Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM) is a genetic disorder characterized by ventricular arrhythmias, contractile dysfunctions and fibro-adipose replacement of myocardium. Cardiac mesenchymal stromal cells (CMSCs) participate in disease pathogenesis by differentiating towards adipocytes and myofibroblasts. Some altered pathways in ACM are known, but many are yet to be discovered. We aimed to enrich the understanding of ACM pathogenesis by comparing epigenetic and gene expression profiles of ACM-CMSCs with healthy control (HC)-CMSCs. Methylome analysis identified 74 differentially methylated nucleotides, most of them located on the mitochondrial genome. Transcriptome analysis revealed 327 genes that were more expressed and 202 genes that were less expressed in ACM- vs. HC-CMSCs. Among these, genes implicated in mitochondrial respiration and in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition were more expressed, and cell cycle genes were less expressed in ACM- vs. HC-CMSCs. Through enrichment and gene network analyses, we identified differentially regulated pathways, some of which never associated with ACM, including mitochondrial functioning and chromatin organization, both in line with methylome results. Functional validations confirmed that ACM-CMSCs exhibited higher amounts of active mitochondria and ROS production, a lower proliferation rate and a more pronounced epicardial-to-mesenchymal transition compared to the controls. In conclusion, ACM-CMSC-omics revealed some additional altered molecular pathways, relevant in disease pathogenesis, which may constitute novel targets for specific therapies.
Reference: Omics Analyses of Stromal Cells from ACM Patients Reveal Alterations in Chromatin Organization and Mitochondrial Homeostasis.
Lippi M, Maione AS, Chiesa M, Perrucci GL, Iengo L, Sattin T, Cencioni C, Savoia M, Zeiher AM, Tundo F, Tondo C, Pompilio G, Sommariva E. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jun 12;24(12):10017.