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Background: Transcriptional reconfiguration is central to heart failure, the common cause of which is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). However, the impact of three-dimensional (3D) chromatin topology on transcriptional dysregulation and pathogenesis in human DCM remains elusive. Methods: We generated a compendium of 3D-epigenome and transcriptome maps from 101 biobanked human DCM and non-failing heart tissues through HiChIP (H3K27ac), in situ Hi-C, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq and RNA-seq profiling. We employed human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) and mouse models to further interrogate the key transcription factor implicated in 3D chromatin organization and transcriptional regulation in DCM pathogenesis. Results: We discovered that the active regulatory elements (H3K27ac peaks) and their connectome (H3K27ac loops) were extensively reprogrammed in DCM hearts and contributed to transcriptional dysregulation implicated for DCM development. For example, we identified that non-transcribing NPPA-AS1 promoter functions as an enhancer and physically interacts with the NPPA and NPPB promoters, leading to the co-transcription of NPPA and NPPB in DCM hearts. We uncovered that DCM-enriched H3K27ac loops largely resided in conserved high-order chromatin architectures (Compartments, Topologically Associating Domains) and unexpectedly their anchors had equivalent chromatin accessibility. Intriguingly, we discovered that the DCM-enriched H3K27ac loop anchors exhibited a strong enrichment for Heart and Neural Crest Derivatives Expressed 1 (HAND1), a key transcription factor involved in early cardiogenesis. In line with this, its protein expression was upregulated in human DCM and mouse failing hearts. To further validate whether HAND1 is a causal driver for the reprogramming of enhancer/promoter connectome in DCM hearts, we performed comprehensive 3D epigenome mappings in hiPSC-CMs. We found that forced overexpression of HAND1 in hiPSC-CM induced a distinct gain of enhancer/promoter connectivity and, correspondingly, increased the expression of their connected genes implicated in DCM etiology, thus recapitulating the transcriptional signature in human DCM hearts. Moreover, electrophysiology analysis demonstrated that forced overexpression of HAND1 in hiPSC-CM induced abnormal calcium handling. Furthermore, cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression of Hand1 in the mouse hearts resulted in a dilated cardiac remodeling with impaired contractility/Ca2+ handling in cardiomyocytes, increased ratio of heart weight/body weight and compromised cardiac function, which were ascribed to recapitulation of transcriptional reprogramming in DCM. Conclusions: This study provided novel chromatin topology insights into DCM pathogenesis and illustrated a model whereby a single transcription factor (HAND1) reprograms the genome-wide enhancer/promoter connectome to drive DCM pathogenesis.

Original publication

DOI

10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.055781

Type

Journal article

Journal

Circulation

Publication Date

11/04/2022