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ERG1-AKT Control Cardiomyocyte Fate

The ERG1 potassium channel, encoded by the Kcnh2 gene, maintains the action potential of cardiomyocytes, and gene mutations have been linked with arrhythmias. A recent STEM CELLS article from research groups based in China and the USA now describes a novel role of ERG1 in the differentiation process of cardiomyocytes. Wang et al. discovered that the interaction of ERG1 with integrin β1/FAK/PI3K p85 to activate AKT promotes rat embryonic stem cell‐derived cardiomyocyte lineage commitment. Overall, this study expands our understanding of classical functional molecules and provides new evidence for the complex mechanisms of heart development.