiac-enriched microRNAs (miRNAs) in the PA mouse heart, some of them also altered as circulating miRNAs in PA patients’ plasma samples. In PA mice hearts, we show alterations in signaling pathways regulated by the identified miRNAs, which could be contributing to cardiac remodeling and dysfunction; notably, an activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and a decrease in autophagy, which are reverted by rapamycin treatment. In vitro studies in HL-1 cardiomyocytes indicate that propionate, the major toxic metabolite accumulating in the disease, triggers the increase in expression levels of miRNAs, BNP, and β-MHC, concomitant with an increase in reactive oxygen species. Our results highlight miRNAs and signaling alterations in the PCC-deficient heart which may contribute to the development of PA-associated cardiomyopathy and provide a basis to identify new targets for therapeutic intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Biochemistry, medical
- Physiology (medical)