Coordinate Nodal and BMP inhibition directs Baf60c-dependent cardiomyocyte commitment.


A critical but molecularly uncharacterized step in heart formation and regeneration is the process that commits progenitor cells to differentiate into cardiomyocytes. Here, we show that the endoderm-derived dual Nodal/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist Cerberus-1 (Cer1) in embryonic stem cell cultures orchestrates two signaling pathways that direct the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex to cardiomyogenic loci in multipotent (KDR/Flk1+) progenitors, activating lineage-specific transcription. Transient inhibition of Nodal by Cer1 induces Brahma-associated factor 60c (Baf60c), one of three Baf60 variants (a, b, and c) that are mutually exclusively assembled into SWI/SNF. Blocking Nodal and BMP also induces lineage-specific transcription factors Gata4 and Tbx5, which interact with Baf60c. siRNA to Cer1, Baf60c, or the catalytic SWI/SNF subunit Brg1 prevented the developmental opening of chromatin surrounding the Nkx2.5 early cardiac enhancer and cardiomyocyte differentiation. Overexpression of Baf60c fully rescued these deficits, positioning Baf60c and SWI/SNF function downstream from Cer1. Thus, antagonism of Nodal and BMP coordinates induction of the myogenic Baf60c variant and interacting transcription factors to program the developmental opening of cardiomyocyte-specific loci in chromatin. This is the first demonstration that cues from the progenitor cell environment direct the subunit variant composition of SWI/SNF to remodel the transcriptional landscape for lineage-specific differentiation.

DOI: 10.1101/gad.225144.113
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@article{Cai2013CoordinateNA, title={Coordinate Nodal and BMP inhibition directs Baf60c-dependent cardiomyocyte commitment.}, author={Wenqing Cai and Sonia Albini and Ke Qiang Wei and Erik P. Willems and Rosa M. Guzzo and Masanao Tsuda and Lorenzo Giordani and Sean Spiering and Leo Kurian and Gene W. Yeo and Pier Lorenzo Puri and Mark Mercola}, journal={Genes & development}, year={2013}, volume={27 21}, pages={2332-44} }