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Cell Stem Cell. 2016 Mar 3;18(3):382-95. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2016.02.003.

Bmi1 Is a Key Epigenetic Barrier to Direct Cardiac Reprogramming.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; McAllister Heart Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
2
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
3
Department of Medicine, Heart and Vascular Research Center, MetroHealth Campus, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA.
4
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
5
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; McAllister Heart Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Electronic address: li_qian@med.unc.edu.

Abstract

Direct reprogramming of induced cardiomyocytes (iCMs) suffers from low efficiency and requires extensive epigenetic repatterning, although the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. To address these issues, we screened for epigenetic regulators of iCM reprogramming and found that reducing levels of the polycomb complex gene Bmi1 significantly enhanced induction of beating iCMs from neonatal and adult mouse fibroblasts. The inhibitory role of Bmi1 in iCM reprogramming is mediated through direct interactions with regulatory regions of cardiogenic genes, rather than regulation of cell proliferation. Reduced Bmi1 expression corresponded with increased levels of the active histone mark H3K4me3 and reduced levels of repressive H2AK119ub at cardiogenic loci, and de-repression of cardiogenic gene expression during iCM conversion. Furthermore, Bmi1 deletion could substitute for Gata4 during iCM reprogramming. Thus, Bmi1 acts as a critical epigenetic barrier to iCM production. Bypassing this barrier simplifies iCM generation and increases yield, potentially streamlining iCM production for therapeutic purposes.

KEYWORDS:

Bmi1; Gata4; Mef2c; Tbx5; cardiac reprogramming; cardiomyocyte; chromatin modification; epigenetic; fibroblast; iCM

PMID:
26942853
PMCID:
PMC4779178
[Available on 2017-03-03]
DOI:
10.1016/j.stem.2016.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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