Therapeutic potential of AAV9-S15D-RLC gene delivery in humanized MYL2 mouse model of HCM.


Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, 33136, USA. [Email]


Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by ventricular hypertrophy, myofibrillar disarray, and fibrosis, and is primarily caused by mutations in sarcomeric genes. With no definitive cure for HCM, there is an urgent need for the development of novel preventive and reparative therapies. This study is focused on aspartic acid-to-valine (D166V) mutation in the myosin regulatory light chain, RLC (MYL2 gene), associated with a malignant form of HCM. Since myosin RLC phosphorylation is critical for normal cardiac function, we aimed to exploit this post-translational modification via phosphomimetic-RLC gene therapy. We hypothesized that mimicking/modulating cardiac RLC phosphorylation in non-phosphorylatable D166V myocardium would improve heart function of HCM-D166V mice. Adeno-associated virus, serotype-9 (AAV9) was used to deliver phosphomimetic human RLC variant with serine-to-aspartic acid substitution at Ser15-RLC phosphorylation site (S15D-RLC) into the hearts of humanized HCM-D166V mice. Improvement of heart function was monitored by echocardiography, invasive hemodynamics (PV-loops) and muscle contractile mechanics. A significant increase in cardiac output and stroke work and a decrease in relaxation constant, Tau, shown to be prolonged in HCM mice, were observed in AAV- vs. PBS-injected HCM mice. Strain analysis showed enhanced myocardial longitudinal shortening in AAV-treated vs. control mice. In addition, increased maximal contractile force was observed in skinned papillary muscles from AAV-injected HCM hearts. Our data suggest that myosin RLC phosphorylation may have important translational implications for the treatment of RLC mutations-induced HCM and possibly play a role in other disease settings accompanied by depressed Ser15-RLC phosphorylation. KEY MESSAGES: HCM-D166V mice show decreased RLC phosphorylation and decompensated function. AAV9-S15D-RLC gene therapy in HCM-D166V mice, but not in WT-RLC, results in improved heart performance. Global longitudinal strain analysis shows enhanced contractility in AAV vs controls. Increased systolic and diastolic function is paralleled by higher contractile force. Phosphomimic S15D-RLC has a therapeutic potential for HCM.


Adeno-associated virus,D166V-mutation,In vivo rescue of function,Regulatory light chain (RLC),S15D-phosphorylation mimic,