Modeling the mitochondrial cardiomyopathy of Barth syndrome with induced pluripotent stem cell and heart-on-chip technologies

Gang Wang, Megan L. McCain, Luhan Yang, Aibin He, Francesco Silvio Pasqualini, Ashutosh Agarwal, Hongyan Yuan, Dawei Jiang, Donghui Zhang, Lior Zangi, Judith Geva, Amy E. Roberts, Qing Ma, Jian Ding, Jinghai Chen, Da Zhi Wang, Kai Li, Jiwu Wang, Ronald J.A. Wanders, Wim KulikFrédéric M. Vaz, Michael A. Laflamme, Charles E. Murry, Kenneth R. Chien, Richard I. Kelley, George M. Church, Kevin Kit Parker, William T. Pu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

470 Scopus citations


Study of monogenic mitochondrial cardiomyopathies may yield insights into mitochondrial roles in cardiac development and disease. Here, we combined patient-derived and genetically engineered induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with tissue engineering to elucidate the pathophysiology underlying the cardiomyopathy of Barth syndrome (BTHS), a mitochondrial disorder caused by mutation of the gene encoding tafazzin (TAZ). Using BTHS iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs), we defined metabolic, structural and functional abnormalities associated with TAZ mutation. BTHS iPSC-CMs assembled sparse and irregular sarcomeres, and engineered BTHS 'heart-on-chip' tissues contracted weakly. Gene replacement and genome editing demonstrated that TAZ mutation is necessary and sufficient for these phenotypes. Sarcomere assembly and myocardial contraction abnormalities occurred in the context of normal whole-cell ATP levels. Excess levels of reactive oxygen species mechanistically linked TAZ mutation to impaired cardiomyocyte function. Our study provides new insights into the pathogenesis of Barth syndrome, suggests new treatment strategies and advances iPSC-based in vitro modeling of cardiomyopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-623
Number of pages8
JournalNature medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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