Adult heart size is determined predominantly by the cardiomyocyte number and size. The cardiomyocyte number is determined primarily in the embryonic and perinatal period, as adult cardiomyocyte proliferation is restricted in comparison to that seen during the perinatal period. Recent evidence has implicated the mammalian Hippo kinase pathway as being critical in cardiomyocyte proliferation. Though the transcription factor, Tead1, is the canonical downstream transcriptional factor of the hippo kinase pathway in cardiomyocytes, the specific role of Tead1 in cardiomyocyte proliferation in the perinatal period has not been determined. Here, we report the generation of a cardiomyocyte specific perinatal deletion of Tead1, using Myh6-Cre deletor mice (Tead1-cKO). Perinatal Tead1 deletion was lethal by postnatal day 9 in Tead1-cKO mice due to dilated cardiomyopathy. Tead1-deficient cardiomyocytes have significantly decreased proliferation during the immediate postnatal period, when proliferation rate is normally high. Deletion of Tead1 in HL-1 cardiac cell line confirmed that cell-autonomous Tead1 function is required for normal cardiomyocyte proliferation. This was secondary to significant decrease in levels of many proteins, in vivo, that normally promote cell cycle in cardiomyocytes. Taken together this demonstrates the non-redundant critical requirement for Tead1 in regulating cell cycle proteins and proliferation in cardiomyocytes in the perinatal heart.
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