Inherited cardiac diseases, pluripotent stem cells, and genome editing combined: The past, present, and future

Lettine van den Brink, Catarina Grandela, Christine L. Mummery, Richard P. Davis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Research on mechanisms underlying monogenic cardiac diseases such as primary arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies has until recently been hampered by inherent limitations of heterologous cell systems, where mutant genes are expressed in noncardiac cells, and physiological differences between humans and experimental animals. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have proven to be a game changer by providing new opportunities for studying the disease in the specific cell type affected, namely the cardiomyocyte. hiPSCs are particularly valuable because not only can they be differentiated into unlimited numbers of these cells, but they also genetically match the individual from whom they were derived. The decade following their discovery showed the potential of hiPSCs for advancing our understanding of cardiovascular diseases, with key pathophysiological features of the patient being reflected in their corresponding hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (the past). Now, recent advances in genome editing for repairing or introducing genetic mutations efficiently have enabled the disease etiology and pathogenesis of a particular genotype to be investigated (the present). Finally, we are beginning to witness the promise of hiPSC in personalized therapies for individual patients, as well as their application in identifying genetic variants responsible for or modifying the disease phenotype (the future). In this review, we discuss how hiPSCs could contribute to improving the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of an individual with a suspected genetic cardiac disease, thereby developing better risk stratification and clinical management strategies for these potentially lethal but treatable disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-186
Number of pages13
JournalStem cells
Issue number2
Early online date30 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • differentiation
  • experimental models
  • gene targeting
  • pluripotent stem cells
  • cardiac


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