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Cardiovasc Pathol. 2018 May - Jun;34:50-57. doi: 10.1016/j.carpath.2018.03.002. Epub 2018 Mar 24.

Cardiomyocytes have mosaic patterns of protein expression.

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Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
McKusick - Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address:


Skeletal myocytes have well-established fast and slow twitch fibers with unique gene and protein specific expression patterns. By immunohistochemical staining, these show a mosaic pattern across myocytes. We hypothesized cardiac myocytes may behave similarly where some proteins are differentially expressed between mature cardiomyocytes. We utilized the tool HPASubC on over 52,000 cardiac images of the Human Protein Atlas to identify differential protein expression patterns by immunohistochemistry across the cardiomyocytes. We matched identified proteins to open chromatin and gene expression data. We identified 143 putative proteins with mosaic patterns of expression across the cardiomyocytes. We validated four of these proteins (MYL3, MYL4, PAM, and MYOM1) and demonstrated unique atrial or ventricular patterns of expression for each. Acetylation of histone H3K27 at the promoters of these four genes were consistent with the atrial/ventricular expression patterns. Despite the generally accepted homogeneity of cardiomyocytes, a small subset of proteins varies between cardiomyocytes in a mosaic pattern. This fundamental process has been previously uncharacterized. These changes may inform on different functional and disease-related activities of proteins in individual cardiomyocytes.


Cardiomyocyte; Expression; Myomesin; Myosin light chain; Proteomics

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