Gianluigi Condorelli, MD, PhD
Professor of Cardiology and Director,
Post-Graduate School of Cardiology, Humanitas University
Head, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine,
Humanitas Research Hospital
Rozzano, Milan, ItalyShort CVAbstract
The molecular bases of heart failure are characterized by significant modifications of gene expression profiles of cells composing the myocardium. Epigenetic modifications and functional non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are important contributors to this process. The epigenetic modifications that regulate transcription comprise post-translational changes to histones as well as modifications to cytosine residues on DNA. How epigenetics regulates cardiac function has been the focus of my laboratory during the last ten years. Initial studies have focused on the transcriptional landscape modifications occurring in cardiomyocytes, the contractile cellular unit of the myocardium, highlighting the relevance of histone methylation and MEF2C as key determinants of the myocardial response to stress. However, the stressed heart undergoes significant remodeling, a process in which many other cell types, including endothelial and inflammatory, participate. The extent to which the various components of the myocardial cellular composition participate has recently started to be appreciated by means of single-cell analyses. Whether and through which epigenetic mechanisms both the cardiomyocyte and non-cardiomyocyte component responds to stress will be the subject of my talk.