Kyriakopoulou E, Versteeg D, de Ruiter H, Perini I, Seibertz F, Döring Y, Zentilin L, Tsui H, van Kampen S, Tiburcy M, Meyer T, Voigt N, van Tintelen J, Zimmermann W, Giacca M, van Rooij E
Nature Cardiovascular Research
Nat Cardiovasc Res 2, 1262–1276 (2023 Dec 07)
Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy is a severe cardiac disorder characterized by lethal arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death, with currently no effective treatment. Plakophilin 2 (PKP2) is the most frequently affected gene. Here we show that adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated delivery of PKP2 in PKP2c.2013delC/WT induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes restored not only cardiac PKP2 levels but also the levels of other junctional proteins, found to be decreased in response to the mutation. PKP2 restoration improved sodium conduction, indicating rescue of the arrhythmic substrate in PKP2 mutant induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Additionally, it enhanced contractile function and normalized contraction kinetics in PKP2 mutant engineered human myocardium. Recovery of desmosomal integrity and cardiac function was corroborated in vivo, by treating heterozygous Pkp2c.1755delA knock-in mice. Long-term treatment with AAV9–PKP2 prevented cardiac dysfunction in 12-month-old Pkp2c.1755delA/WT mice, without affecting wild-type mice. These findings encourage clinical exploration of PKP2 gene therapy for patients with PKP2 haploinsufficiency.