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HomeDefenceU.S. Researchers Find Stem-Cell Derived Mechanism Addressing Regenerative Therapies for Heart Damage

U.S. Researchers Find Stem-Cell Derived Mechanism Addressing Regenerative Therapies for Heart Damage

A team led by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has identified an essential internal control mechanism that could lead to regenerative therapies for heart damage, the team announced on Tuesday.

The mechanism can promote the maturation of human stem cell-derived heart muscle cells, offering a deeper understanding of how heart muscle cells develop from their immature fetal stage to their mature adult form, according to the study, published this week in the journal Circulation.

The team identified an RNA splicing regulator named RBFox1, which was considerably more prevalent in adult heart cells than in newborns, based on a preclinical model.

The sharp rise in RBFox1 during the maturation of heart cells was also confirmed through analysis of existing single-cell data.

The findings could lead to new therapies for heart disease and cardiac damage, according to the team.

“This is the first piece of evidence suggesting that RNA splicing control plays a vital role in postnatal heart cell maturation,” said study lead Jijun Huang, who conducted this research during his postdoctoral training in anesthesiology at UCLA.

“While RBFox1 alone may not be sufficient to push mature fetal heart muscle cells all the way to fully matured adult cells, our findings uncover a new RNA-based internal network that can substantially drive this maturation process beyond other available approaches,” Huang said.

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