Polycystin-2 mutations lead to impaired calcium cycling in the heart and predispose to dilated cardiomyopathy

Jere Paavola, Simon Schliffke, Sandro Rossetti, Ivana Y.T. Kuo, Shiaulou Yuan, Zhaoxia Sun, Peter C. Harris, Vicente E. Torres, Barbara E. Ehrlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Mutations in PKD1 and PKD2, the genes encoding the proteins polycystin-1 (PC1) and polycystin-2 (PC2), cause autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Although the leading cause of mortality in ADPKD is cardiovascular disease, the relationship between these conditions remains poorly understood. PC2 is an intracellular calcium channel expressed in renal epithelial cells and in cardiomyocytes, and is thus hypothesized to modulate intracellular calcium signaling and affect cardiac function. Our first aim was to study cardiac function in a zebrafish model lacking PC2 (pkd2 mutants). Next, we aimed to explore the relevance of this zebrafish model to human ADPKD by examining the Mayo Clinic's ADPKD database for an association between ADPKD and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM). Pkd2 mutant zebrafish showed low cardiac output and atrioventricular block. Isolated pkd2 mutant hearts displayed impaired intracellular calcium cycling and calcium alternans. These results indicate heart failure in the pkd2 mutants. In human ADPKD patients, we found IDCM to coexist frequently with ADPKD. This association was strongest in patients with PKD2 mutations. Our results demonstrate that PC2 modulates intracellular calcium cycling, contributing to the development of heart failure. In human subjects we found an association between ADPKD and IDCM and suggest that PKD mutations contribute to the development of heart failure. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Calcium Signaling in Heart".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Calcium
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart
  • Polycystin-2
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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