c-Myc is Required for Proper Coronary Vascular Formation via Cell- and Gene-Specific Signaling
Objective—Although significant research has detailed angiogenesis during development and cancer, little is known about cardiac angiogenesis, yet it is critical for survival following pathological insult. The transcription factor c-Myc is a target of anticancer therapies because of its mitogenic and proangiogenic induction. In the current study, we investigate its role in cardiac angiogenesis in a cell-dependent and gene-specific context.
Methods and Results—Angiogenesis assays using c-Myc-deficient cardiac endothelial cells and fibroblasts demonstrate that c-Myc is essential to vessel formation, and fibroblast-mediated vessel formation is dependent on c-Myc expression in fibroblasts. Gene analyses revealed that c-Myc–mediated gene expression is unique in cardiac angiogenesis and varies in a cell-dependent manner. In vitro 3-dimensional cultures demonstrated c-Myc's role in the expression of secreted angiogenic factors, while also providing evidence for c-Myc–mediated cell–cell interactions. Additional in vivo vascular analyses support c-Myc's critical role in capillary formation and vessel patterning during development and also in response to a pathological stimulus where its expression in myocytes is required for angiogenic remodeling.
Conclusion—These data demonstrate that proper c-Myc expression in cardiac fibroblasts and myocytes is essential to cardiac angiogenesis. These results have the potential for novel therapeutic applications involving the angiogenic response during cardiac remodeling.
- Received December 21, 2011.
- Accepted February 20, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.