Abstract 199: Distinctive Roles of Linker Histone H1 Variants in the Hypertrophic Response of Cardiomyocytes
Heart failure results when cardiac output is insufficient to meet physiological requirements and is often preceded by development of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. As cardiac myocytes respond to hypertrophic stresses they re-express developmentally important genes, normally senescent in the adult. The chromatin structural events underlying this “fetal gene program” are unknown. We previously showed by proteomics that histones, components of the chromatin protein functional unit, the nucleosome, are altered during hypertrophic and failing phases of pressure overload in mouse: linker histone variants H1.2 and H1.5 decreased in hypertrophied myocardium while H1.0 increased during the transition to failure. The linker histone H1 family influences higher order chromatin structure and gene expression, although the role of this family in the heart is unknown. To assess the role of linker histones in hypertrophy, neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes (NRVMs) were transfected with siRNAs individually targeting six H1 variants. Loss of H1.3 and H1.4 respectively induced a significant 26.1% (76 of 90) and 13.5% (80 of 94) increase in cell size area (µm2). A role of H1 in the hypertrophic response is evidenced by its influence on myosin heavy chain (MHC) mRNA expression. Knock-down of individual H1 variants significantly altered the MHC isoform ratio: loss of H1.3 increased α-MHC levels 1.5 fold and decreased β-MHC 1.6 fold while H1.5 depletion decreased α-MHC 2.5 fold. Both H1.3 and H1.4 knock-down increased atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) 1.3 fold while H1.5 loss decreased ANF 6.2 fold shown by qRT-PCR. Treatment with hypertrophy-inducing agents Isoproterenol (1μM), Endothelin (2nM) or Phenylephrine (10μM), reduced H1 mRNA levels however with subtle effects on protein abundance. To evaluate whether H1 loss shifted NRVM nuclei from a predominantly heterochromatic toward euchromatic state favoring gene accessibility we examined distinct histone markers of chromatin states. Histone H1.5 knock-down significantly decreased H3K9Me3 levels, a silencing mark associated with heterochromatin, 1.7 fold. Therefore we conclude that variants package distinctive regions of the genome and that H1.3 and H1.4 controls genes involved in the hypertrophic response.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.