Spatiotemporal gene expression during cardiac development is a highly regulated process. Activation of key signaling pathways involved in electrophysiological programming, such as Notch and Wnt signaling, occurs in early cardiovascular development and these pathways are reactivated during pathologic remodeling. Direct targets of these signaling pathways have also been associated with inherited arrhythmias such as Brugada syndrome and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy. In addition, evidence is emerging from animal models that reactivation of Notch and Wnt signaling during cardiac pathology may predispose to acquired arrhythmias, underscoring the importance of elucidating the transcriptional and epigenetic effects on cardiac gene regulation. Here, we highlight specific examples where gene expression dictates electrophysiological properties in both normal and diseased hearts.
- Histone modification