Cardiomyocyte Markers




Muscle fibres can be grouped according to what kind of tissue they are found in -- skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, and cardiac muscle. The muscle cells of heart muscle tissue are called cardiomyocytes.





  • a regulated modulator of neonatal cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in vitro. PMID: 11470465



  • an actin-binding protein that plays a key role in the formation and maintenance of Z-lines, during the T. cruzi-cardiomyocyte interaction in vitro. Immunolocalization of alpha-actinin in control cardiomyocytes demonstrated a typical periodicity in the Z line of cardiac myofibrils, as well as its distribution at focal adhesion sites and along the cell-cell junctions. PMID: 16650336

Annexin 5

  • in vivo as in vitro annexin A5 might be involved in the regulation of early apoptotic events during cardiac pathological situations. PMID: 16501019

  • Western blot analysis shows that annexin V is abundantly present in the heart. Using isolated myocytes and cultured cardiac endothelial and fibroblast-like cells, it is demonstrated that the localization of Annexin V is confined to non-myocytes. PMID: 1480159

Annexin 6

  • one of a widely expressed family of calcium-binding proteins found in most mammalian tissues, including the heart, is a negative inotropic factor in the regulation of cardiomyocyte mechanics. PMID: 11919174, PMID: 8780208

ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide)

  • a sensitive cardiomyocyte marker of ventricular hypertrophy. PMID: 17275806

  • through its guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) receptor, not only is critically involved in the endocrine regulation of arterial blood pressure but also locally moderates cardiomyocyte growth. PMID: 16216978

  • ANF and BNP expression is a marker of cardiomyocyte differentiation, and is regulated spatially, developmentally and hormonally. PMID: 15837526


  • plays a role in cardiomyocyte differentiation during early stages of development. PMID: 7898073

BNP (brain natriuretic peptides)

  • a marker of cardiomyocyte differentiation, and is regulated spatially, developmentally and hormonally. PMID: 15837526

  • cardiomyocyte-specific peptide hormones. PMID: 15913645

  • a cardiac hormone constitutively expressed in the adult heart. PMID: 12067842

Cardiac troponin I (cTnI)

  • a cardiomyocyte specific marker. PMID: 16382259, PMID: 15579650, PMID: 12878946

  • a key regulatory protein in cardiac muscle contraction and relaxation. PMID: 15769444

  • Measurement of plasma cardiac troponin I concentration ([cTnI]) is a sensitive and specific means for detecting myocardial damage in many mammalian species. PMID: 12322706

  • has proven to be a highly specific and sensitive marker for myocardial cellular damage in many mammalian species. PMID: 11596740

  • highly sensitive and specific for detecting myocardial damage even in the presence of skeletal muscle injury. PMID: 10190525

  • a new highly specific diagnostic marker of cardiomyocyte damage, is a reliable marker of cardiac ischemia during heart operations under cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). PMID: 9814799

Cardiac troponin-T (cTnT)

  • cardiac-specific protein. PMID: 16831561

  • a specific marker of cardiomyocytes. PMID: 16730572

  • one prominent substrate through which protein kinase C (PKC) exerts its effect on cardiomyocyte function. PMID: 12832403

  • a cardiac-specific marker for necrotic damage. PMID: 12183413

  • a highly sensitive and specific serum marker of irreversible cardiomyocyte injury. PMID: 10519973, PMID: 10190525

  • a recently developed serological marker used as a sensitive diagnostic tool for early myocardial damage in 'at risk' human patients. PMID: 7719731

CARP (cardiac adriamycin-responsive protein)

  • a nuclear modulator of gene expression in cardiac progenitor cells and cardiomyocytes. PMID: 9278441


  • caveolin-2 and caveolin-3 are detected at low levels in ventricular myocardium and increase dramatically with age or when neonatal cardiomyocytes are placed in culture. PMID: 12649076


  • cardiomyocyte-specific marker. PMID: 16397145

  • a major constituent of cardiac caveolae, has been suggested to interact with several signaling molecules. PMID: 15725944

  • a structural component of cardiac caveolae, is associated with cellular signaling. PMID: 12847114


  • expressed specifically in embryonic and postnatal cardiomyocytes. PMID: 11397016

CNP (C-type natriuretic peptide)

  • recently found to play a cardioprotective role in preventing myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury and improving cardiac remodelling after myocardial infarction (MI) in rats. PMID: 17407830


  • localized at left ventricular (LV) gap junctions and in cardiomyocyte mitochondria. PMID: 17142336, PMID: 16100048, PMID: 12373152
    the constitutive protein for the formation of cardiac gap junctions and therefore essential for cell-cell coupling and normal cardiac function. PMID: 16537100

  • localized at cardiomyocyte mitochondria and that ischemic preconditioning (IP) enhances such mitochondrial localization. PMID: 15919068

  • main constituent of cardiomyocyte gap junctions. PMID: 12619863


  • the major muscle-specific intermediate filament (IF) protein, is essential for mitochondrial behavior and function and maintenance of healthy muscle. PMID: 15733906

  • protein marker of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. PMID: 15699919

  • the muscle-specific member of the intermediate filament gene family, display defects in all muscle types and particularly in the myocardium. PMID: 14734054, PMID: 9501201

  • the muscle-specific member of the intermediate filament family of cytoskeletal proteins, expressed both in striated and smooth muscle tissues. PMID: 10591032


  • early cardiomyocyte gene. PMID: 11437454, PMID: 10964476

  • essential for heart development and extra embryonic structures, is thought to regulate cardiomyocyte-specific gene expression through combinatorial interactions with other cardiac-restricted transcription factors such as GATA4 and NKX2.5. PMID: 15486975



  • cardiac marker gene. PMID: 16487072

  • cardiomyocyte-specific transcription factor. PMID: 16433623

  • a survival factor for differentiated, postnatal cardiomyocytes and an upstream activator of the antiapoptotic gene Bcl-X. PMID: 15100413

  • a key regulator of cardiac genes, is a nuclear mediator of RhoA signaling and is involved in the control of sarcomere assembly in cardiomyocytes. PMID: 11641276

  • involved in cardiomyocyte differentiation. PMID: 11418590

  • a cardiac-specific member of the GATA family of zinc finger transcription factors. PMID: 9199365

  • a critical regulator of cardiac gene expression where it controls embryonic development, cardiomyocyte differentiation, and stress responsiveness of the adult heart. PMID: 16514068


  • expressed in presumptive cardiac mesoderm before gastrulation, proper maturation of cardiac mesoderm requires GATA-6, which functions to maintain BMP-4 and Nkx2 expression. PMID: 12912923


  • a cytosolic protein that is released rapidly from the cardiomyocyte in response to myocardial injury. PMID: 16880323

  • released into the circulation when the myocardium is injured, and H-FABP has been recently used as a novel marker for the diagnosis of ongoing myocardial damage. PMID: 16363617, PMID: 15704065

  • available as a biomarker for predicting ongoing cardiomyocyte damage in the mouse model. PMID: 16026778

  • involved in regulating cardiomyocyte growth and differentiation in mouse neonatal hearts. PMID: 15064945

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)

  • a cardiomyocyte growth and differentiation factor. PMID: 16698918

  • may provide cardiac protection against glucose in part through a PI-3 kinase/Akt/mTOR/ p70s6k-dependent and calcineurin-independent pathway. PMID: 16135669

  • synthesized locally in the heart is known to be associated with the hypertrophic process. Cardiac-synthesized IGF-I is an initiating or early-enhancing factor for hypertrophy of LV cardiomyocytes. PMID: 14624474

  • in cardiomyocytes, the antiapoptotic effect of IGF-I requires both PI3K- and MEK1-dependent pathways leading to the activation of the transcription factor CREB, which then induces the expression of the antiapoptotic factor bcl-2. PMID: 11673351

  • can directly alleviate the hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. PMID: 11256230


  • is required for the efficient differentiation of cardiomyoblasts into cardiomyocytes. PMID: 17003108

  • a MADS-box transcription factor required for cardiac myogenesis and morphogenesis. PMID: 11397016

MHC (myosin heavy chain)

MLC (myosin light chain)


  • a useful marker for the progenitor of cardiomyocytes differentiated from mouse ES cells in serum-free condition. PMID: 17097609

  • belongs to a superfamily of calcium-dependent transmembrane adhesion proteins. It mediates adhesion in the intercalated discs at the termini of cardiomyocytes thereby serving as anchor for myofibrils at cell-cell contacts. PMID: 16228908

  • cardiomyocyte marker. PMID: 15579650

Nkx2.5 (cardiac homeobox protein)

  • cardiac marker gene. PMID: 16487072

  • cardiomyocyte-specific transcription factor. PMID: 16433623

  • involved in cardiomyocyte differentiation. PMID: 11418590, PMID: 15505807

  • cardiomyocyte marker. PMID: 17300799

  • Nkx2.5(+) lineage cells possess the potential to differentiate into various cardiomyocyte cell types and that RA can modify the differentiation potential of Nkx2.5(+) cardiomyocytes at an early stage. PMID: 12594186

  • essential in cardiac development, and mutations in Csx (which encodes Nkx2-5) cause various congenital heart diseases. PMID: 11431700

  • the putative cardiomyocyte specification gene. PMID: 9986733


Pnmt (Phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase)

  • besides PNMT in neuronal and intrinsic cardiac cells, this enzyme is expressed also in rat cardiomyocytes, as shown by immunofluorescence in isolated cardiomyocytes, is a novel marker of cardiomyocyte stem cells. PMID: 17175506

  • localized, not predominantly in cardiac ganglion cells, but in a wide range in atrial cardiomyocytes. PMID: 15240396

  • the final enzyme in the pathway for epinephrine biosynthesis, serves as a marker for tissues and cells producing epinephrine. PMID: 8877775

Sarcomeric alpha Actin/Actinin

Sarcomeric Myosin

Sarcomeric Tropomyosin

  • Expressed on cardiomyocytes purified from embryoid bodies. PMID: 12594186

Skeletal alpha-Actin

  • gene normally expressed in the fetal ventricular cardiomyocyte. PMID: 7499296