Kim, J.D., Kim, E., Koun, S., Ham, H.J., Rhee, M., Kim, M.J., Huh, T.L. (2015) Proper Activity of Histone H3 Lysine 4 (H3K4) Methyltransferase Is Required for Morphogenesis during Zebrafish Cardiogenesis. Molecules and cells. 38(6):580-6.
While increasing evidence indicate the important function of histone methylation during development, how this process influence cardiac development in vertebrates has not been explored. Here, we elucidate the functions of two histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methylation enzymes, SMYD3 and SETD7, during zebrafish heart morphogenesis using gene expression profiling by whole mount in situ hybridization and antisense morpholino oligonucleotide (MO)- based gene knockdown. We find both smyd3 and setd7 are highly expressed within developing zebrafish heart and knock-down of these genes led to severe defects in cardiac morphogenesis without altering the expressions pattern of heart markers, including cmlc2, vmhc, and amhc. Furthermore, double knock-down by coinjection of smyd3 and setd7 MOs caused the synergistic defects in heart development. As similar to knock-down effect, overexpression of these genes also caused the heart morphogenesis defect in zebrafish. These results indicate that histone modifying enzymes, SMYD3 and SETD7, appear to function synergistically during heart development and their proper functioning is essential for normal heart morphogenesis during development.