Serine biosynthesis as a novel therapeutic target for dilate
Genetic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a leading cause of heart failure. An unbiased phenotypic screening in TNNT2 mutant iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) with small molecule kinase inhibitors (SMKIs) was performed to identify novel therapeutic targets. The combinatorial SMKI treatment upregulated the expression of genes that encode serine, glycine, and one-carbon metabolism enzymes and significantly increased the intracellular levels of glucose-derived serine and glycine in DCM iPSC-CMs. The treatment rescued the mitochondrial respiration defects and increased the levels of the tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites and ATP in DCM iPSC-CMs. Finally, the rescue of the DCM phenotypes was mediated by the activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and its downstream effector genes, phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), which encodes a critical enzyme of the serine biosynthesis pathway, and Tribbles 3 (TRIB3), a pseudokinase with pleiotropic cellular functions.