Foxm1 regulates cardiomyocyte proliferation in adult zebrafish after cardiac injury

Daniel A. Zuppo, Maria A. Missinato, Lucas Santana-Santos, Guang Li, Panayiotis V. Benos, Michael Tsang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The regenerative capacity of the mammalian heart is poor, with one potential reason being that adult cardiomyocytes cannot proliferate at sufficient levels to replace lost tissue. During development and neonatal stages, cardiomyocytes can successfully divide under injury conditions; however, as these cells mature their ability to proliferate is lost. Therefore, understanding the regulatory programs that can induce post-mitotic cardiomyocytes into a proliferative state is essential to enhance cardiac regeneration. Here, we report that the forkhead transcription factor Foxm1 is required for cardiomyocyte proliferation after injury through transcriptional regulation of cell cycle genes. Transcriptomic analysis of injured zebrafish hearts revealed that foxm1 expression is increased in border zone cardiomyocytes. Decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation and expression of cell cycle genes in foxm1 mutant hearts was observed, suggesting it is required for cell cycle checkpoints. Subsequent analysis of a candidate Foxm1 target gene, cenpf, revealed that this microtubule and kinetochore binding protein is also required for cardiac regeneration. Moreover, cenpf mutants show increased cardiomyocyte binucleation. Thus, foxm1 and cenpf are required for cardiomyocytes to complete mitosis during zebrafish cardiac regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdev201163
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Binucleation
  • Cardiomyocyte proliferation
  • Cenpf
  • Foxm1
  • Heart regeneration
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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