Danuta Szczesna-Cordary, PhD
Myosin Light Chain Mutant Induced Cardiomyopathies
The major theme of my research regards myosin and troponin-mediated cellular events that result in sarcomere shortening and muscle contraction studied at the molecular, myofilament and organ levels. Our recent research interests concentrate on the molecular and genetic causes of cardiomyopathy with a special focus on myosin light chain-mutant induced development of hypertrophic (HCM), dilated (DCM) or restrictive (RCM) cardiomyopathy. We have created and characterized multiple mouse models and use these to analyze the function of the heart in vivo (by echocardiography, invasive hemodynamics), determine muscle fiber mechanics (force development and myofilament calcium sensitivity) simultaneously with deriving structural information on papillary muscle fibers by small angle X-ray diffraction. We analyze proteomic/phosphoproteomic parameters and signal transduction pathways in these mouse models of HCM, DCM and RCM with a long standing goal to provide mechanistic insights into the structural, functional and single myosin molecule determinants of heart remodeling.