Published in

National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 45(116), p. 22692-22698

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1907418116



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Long-range Pitx2c enhancer–promoter interactions prevent predisposition to atrial fibrillation

This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

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Genome-wide association studies found that increased risk for atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common human heart arrhythmia, is associated with noncoding sequence variants located in proximity to PITX2. Cardiomyocyte-specific epigenomic and comparative genomics uncovered 2 AF-associated enhancers neighboring PITX2 with varying conservation in mice. Chromosome conformation capture experiments in mice revealed that the Pitx2c promoter directly contacted the AF-associated enhancer regions. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of a 20-kb topologically engaged enhancer led to reduced Pitx2c transcription and AF predisposition. Allele-specific chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing on hybrid heterozygous enhancer knockout mice revealed that long-range interaction of an AF-associated region with the Pitx2c promoter was required for maintenance of the Pitx2c promoter chromatin state. Long-range looping was mediated by CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), since genetic disruption of the intronic CTCF-binding site caused reduced Pitx2c expression, AF predisposition, and diminished active chromatin marks on Pitx2. AF risk variants located at 4q25 reside in genomic regions possessing long-range transcriptional regulatory functions directed at PITX2.