Epigenomics of Heart Development

Gene expression is regulated at many levels to enact a cell type-specific program. This includes DNA-binding transcription factors, chromatin remodeling complexes, DNA methylation, and the distribution of histone modifications. The CvDC has been identifying and cataloguing many of these across the genome of differentiating cardiac cells derived from mouse ES cells, embryonic mouse and zebrafish hearts, and vascular endothelium. The data derived from these epigenomic surveys are freely available and create a resource that is available to all scientists interested in gene regulation in cardiac differentiation.

In addition to identifying dynamic chromatin states in differentiation and development, CvDC investigators are comparing these genome-wide events in wildtype and cardiovascular mutants across different organisms (mice, zebrafish, human cell culture). When considered in combination with the human genetic data obtained by the PCGC, these datasets bring to light an unprecedented view of the gene regulatory networks that control congenital heart defects.

CvDC datasets are available through the CvDC data repository, which is periodically updated as new data are generated.