The directed differentiation of human cardiomyocytes (CMs) from pluripotent cells provides an invaluable model for understanding mechanisms of cell fate determination and offers considerable promise in cardiac regenerative medicine. Here, we utilize a human embryonic stem cell suspension bank, produced according to a good manufacturing practice, to generate CMs using a fully defined and small molecule-based differentiation strategy. Primitive and cardiac mesoderm purification was used to remove non-committing and multi-lineage populations and this significantly aided the identification of key transcription factors, lncRNAs, and essential signaling pathways that define cardiomyogenesis. Global methylation profiles reflect CM development and we report on CM exon DNA methylation "memories" persisting beyond transcription repression and marking the expression history of numerous developmentally regulated genes, especially transcription factors.
Keywords: Cardiomyocytes; Cardiomyogenesis; DNA methylation; Differentiation; Epigenetic; Good manufacturing practice, GMP, epigenetic memory, WNT, hedgehog, transforming growth factor, ROR2, PDGFRα, demethylation, TET, TDG, HOX, TBOX; Human embryonic stem cells; Long non-coding RNA; Mesoderm; Methylome; Pluripotent; Transcriptome; lncRNA.