09 April 2021
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect and have a clear genetic component, yet genomic structural variations or gene mutations account for only a third of the cases. Epigenomic dynamics during human heart organogenesis thus may play a critical role in regulating heart development. However, it is unclear how histone mark H3K36me3 acts on heart development. Here we report that histone-lysine N-methyltransferase SETD2, an H3K36me3 methyltransferase, is a crucial regulator of the mouse heart epigenome. Setd2 is highly expressed in embryonic stages and accounts for a predominate role of H3K36me3 in the heart. Loss of Setd2 in cardiac progenitors results in obvious coronary vascular defects and ventricular non-compaction, leading to fetus lethality in mid-gestation, without affecting peripheral blood vessel, yolk sac, and placenta formation. Furthermore, deletion of Setd2 dramatically decreased H3K36me3 level and impacted the transcriptional landscape of key cardiac-related genes, including Rspo3 and Flrt2. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that SETD2 plays a primary role in H3K36me3 and is critical for coronary vascular formation and heart development in mice.