The SRCAP chromatin remodeling complex promotes oxidative metabolism during prenatal heart development

Development. 2021 Apr 15;148(8):dev199026. doi: 10.1242/dev.199026. Epub 2021 Apr 16.


Mammalian heart development relies on cardiomyocyte mitochondrial maturation and metabolism. Embryonic cardiomyocytes make a metabolic shift from anaerobic glycolysis to oxidative metabolism by mid-gestation. VHL-HIF signaling favors anaerobic glycolysis but this process subsides by E14.5. Meanwhile, oxidative metabolism becomes activated but its regulation is largely elusive. Here, we first pinpointed a crucial temporal window for mitochondrial maturation and metabolic shift, and uncovered the pivotal role of the SRCAP chromatin remodeling complex in these processes in mouse. Disruption of this complex massively suppressed the transcription of key genes required for the tricarboxylic acid cycle, fatty acid β-oxidation and ubiquinone biosynthesis, and destroyed respirasome stability. Furthermore, we found that the SRCAP complex functioned through H2A.Z deposition to activate transcription of metabolic genes. These findings have unveiled the important physiological functions of the SRCAP complex in regulating mitochondrial maturation and promoting oxidative metabolism during heart development, and shed new light on the transcriptional regulation of ubiquinone biosynthesis.

Keywords: H2A.Z; Heart development; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Mouse; SRCAP chromatin remodeling complex; Znhit1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Multiprotein Complexes / genetics
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation*
  • Ubiquinone / biosynthesis


  • Fatty Acids
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Ubiquinone