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Datwyler, D. A.; Magyar, J. P.; Weikert, C.; Wightman, L.; Wagner, E.; Eppenberger, H. M. (2003): Reactivation of the mitosis-promoting factor in postmitotic cardiomyocytes. In: Cells Tissues Organs, No. 2: pp. 61-71




Cardiomyocytes cease to divide shortly after birth and an irreversible cell cycle arrest is evident accompanied by the downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase activities. To get a better understanding of the cardiac cell cycle and its regulation, the effect of functional recovery of the mitosis-promoting factor (MPF) consisting of cyclin B1 and the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdc2 was assessed in primary cultures of postmitotic ventricular adult rat cardiomyocytes ( ARC). Gene transfer into ARC was achieved using the adenovirus-enhanced transferrinfection system that was characterized by the absence of cytotoxic events. Simultaneous ectopic expression of wild-type versions of cyclin B1 and Cdc2 was sufficient to induce MPF activity. Reestablished MPF resulted in a mitotic phenotype, marked by an abnormal condensation of the nuclei, histone H3 phosphorylation and variable degree of decay of the contractile apparatus. Although a complete cell division was not observed, the results provided conclusive evidence that cell cycle-related events in postmitotic cardiomyocytes could be triggered by genetic intervention downstream of the G1/S checkpoint. This will be of importance to design novel strategies to overcome the proliferation arrest in adult cardiomyocytes.