Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


This review deals with the human adult cardiomyocyte proliferation as a potential source for heart repair after injury. The mechanism to regain the proliferative capacity of adult cardiomyocytes is a challenge. However, recent studies are promising in showing that the 'locked' cell cycle of adult cardiomyocytes could be released through modulation of cell cycle checkpoints. In support of this are the signaling pathways of Notch, Hippo, Wnt, Akt and Jak/Stat that facilitate or inhibit the transition at cell cycle checkpoints. Cyclins and cyclin dependant kinases (CDKs) facilitate this transition which in turn is regulated by inhibitory action of pocket protein e.g. p21, p27 and p57. Transcription factors e.g. E2F, GATA4, TBx20 up regulate Cyclin A, A2, D, E, and CDK4 as promoters of cell cycle and Meis-1 and HIF-1 alpha down regulate cyclin D and E to inhibit the cell cycle. Paracrine factors like Neuregulin-1, IGF-1 and Oncostatin M and Extracellular Matrix proteins like Agrin have been involved in cardiomyocyte proliferation and dedifferentiation processes. A molecular switch model is proposed that transforms the post mitotic cell into an actively dividing cell. This model shows how the cell cycle is regulated through on- and off switch mechanisms through interaction of transcription factors and signaling pathways with proteins of the cell cycle checkpoints. Signals triggered by injury may activate the right combination of the various pathways that can 'switch on' the proliferation signals leading to myocardial regeneration.


Cell Regeneration