Benoit Bruneau, PhD

Professor
Department of Pediatrics
+1 415 734-2708

The main focus of our lab is to understand how a heart becomes a heart: what cell lineage decisions take place to direct cardiac differentiation, and what morphogenetic and patterning processes occur to assemble all of the heart's components into a functional organ. We are primarily interested in regulation of these processes by transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that include DNA-binding transcription factors, chromatin remodeling complexes, and histone modifications. We have used this knowledge to understand disease mechanisms, but also to devise strategies for cardiac regeneration.

Why study heart development? We believe that primary defects in patterning in early heart development are at the root of congenital heart defects, which affect approximately 1% of live-born children, and we want to understand how these defects occur, to perhaps be able to uncover new and improved diagnostic or even therapeutic options. Also, by understanding how cardiac lineage specification occurs, we can better design stem cell-based interventions of cardiac repair, based on the knowledge of what drives an uncommitted cell towards a specific cardiac fate. We have recently focused our efforts on cardiac chromatin remodeling and modification factors, enzymes that unwind DNA or modify histones to turn genes on or off. We are particularly interested in how these factors control cardiac cell lineage decisions. These chromatin remodeling factors may also be key to pushing a stem cell into becoming a heart cell, perhaps opening up new avenues for cardiac regenerative medicine.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Vascular & Cardiac Biology
Research Summary: 
Transcriptional regulation of cardiac morphogenesis and differentiation
Publications: 

Targeted Degradation of CTCF Decouples Local Insulation of Chromosome Domains from Genomic Compartmentalization.

Cell

Nora EP, Goloborodko A, Valton AL, Gibcus JH, Uebersohn A, Abdennur N, Dekker J, Mirny LA, Bruneau BG

Cooperative activation of cardiac transcription through myocardin bridging of paired MEF2 sites.

Development (Cambridge, England)

Anderson CM, Hu J, Thomas R, Gainous TB, Celona B, Sinha T, Dickel DE, Heidt AB, Xu SM, Bruneau BG, Pollard KS, Pennacchio LA, Black BL

Single-Cell Resolution of Temporal Gene Expression during Heart Development.

Developmental cell

DeLaughter DM, Bick AG, Wakimoto H, McKean D, Gorham JM, Kathiriya IS, Hinson JT, Homsy J, Gray J, Pu W, Bruneau BG, Seidman JG, Seidman CE

ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling during mammalian development.

Development (Cambridge, England)

Hota SK, Bruneau BG

Loss of Iroquois homeobox transcription factors 3 and 5 in osteoblasts disrupts cranial mineralization.

Bone reports

Cain CJ, Gaborit N, Lwin W, Barruet E, Ho S, Bonnard C, Hamamy H, Shboul M, Reversade B, Kayserili H, Bruneau BG, Hsiao EC