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J Cell Biochem. 2011 Jul;112(7):1880-9. doi: 10.1002/jcb.23108.

β-Catenin mediates cyclic strain-stimulated cardiomyogenesis in mouse embryonic stem cells through ROS-dependent and integrin-mediated PI3K/Akt pathways.

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Department of Maxillofacial Biomedical Engineering and Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, South Korea.


Wnt/β-catenin signaling regulates various cellular events involved in the proliferation and differentiation and these events are affected sensitively by applying to mechanical stimuli. However, the mechanisms by which mechanical force stimulates cardiomyogenesis are not extensively explored. In this study we investigated the cellular mechanisms by which β-catenin signaling regulates cardiac differentiation of strain-subjected embryonic stem (ES) cells. The application of cells to cyclic strain increased beating cardiomyocyte foci with the attendant increases of Cx 43 and Nkx 2.5 proteins. Anti-oxidants such as vitamin C or N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) blocked the strain-mediated increases of Cx 43, Nkx 2.5, and α5/β1 integrins. These anti-oxidants also suppressed the activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt in cyclic strain-subjected cells. Western blot analysis revealed that PI3K is a critical downstream effector of β1 integrin signaling and mediates Cx 43 and Nkx 2.5 expression in cyclic strain-applied ES cells. Cyclic strain increased the expression of β-catenin and stimulated its nuclear translocation from the cytosol, which was prevented by anti-oxidant treatment. In addition, the application to cyclic strain increased mRNA expression of β-catenin target genes, Axin2 and c-myc, as well as the phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β. Furthermore, the blockage of β-catenin by its specific siRNA transfection diminished the cellular levels of Cx 43 and Nkx 2.5 proteins and the number of beating cardiomyocyte foci. Collectively, these results suggest that β-catenin-mediated signaling is required for cyclic strain-stimulated cardiomyogenesis through ROS-dependent and integrin-mediated PI3K-Akt signaling cascades.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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