Heart Development

A chromatin modifier for the developing heart

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Science  29 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6285, pp. 547-548
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6285.547-d

The alteration of chromatin structure enables differential gene expressions necessary for organ development. For example, the specific histone modifier protein KMT2D regulates transcription during heart development. Methylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 by KMT2D correlates with gene activation, and mutation of KMT2D is associated with congenital heart defects. Ang et al. now show that deleting the gene that encodes KMT2D in mice disrupts embryonic heart development. Defects result from altered expression of genes involved in directing the development of mesodermal precursors and cardiomyocytes as well as genes controlling the cell cycle and ion transport for calcium signaling. This work elucidates a cardiac transcriptional program for heart development as controlled by a chromatin modifier.

Development 143, 810 (2016).

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