Substantial new knowledge has accrued, over the past few years, concerning the epigenetic regulation of heart development and disease. Epigenetic mechanisms comprise DNA methylation, ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs. Many of these processes have been ascertained to influence the tight spatiotemporal control of gene expression during cardiac development. Nevertheless, the relative contribution of each mechanism and their potentially complex interplay remain largely unexplored. Cardiac development and disease are linked through the reactivation of fetal genes upon cardiac hypertrophy and failure. In cardiac disease, changes in gene expression are accompanied and influenced by distinct changes in histone modifications. Detailed knowledge about the epigenetic pathways of cardiac development and function is expected ultimately to lead to novel therapeutic strategies for heart disease and regenerative medicine.
PMID: 24817102 [ - ]