Epigenetics and chromatin remodeling, it turns out, may play a role in heart disease. In one of two keynote addresses that opened the Keystone Symposia?s meeting on Molecular Mechanisms of Cardiac Disease and Regeneration here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, linkurl:Eric Olson;http://hamon.swmed.edu/faculty/olson2001.html showed why he?s received a number of awards from the American Heart Association, and why one of his earlier papers, linking calcineurin to cardiac hypertrophy, was a linkurl:Hot Paper;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/11943/ in 2000. The highlight of Olson?s talk was data on a linkurl:HDAC7;http://circres.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/98/1/15 ?- chromatin remodeling enzyme histone deacetylase 7 -- mouse knockout that died a massive cardiac death during embryonic development. The mice are fine until day 11, but by day 11.5, they?ve bled out, having suffered vascular dilatation, heart failure, and pericardial effusion. In the knockouts, smooth muscle cells are recruited to the vasculature, but they never become organized, the result of defects in endothelial cell adhesion that...

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