New Greenberg lab preprint in collaboration with the Garcia and Lavine labs

Familial dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is frequently caused by autosomal dominant point mutations in genes involved in diverse cellular processes, including sarcomeric contraction. While patient studies have defined the genetic landscape of DCM, genetics are not currently used in patient care, and patients receive similar treatments regardless of the underlying mutation. It has been suggested that a precision medicine approach based on the molecular mechanism of the underlying mutation could improve outcomes; however, realizing this approach has been challenging due to difficulties linking genotype and phenotype and then leveraging this information to identify therapeutic approaches. Here, we used multiscale experimental and computational approaches to test whether knowledge of molecular mechanism could be harnessed to connect genotype, phenotype, and drug response for a DCM mutation in troponin T, deletion of K210. Previously, we showed that at the molecular scale, the mutation reduces thin filament activation. Here, we used computational modeling of this molecular defect to predict that the mutant will reduce cellular and tissue contractility, and we validated this prediction in human cardiomyocytes and engineered heart tissues. We then used our knowledge of molecular mechanism to computationally model the effects of a small molecule that can activate the thin filament. We demonstrate experimentally that the modeling correctly predicts that the small molecule can partially rescue systolic dysfunction at the expense of diastolic function. Taken together, our results demonstrate how molecular mechanism can be harnessed to connect genotype and phenotype and inspire strategies to optimize mechanism-based therapeutics for DCM.

Preprint can be found here.