Gene-Edited Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines to Elucidate DAND5 Function throughout Cardiac Differentiation

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(1) Background: The contribution of gene-specific variants for congenital heart disease, one of the most common congenital disabilities, is still far from our complete understanding. Here, we applied a disease model using human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to evaluate the function of DAND5 on human cardiomyocyte (CM) differentiation and proliferation. (2) Methods: Taking advantage of our DAND5 patient-derived iPSC line, we used CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing to generate a set of isogenic hiPSCs (DAND5-corrected and DAND5 full-mutant). The hiPSCs were differentiated into CMs, and RT-qPCR and immunofluorescence profiled the expression of cardiac markers. Cardiomyocyte proliferation was analysed by flow cytometry. Furthermore, we used a multi-electrode array (MEA) to study the functional electrophysiology of DAND5 hiPSC-CMs. (3) Results: The results indicated that hiPSC-CM proliferation is affected by DAND5 levels. Cardiomyocytes derived from a DAND5 full-mutant hiPSC line are more proliferative when compared with gene-corrected hiPSC-CMs. Moreover, parallel cardiac differentiations showed a differential cardiac gene expression profile, with upregulated cardiac progenitor markers in DAND5-KO hiPSC-CMs. Microelectrode array (MEA) measurements demonstrated that DAND5-KO hiPSC-CMs showed prolonged field potential duration and increased spontaneous beating rates. In addition, conduction velocity is reduced in the monolayers of hiPSC-CMs with full-mutant genotype. (4) Conclusions: The absence of DAND5 sustains the proliferation of hiPSC-CMs, which alters their electrophysiological maturation properties. These results using DAND5 hiPSC-CMs consolidate the findings of the in vitro and in vivo mouse models, now in a translational perspective. Altogether, the data will help elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying this human heart disease and potentiates new therapies for treating adult CHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number520
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2023


  • DAND5
  • cardiomyocyte proliferation
  • congenital heart disease
  • disease modelling


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