Mutation of highly conserved residues in transcription factors may affect protein-protein or protein-DNA interactions, leading to gene network dysregulation and human disease. Human mutations in GATA4, a cardiogenic transcription factor, cause cardiac septal defects and cardiomyopathy. Here, iPS-derived cardiomyocytes from subjects with a heterozygous GATA4-G296S missense mutation showed impaired contractility, calcium handling, and metabolic activity. In human cardiomyocytes, GATA4 broadly co-occupied cardiac enhancers with TBX5, another transcription factor that causes septal defects when mutated. The GATA4-G296S mutation disrupted TBX5 recruitment, particularly to cardiac super-enhancers, concomitant with dysregulation of genes related to the phenotypic abnormalities, including cardiac septation. Conversely, the GATA4-G296S mutation led to failure of GATA4 and TBX5-mediated repression at non-cardiac genes and enhanced open chromatin states at endothelial/endocardial promoters. These results reveal how disease-causing missense mutations can disrupt transcriptional cooperativity, leading to aberrant chromatin states and cellular dysfunction, including those related to morphogenetic defects.
Keywords: GATA4; TBX5; birth defect; cardiomyopathy; congenital heart defects; disease modeling; epigenetics; gene regulation; heart development; systems biology.
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