The Transcription Factor DPF3

Chromatin remodeling is essential for regulating the access of the transcription machinery to the DNA. We characterized the epigenetic transcription factor DPF3 (BAF45c), which recruits the BAF chromatin remodeling complex to acetylated as well as methylated histones. Thus, it connects distinct regulatory signals of the histone code and enables a tissues-specific read-out based on its neural, cardiac and muscle specific expression.

To further analyze the protein’s function, we generated Dpf3 knockout mice. The animals are viable and fertile; they now await in-depth characterization by long-term monitoring, cardiac imaging and expression analysis of Dpf3 downstream targets by RNA sequencing. This will complement our knowledge already gained in zebrafish, where dpf3 is essential for cardiac function and somite structuring, and give novel insights into the transcription networks underlying heart and muscle development.