Publications by authors named "Mohammad Tofael Kabir Sharkar"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Direct Reprogramming Induces Vascular Regeneration Post Muscle Ischemic Injury.

Mol Ther 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Cardiovascular Research Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA, 10029; Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA, 10029; Black Family Stem Cell Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA, 10029. Electronic address:

Reprogramming non-cardiomyocytes (non-CMs) into cardiomyocyte (CM)-like cells is a promising strategy for cardiac regeneration in conditions such as ischemic heart disease. Here, we used a modified mRNA (modRNA) gene delivery platform to deliver a cocktail of four cardiac-reprogramming genes (Gata4 (G), Mef2c (M), Tbx5 (T) and Hand2 (H)) together with three reprogramming-helper genes (Dominant Negative (DN)-TGFβ, DN-Wnt8a and Acid ceramidase (AC)), termed 7G-modRNA, to induce CM-like cells. We showed that 7G-modRNA reprogrammed 57% of CM-like cells in vitro. Through a lineage-tracing model, we determined that delivering the 7G-modRNA cocktail at the time of myocardial infarction reprogrammed ∼25% of CM-like cells in the scar area and significantly improved cardiac function, scar size, long-term survival and capillary density. Mechanistically, we determined that while 7G-modRNA cannot create de-novo beating CMs in vitro or in vivo, it can significantly upregulate pro-angiogenic mesenchymal stromal cells markers and transcription factors. We also demonstrated that our 7G-modRNA cocktail leads to neovascularization in ischemic-limb injury, indicating CM-like cells importance in other organs besides the heart. modRNA is currently being used around the globe for vaccination against COVID-19, and this study proves this is a safe, highly efficient gene delivery approach with therapeutic potential to treat ischemic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymthe.2021.07.014DOI Listing
July 2021

Therapeutic Delivery of Pip4k2c-Modified mRNA Attenuates Cardiac Hypertrophy and Fibrosis in the Failing Heart.

Adv Sci (Weinh) 2021 05 12;8(10):2004661. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Cardiovascular Research Center Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York NY 10029 USA.

Heart failure (HF) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. One of the risk factors for HF is cardiac hypertrophy (CH), which is frequently accompanied by cardiac fibrosis (CF). CH and CF are controlled by master regulators mTORC1 and TGF-, respectively. Type-2-phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate-4-kinase-gamma (Pip4k2c) is a known mTORC1 regulator. It is shown that Pip4k2c is significantly downregulated in the hearts of CH and HF patients as compared to non-injured hearts. The role of Pip4k2c in the heart during development and disease is unknown. It is shown that deleting Pip4k2c does not affect normal embryonic cardiac development; however, three weeks after TAC, adult Pip4k2c mice has higher rates of CH, CF, and sudden death than wild-type mice. In a gain-of-function study using a TAC mouse model, Pip4k2c is transiently upregulated using a modified mRNA (modRNA) gene delivery platform, which significantly improve heart function, reverse CH and CF, and lead to increased survival. Mechanistically, it is shown that Pip4k2c inhibits TGF1 via its N-terminal motif, Pip5k1, phospho-AKT 1/2/3, and phospho-Smad3. In sum, loss-and-gain-of-function studies in a TAC mouse model are used to identify Pip4k2c as a potential therapeutic target for CF, CH, and HF, for which modRNA is a highly translatable gene therapy approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/advs.202004661DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8132051PMC
May 2021

In Vitro Synthesis of Modified RNA for Cardiac Gene Therapy.

Methods Mol Biol 2021 ;2158:281-294

Cardiovascular Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Modified mRNA (modRNA) is a promising new gene therapy approach that has safely and effectively delivered genes into different tissues, including the heart. Current efforts to use DNA-based or viral gene therapy to induce cardiac regeneration postmyocardial infarction (MI) or in heart failure (HF) have encountered key challenges, e.g., genome integration and delayed and noncontrolled expression. By contrast, modRNA is a transient, safe, non-immunogenic, and controlled gene delivery method that is not integrated into the genome. For most therapeutic applications, especially in regenerative medicine, the ability to deliver genes to the heart transiently and with control is vital for achieving therapeutic effect. Additionally, modRNA synthesis is comparatively simple and inexpensive compared to other gene delivery methods (e.g., protein), though a simple, clear in vitro transcription (IVT) protocol for synthesizing modRNA is needed for it to be more widely used. Here, we describe a simple and improved step-by-step IVT protocol to synthesize modRNA for in vitro or in vivo applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-0668-1_21DOI Listing
March 2021

Delivery of Modified mRNA in a Myocardial Infarction Mouse Model.

J Vis Exp 2020 06 11(160). Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Cardiovascular Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Black Family Stem Cell Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai;

Myocardial infarction (MI) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western world. In the past decade, gene therapy has become a promising treatment option for heart disease, owing to its efficiency and exceptional therapeutic effects. In an effort to repair the damaged tissue post-MI, various studies have employed DNA-based or viral gene therapy but have faced considerable hurdles due to the poor and uncontrolled expression of the delivered genes, edema, arrhythmia, and cardiac hypertrophy. Synthetic modified mRNA (modRNA) presents a novel gene therapy approach that offers high, transient, safe, nonimmunogenic, and controlled mRNA delivery to the heart tissue without any risk of genomic integration. Due to these remarkable characteristics combined with its bell-shaped pharmacokinetics in the heart, modRNA has become an attractive approach for the treatment of heart disease. However, to increase its effectiveness in vivo, a consistent and reliable delivery method needs to be followed. Hence, to maximize modRNA delivery efficiency and yield consistency in modRNA use for in vivo applications, an optimized method of preparation and delivery of modRNA intracardiac injection in a mouse MI model is presented. This protocol will make modRNA delivery more accessible for basic and translational research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/60832DOI Listing
June 2020

Optimization of 5' Untranslated Region of Modified mRNA for Use in Cardiac or Hepatic Ischemic Injury.

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 2020 Jun 31;17:622-633. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Cardiovascular Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Modified mRNA (modRNA) is a gene-delivery platform for transiently introducing a single gene or several genes of interest to different cell types and tissues. modRNA is considered to be a safe vector for gene transfer, as it negligibly activates the innate immune system and does not compromise the genome integrity. The use of modRNA in basic and translational science is rising, due to the clinical potential of modRNA. We are currently using modRNA to induce cardiac regeneration post-ischemic injury. Major obstacles in using modRNA for cardiac ischemic disease include the need for the direct and single administration of modRNA to the heart and the inefficient translation of modRNA due to its short half-life. Modulation of the 5' untranslated region (5' UTR) to enhance translation efficiency in ischemic cardiac disease has great value, as it can reduce the amount of modRNA needed per delivery and will achieve higher and longer protein production post-single delivery. Here, we identified that 5' UTR, from the fatty acid metabolism gene carboxylesterase 1D (Ces1d), enhanced the translation of firefly luciferase (Luc) modRNA by 2-fold in the heart post-myocardial infarction (MI). Moreover, we identified, in the Ces1d, a specific RNA element (element D) that is responsible for the improvement of modRNA translation and leads to a 2.5-fold translation increment over Luc modRNA carrying artificial 5' UTR, post-MI. Importantly, we were able to show that 5' UTR Ces1d also enhances modRNA translation in the liver, but not in the kidney, post-ischemic injury, indicating that Ces1d 5' UTR and element D may play a wider role in translation of protein under an ischemic condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.omtm.2020.03.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7150433PMC
June 2020

Pkm2 Regulates Cardiomyocyte Cell Cycle and Promotes Cardiac Regeneration.

Circulation 2020 04 11;141(15):1249-1265. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Cardiovascular Research Center (A.M, N.S., A.A.K., I.M., T.M. K.B., M.T.K.S., E.C., Y.S., J.G.O., P.L, A.G.-S., C.K., M.M., L.Z.), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.

Background: The adult mammalian heart has limited regenerative capacity, mostly attributable to postnatal cardiomyocyte cell cycle arrest. In the last 2 decades, numerous studies have explored cardiomyocyte cell cycle regulatory mechanisms to enhance myocardial regeneration after myocardial infarction. Pkm2 (Pyruvate kinase muscle isoenzyme 2) is an isoenzyme of the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase. The role of Pkm2 in cardiomyocyte proliferation, heart development, and cardiac regeneration is unknown.

Methods: We investigated the effect of Pkm2 in cardiomyocytes through models of loss (cardiomyocyte-specific Pkm2 deletion during cardiac development) or gain using cardiomyocyte-specific Pkm2 modified mRNA to evaluate Pkm2 function and regenerative affects after acute or chronic myocardial infarction in mice.

Results: Here, we identify Pkm2 as an important regulator of the cardiomyocyte cell cycle. We show that Pkm2 is expressed in cardiomyocytes during development and immediately after birth but not during adulthood. Loss of function studies show that cardiomyocyte-specific Pkm2 deletion during cardiac development resulted in significantly reduced cardiomyocyte cell cycle, cardiomyocyte numbers, and myocardial size. In addition, using cardiomyocyte-specific Pkm2 modified RNA, our novel cardiomyocyte-targeted strategy, after acute or chronic myocardial infarction, resulted in increased cardiomyocyte cell division, enhanced cardiac function, and improved long-term survival. We mechanistically show that Pkm2 regulates the cardiomyocyte cell cycle and reduces oxidative stress damage through anabolic pathways and β-catenin.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that Pkm2 is an important intrinsic regulator of the cardiomyocyte cell cycle and oxidative stress, and highlight its therapeutic potential using cardiomyocyte-specific Pkm2 modified RNA as a gene delivery platform.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.043067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7241614PMC
April 2020

Altering Sphingolipid Metabolism Attenuates Cell Death and Inflammatory Response After Myocardial Infarction.

Circulation 2020 03 29;141(11):916-930. Epub 2020 Jan 29.

Cardiovascular Research Center (Y.H., E.Y., M.M.Ż., E.C., N.S., M.T.K.S., R.K., A.A.K., K.K., A.M., N.H., L.Z., A.F, M.G.K.), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.

Background: Sphingolipids have recently emerged as a biomarker of recurrence and mortality after myocardial infarction (MI). The increased ceramide levels in mammalian heart tissues during acute MI, as demonstrated by several groups, is associated with higher cell death rates in the left ventricle and deteriorated cardiac function. Ceramidase, the only enzyme known to hydrolyze proapoptotic ceramide, generates sphingosine, which is then phosphorylated by sphingosine kinase to produce the prosurvival molecule sphingosine-1-phosphate. We hypothesized that Acid Ceramidase (AC) overexpression would counteract the negative effects of elevated ceramide and promote cell survival, thereby providing cardioprotection after MI.

Methods: We performed transcriptomic, sphingolipid, and protein analyses to evaluate sphingolipid metabolism and signaling post-MI. We investigated the effect of altering ceramide metabolism through a loss (chemical inhibitors) or gain (modified mRNA [modRNA]) of AC function post hypoxia or MI.

Results: We found that several genes involved in de novo ceramide synthesis were upregulated and that ceramide (C16, C20, C20:1, and C24) levels had significantly increased 24 hours after MI. AC inhibition after hypoxia or MI resulted in reduced AC activity and increased cell death. By contrast, enhancing AC activity via AC modRNA treatment increased cell survival after hypoxia or MI. AC modRNA-treated mice had significantly better heart function, longer survival, and smaller scar size than control mice 28 days post-MI. We attributed the improvement in heart function post-MI after AC modRNA delivery to decreased ceramide levels, lower cell death rates, and changes in the composition of the immune cell population in the left ventricle manifested by lowered abundance of proinflammatory detrimental neutrophils.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that transiently altering sphingolipid metabolism through AC overexpression is sufficient and necessary to induce cardioprotection post-MI, thereby highlighting the therapeutic potential of AC modRNA in ischemic heart disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.041882DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7135928PMC
March 2020

Optimizing Modified mRNA Synthesis Protocol for Heart Gene Therapy.

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 2019 Sep 30;14:300-305. Epub 2019 Jul 30.

Cardiovascular Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Synthetic modified RNA (modRNA) is a novel vector for gene transfer to the heart and other organs. modRNA can mediate strong, transient protein expression with minimal induction of the innate immune response and risk for genome integration. modRNA is already being used in several human clinical trials, and its use in basic and translational science is growing. Due to the complexity of preparing modRNA and the high cost of its reagents, there is a need for an improved, cost-efficient protocol to make modRNA. Here we show that changing the ratio between anti-reverse cap analog (ARCA) and N1-methyl-pseudouridine (N1mΨ), favoring ARCA over N1mΨ, significantly increases the yield per reaction, improves modRNA translation, and reduces its immunogenicity . This protocol will make modRNA preparation more accessible and financially affordable for basic and translational research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.omtm.2019.07.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6722299PMC
September 2019

Ablation of a Single N-Glycosylation Site in Human FSTL 1 Induces Cardiomyocyte Proliferation and Cardiac Regeneration.

Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 2018 Dec 1;13:133-143. Epub 2018 Sep 1.

Cardiovascular Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA; Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA; Black Family Stem Cell Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA. Electronic address:

Adult mammalian hearts have a very limited regeneration capacity, due largely to a lack of cardiomyocyte (CM) proliferation. It was recently reported that epicardial, but not myocardial, follistatin-like 1 (Fstl1) activates CM proliferation and cardiac regeneration after myocardial infarction (MI). Furthermore, bacterially synthesized human FSTL 1 (hFSTL1) was found to induce CM proliferation, whereas hFSTL1 synthesized in mammals did not, suggesting that post-translational modifications (e.g., glycosylation) of the hFSTL1 protein affect its regenerative activity. We used modified mRNA (modRNA) technology to investigate the possible role of specific hFSTL1 N-glycosylation sites in the induction, by hFSTL1, of CM proliferation and cardiac regeneration. We found that the mutation of a single site (N180Q) was sufficient and necessary to increase the proliferation of rat neonatal and mouse adult CMs in vitro and after MI in vivo, respectively. A single administration of the modRNA construct encoding the N180Q mutant significantly increased cardiac function, decreased scar size, and increased capillary density 28 days post-MI. Overall, our data suggest that the delivery of N180Q hFSTL1 modRNA to the myocardium can mimic the beneficial effect of epicardial hFSTL1, triggering marked CM proliferation and cardiac regeneration in a mouse MI model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.omtn.2018.08.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6171324PMC
December 2018

Generation and characterization of Tbx1-AmCyan1 transgenic reporter mouse line that selectively labels developing thymus primordium.

Transgenic Res 2013 Jun 2;22(3):659-66. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Department of Biochemistry, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, 1-20-1 Handa-yama, Higashi-ku, Hamamatsu 431-3192, Shizuoka, Japan.

Thymus development is a complicated process that includes highly dynamic morphological changes and reciprocal tissue interactions between endoderm-derived epithelial cells of the anterior foregut and neural crest-derived mesenchymal cells. We generated and characterized a Tbx1-AmCyan1 reporter transgenic mouse to visualize thymus precursor cells during early embryonic development. In transgenic embryos, AmCyan1 fluorescence was specifically detected in the endoderm of the developing 3rd and 4th pharyngeal pouches and later in thymus epithelium until E14.5. Cells expressing AmCyan1 that were isolated based on AmCyan1 fluorescence expressed endodermal, thymic, and parathyroid markers, but they did not express neural crest or endothelial markers; these findings indicated that this transgenic mouse strain could be used to collect thymic or parathyroid precursor cells or both. We also showed that in nude mice, which exhibit defects in thymus development, the thymus precursors were clearly labeled with AmCyan1. In summary, these AmCyan1-fluorescent transgenic mice are useful for investigating early thymus development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11248-012-9664-5DOI Listing
June 2013

Liver tumor formation by a mutant retinoblastoma protein in the transgenic mice is caused by an upregulation of c-Myc target genes.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2012 Jan 11;417(1):601-6. Epub 2011 Dec 11.

Department of Biochemistry, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Higashi-ku, Hamamatsu, Japan.

The retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor encodes a nuclear phosphoprotein that regulates cellular proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation. In order to adapt itself to these biological functions, Rb is subjected to modification cycle, phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. To directly determine the effect of phosphorylation-resistant Rb on liver development and function, we generated transgenic mice expressing phosphorylation-resistant human mutant Rb (mt-Rb) under the control of the rat hepatocyte nuclear factor-1 gene promoter/enhancer. Expression of mt-Rb in the liver resulted in macroscopic neoplastic nodules (adenomas) with ∼50% incidence within 15 months old. Interestingly, quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis showed that c-Myc was up-regulated in the liver of mt-Rb transgenic mice irrespective of having tumor tissues or no tumor. In tumor tissues, several c-Myc target genes, Foxm1, c-Jun, c-Fos, Bmi1 and Skp2, were also up-regulated dramatically. We determined whether mt-Rb activated the Myc promoter in the HTP9 cells and demonstrated that mt-Rb acted as an inhibitor of wild-type Rb-induced repression on the Myc promoter. Our results suggest that continued upregulation of c-Myc target genes promotes the liver tumor formation after about 1 year of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.12.014DOI Listing
January 2012
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