2012 Volume 119 Issue 3 Pages 198-203
Reactivation of the fetal cardiac gene program in adults is a reliable marker of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Normally, genes within this group are expressed in the fetal ventricles during development, but are silent after birth. However, their expression is re-induced in the ventricular myocardium in response to various cardiovascular diseases, and potentially plays an important role in the pathological process of cardiac remodeling. Thus, analysis of the molecular mechanisms that govern the expression of fetal cardiac genes could lead to the discovery of transcriptional regulators and signaling pathways involved in both cardiac differentiation and cardiac disease. In this review we will summarize what is currently known about the transcriptional regulation of the fetal cardiac gene program.