Distribution of Histone3 Lysine 4 Trimethylation at T3-Responsive Loci in the Heart During Reversible Changes in Gene Expression
Expression in the adult heart of a number of cardiac genes, including the two genes comprising the cardiac myosin heavy chain locus (Myh), is controlled by thyroid hormone (T3) levels, but there is minimal information concerning the epigenetic status of the genes when their expressions change. We fed mice normal chow or a propyl thio uracil (PTU, an inhibitor of T3 production) diet for 6 weeks, or the PTU diet for 6 weeks followed by normal chow for a further 2 weeks. Heart ventricles from these groups were then used for ChIP-seq analyses with an antibody to H3K4me3, a well-documented epigenetic marker of gene activation. The resulting data show that, at the Myh7 locus, H3K4me3 modifications are induced primarily at 5′ transcribed region in parallel with increased expression of beta myosin heavy chain (MHC). At the Myh6 locus, decreases in H3K4me3 modifications occurred at the promoter and 5′ transcribed region. Extensive H3K4me3 modifications also occurred at the intergenic region between the two Myh genes, which extended into the 3′ transcribed region of Myh7. The PTU-induced changes in H3K4me3 levels are, for the most part, reversible but are not invariably complete. We found full restoration of Myh6 gene expression upon PTU withdrawal; however, the H3K4me3 pattern was only partially restored at Myh6, suggesting that full reexpression of Myh6 does not require that the H3K4me3 modifications return fully to the untreated conditions. Together, our data show that the H3K4me3 modification is an epigenetic marker closely associated with changes in Myh gene expression.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Publication date: April 1, 2012
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