To model cardiac gene regulatory networks in health and disease we used DamID to establish robust target gene sets for the cardiac homeodomain factor NKX2-5 and two congenital heart disease-associated mutants carrying a crippled homeodomain, which normally functions as DNA- and protein-binding interface. Despite compromised direct DNA-binding, NKX2-5 mutants retained partial functionality and bound hundreds of targets, including NKX2-5 wild type targets and unique sets of 'off-targets'. NKX2-5∆HD, which lacks the entire homeodomain, could still dimerise with wild type NKX2-5 and its cofactors, including newly-discovered cofactors of the ETS family, through the conserved tyrosine-rich domain (YRD). NKX2-5∆HD off-targets showed overrepresentation of many binding motifs, including ETS motifs, the majority co-occupied by ETS proteins as determined by DamID. Off-targets of an NKX2-5 YRD mutant were not enriched in ETS targets. Our study reveals off-target binding and transcriptional activity for NKX2-5 mutations driven in part by cofactor interactions, suggesting a novel type of gain-of-function in congenital heart disease.
Animal experimentation: Animal experimentation was performed with approval of the Garvan Institute/St Vincent's Hospital Animal Ethics Committee (Project numbers 10/19 and 10/01).
- Margaret Buckingham, Institut Pasteur, France
© 2015, Bouveret et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.