DOI: 10.1101/455600Oct 29, 2018Paper

Intra-Nuclear Tensile Strain Mediates Reorganization of Epigenetically Marked Chromatin During Cardiac Development and Disease

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Benjamin SeelbinderCorey P Neu


Environmental mechanical cues are critical to guide cell fate. Forces transmit to the nucleus through the Linker of Nucleo- and Cytoskeleton (LINC) complex and are thought to influence the organization of chromatin that is related to cell differentiation; however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we investigated chromatin reorganization during murine cardiac development and found that cardiomyocytes establish a distinct architecture characterized by relocation of H3K9me3-modified chromatin from the nuclear interior to the periphery and co-localization to myofibrils. This effect was abrogated in stiff environments that inhibited cardiomyocyte contractility, or after LINC complex disruption, and resulted in the relocation of H3K27me3-modified chromatin instead. By generating high-resolution intra-nuclear strain maps during cardiomyocyte contraction, we discovered that the reorganization of H3K9me3-marked chromatin is influenced by tensile, but not compressive, nuclear strains. Our findings highlight a new role for nuclear mechanosensation in guiding cell fate through chromatin reorganization in response to environmental cues.

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