Transcriptional Regulation and Epigenetics in Cardiovascular Cells: Role of the Mineralocorticoid Receptor
The mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), a ligand-activated transcription factor, plays an important role in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation or histone modifications in addition to the DNA sequence are decisive regulators of cell type-specific transcriptional activity and gene expression by controlling chromatin accessibility. In this review, we summarise the current knowledge about the impact of MR on gene expression in cardiovascular cells. We discuss studies investigating the interaction of MR with epigenetic mechanisms or other transcription factors and their implications for the cardiovascular system. Finally, we compare mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by MR and other nuclear transcription factors. In conclusion, MR is an important regulator of gene expression in cardiovascular cells. Potential mechanisms of cell type-specific transcriptional regulation by MR include interaction with other transcription factors or co-regulators, tethering and post-translational modifications of the MR. Further studies will be needed to clarify the interplay of MR and epigenetic mechanisms.