Two students received an award of 50.000 euros for their “Crazy idea” during the Young@Heart Talent Day. Both winning projects are connected to CVON-DOSIS.

Wouter Meijers (UMCG)

Background: Nowadays many patients with HF die from non-cardiac causes, including cancer. The aim of TOXIC-DOSIS is to unravel the relationship of the failing heart and tumor development, in which cardiac secreted toxic proteins may play a major role.

Methods: A heterotopic heart transplantation model will be employed to investigate whether cardiac secreted toxic proteins result in enhanced tumorigenesis. Tumor load will be quantified and murine assays focusing on cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammation and metabolism will be used to identify which proteins are involved.

Expected Results: This study will reveal whether the failing heart secretes toxic proteins which enhance tumorigenesis.

Josine the Winter (VUmc)

Nemaline myopathy is a skeletal muscle disorder, caused by mutations in genes encoding thin filament proteins. Recently, we found that a new form – NEM6, caused by the novel Dutch founder mutation in KBTBD13 (KBTBD13Arg408Cys) – also involves cardiac dysfunction. Recent localization studies from our group revealed that KBTBD13 – a novel protein – localizes within mitochondria, and that Kbtbd13-knockout mice cannot respond adequately to acute cardiac stress. Mitochondrial calcium fluxes are a key player in matching acute ATP production to cardiac workload. Hence, this proposal aims to unravel how KBTBD13 regulates mitochondrial calcium function in striated muscle in health and disease.