The BMI1 protein, a member of the PRC1 family, is a well recognised transcriptional suppressor and has the capability of maintaining the self-renewal and proliferation of tissue-specific stem cells. Numerous studies have established that BMI1 is highly expressed in a variety of malignant cancers and serves as a key regulator in the tumorigenesis process. However, our understanding of BMI1 in terminally differentiated organs, such as the heart, is relatively nascent. Importantly, emerging data support that, beyond the tumor, BMI1 is also expressed in the heart tissue and indeed exerts profound effects in various cardiac pathological conditions. This review gives a summary of the novel functions of BMI1 in the heart, including BMI1-positive cardiac stem cells and BMI1-mediated signaling pathways, which are involved in the response to various cardiac pathological stimuli. Besides, we summarize the recent progress of BMI1 in some novel and rapidly developing cardiovascular therapies. Furtherly, we highlight the properties of BMI1, a therapeutic target proved effective in cancer treatment, as a promising target to alleviate cardiovascular diseases.
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.