Background: Acetylation and methylation of histones alter the chromatin structure and accessibility that affect transcriptional regulators binding to enhancers and promoters. The binding of transcriptional regulators enables the interaction between enhancers and promoters, thus affecting gene expression. However, our knowledge of these epigenetic alternations in patients with heart failure remains limited.
Methods and results: From the comprehensive analysis of major histone modifications, 3-dimensional chromatin interactions, and transcriptome in left ventricular (LV) tissues from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) patients and non-heart failure (NF) donors, differential active enhancer and promoter regions were identified between NF and DCM. Moreover, the genome-wide average promoter signal is significantly lower in DCM than in NF. Super-enhancer (SE) analysis revealed that fewer SEs were found in DCM LVs than in NF ones, and three unique SE-associated genes between NF and DCM were identified. Moreover, SEs are enriched within the genomic region associated with long-range chromatin interactions. The differential enhancer-promoter interactions were observed in the known heart failure gene loci and are correlated with the gene expression levels. Motif analysis identified known cardiac factors and possible novel players for DCM.
Conclusions: We have established the cistrome of four histone modifications and chromatin interactome for enhancers and promoters in NF and DCM tissues. Differential histone modifications and enhancer-promoter interactions were found in DCM, which were associated with gene expression levels of a subset of disease-associated genes in human heart failure.
Keywords: Chromatin interactions; Epigenetics; Heart failure; Histone modifications.
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