CREG1 Interacts with Sec8 to Promote Cardiomyogenic Differentiation and Cell-Cell Adhesion

Jie Liu, Yanmei Qi, Shaohua Li, Shu Chan Hsu, Siavash Saadat, June Hsu, Saum A. Rahimi, Leonard Y. Lee, Chenghui Yan, Xiaoxiang Tian, Yanling Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Understanding the regulation of cell-cell interactions during the formation of compact myocardial structures is important for achieving true cardiac regeneration through enhancing the integration of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes into the recipient myocardium. In this study, we found that cellular repressor of E1A-stimulated genes 1 (CREG1) is highly expressed in both embryonic and adult hearts. Gain- and loss-of-function analyses demonstrated that CREG1 is required for differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell into cardiomyocytes and the formation of cohesive myocardium-like structures in a cell-autonomous fashion. Furthermore, CREG1 directly interacts with Sec8 of the exocyst complex, which tethers vesicles to the plasma membrane. Site-directed mutagenesis and rescue of CREG1 knockout ES cells showed that CREG1 binding to Sec8 is required for cardiomyocyte differentiation and cohesion. Mechanistically, CREG1, Sec8, and N-cadherin colocalize at intercalated discs in vivo and are enriched at cell-cell junctions in cultured cardiomyocytes. CREG1 overexpression enhances the assembly of adherens and gap junctions. By contrast, its knockout inhibits the Sec8-N-cadherin interaction and induces their degradation. These results suggest that the CREG1 binding to Sec8 enhances the assembly of intercellular junctions and promotes cardiomyogenesis. Stem Cells 2016;34:2648–2660.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2648-2660
Number of pages13
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Cardiac differentiation
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Exocyst
  • Intercalated discs


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