Jci banner white on blue

Transcription factor ETV1 is essential for rapid conduction in the heart

Akshay Shekhar, … , Glenn I. Fishman, David S. Park
J Clin Invest. 2016;126(12):4444-4459. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI87968.

Rapid impulse propagation in the heart is a defining property of pectinated atrial myocardium (PAM) and the ventricular conduction system (VCS) and is essential for maintaining normal cardiac rhythm and optimal cardiac output. Conduction defects in these tissues produce a disproportionate burden of arrhythmic disease and are major predictors of mortality in heart failure patients. Despite the clinical importance, little is known about the gene regulatory network that dictates the fast conduction phenotype. Here, we have used signal transduction and transcriptional profiling screens to identify a genetic pathway that converges on the NRG1-responsive transcription factor ETV1 as a critical regulator of fast conduction physiology for PAM and VCS cardiomyocytes. Etv1 was highly expressed in murine PAM and VCS cardiomyocytes, where it regulates expression of Nkx2-5, Gja5, and Scn5a, key cardiac genes required for rapid conduction. Mice deficient in Etv1 exhibited marked cardiac conduction defects coupled with developmental abnormalities of the VCS. Loss of Etv1 resulted in a complete disruption of the normal sodium current heterogeneity that exists between atrial, VCS, and ventricular myocytes. Lastly, a phenome-wide association study identified a link between ETV1 and bundle branch block and heart block in humans. Together, these results identify ETV1 as a critical factor in determining fast conduction physiology in the heart.

Find the latest version: