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Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 11;9(1):1738. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39078-5.

Nkx2-5 Second Heart Field Target Gene Ccdc117 Regulates DNA Metabolism and Proliferation.

Author information

1
Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA.
2
Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA.
3
Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology Department, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA.
4
Bioengineering Department, Clemson University - MUSC, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA.
5
Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA. leekh@musc.edu.
6
Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology Department, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA. leekh@musc.edu.
7
Bioengineering Department, Clemson University - MUSC, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA. leekh@musc.edu.

Abstract

The cardiac transcription factor Nkx2-5 is essential for normal outflow tract (OFT) and right ventricle (RV) development. Nkx2-5-/- null mouse embryos display severe OFT and RV hypoplasia and a single ventricle phenotype due to decreased proliferation of Second Heart Field (SHF) cells, a pool of cardiac progenitors present in anterior pharyngeal arch mesoderm at mid-gestation. However, definition of the precise role of Nkx2-5 in facilitating SHF expansion is incomplete. We have found that Nkx2-5 positively and directly regulates a novel target gene, Ccdc117, in cells of the SHF at these stages. The nuclear/mitotic spindle associated protein Ccdc117 interacts with the MIP18/MMS19 cytoplasmic iron-sulfur (FeS) cluster assembly (CIA) complex, which transfers critical FeS clusters to several key enzymes with functions in DNA repair and replication. Loss of cellular Ccdc117 expression results in reduced proliferation rates associated with a delay at the G1-S transition, decreased rates of DNA synthesis, and unresolved DNA damage. These results implicate a novel role for Nkx2-5 in the regulation of cell cycle events in the developing heart, through Ccdc117's interaction with elements of the CIA pathway and the facilitation of DNA replication during SHF expansion.

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