The transcription factor EB (TFEB) sensitizes the heart to chronic pressure overload


  • S. Wundersitz
  • C. Pablo Tortola
  • S. Schmidt
  • R. Oliveira Vidal
  • M. Kny
  • A. Hahn
  • L. Zanders
  • H.A. Katus
  • S. Sauer
  • C. Butter
  • F.C. Luft
  • O.J. Müller
  • J. Fielitz


  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences


  • Int J Mol Sci 23 (11): 5943


  • The transcription factor EB (TFEB) promotes protein degradation by the autophagy and lysosomal pathway (ALP) and overexpression of TFEB was suggested for the treatment of ALP-related diseases that often affect the heart. However, TFEB-mediated ALP induction may perturb cardiac stress response. We used adeno-associated viral vectors type 9 (AAV9) to overexpress TFEB (AAV9-Tfeb) or Luciferase-control (AAV9-Luc) in cardiomyocytes of 12-week-old male mice. Mice were subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC, 27G; AAV9-Luc: n = 9; AAV9-Tfeb: n = 14) or sham (AAV9-Luc: n = 9; AAV9-Tfeb: n = 9) surgery for 28 days. Heart morphology, echocardiography, gene expression, and protein levels were monitored. AAV9-Tfeb had no effect on cardiac structure and function in sham animals. TAC resulted in compensated left ventricular hypertrophy in AAV9-Luc mice. AAV9-Tfeb TAC mice showed a reduced LV ejection fraction and increased left ventricular diameters. Morphological, histological, and real-time PCR analyses showed increased heart weights, exaggerated fibrosis, and higher expression of stress markers and remodeling genes in AAV9-Tfeb TAC compared to AAV9-Luc TAC. RNA-sequencing, real-time PCR and Western Blot revealed a stronger ALP activation in the hearts of AAV9-Tfeb TAC mice. Cardiomyocyte-specific TFEB-overexpression promoted ALP gene expression during TAC, which was associated with heart failure. Treatment of ALP-related diseases by overexpression of TFEB warrants careful consideration.