Sci Transl Med 14 (672) eabo5715 [2022-11-23; online 2022-11-23]
Cardiac pathologies are characterized by intense remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that eventually leads to heart failure. Cardiomyocytes respond to the ensuing biomechanical stress by reexpressing fetal contractile proteins via transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes, such as alternative splicing (AS). Here, we demonstrate that the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C (hnRNPC) is up-regulated and relocates to the sarcomeric Z-disc upon ECM pathological remodeling. We show that this is an active site of localized translation, where the ribonucleoprotein associates with the translation machinery. Alterations in hnRNPC expression, phosphorylation, and localization can be mechanically determined and affect the AS of mRNAs involved in mechanotransduction and cardiovascular diseases, including Hippo pathway effector Yes-associated protein 1. We propose that cardiac ECM remodeling serves as a switch in RNA metabolism by affecting an associated regulatory protein of the spliceosome apparatus. These findings offer new insights on the mechanism of mRNA homeostatic mechanoregulation in pathological conditions.