Brian Black, PhD

InstitutionUniversity of California San Francisco
DepartmentCardiovascular Research Inst
Address555 Mission Bay Blvd South
San Francisco CA 94158
vCardDownload vCard

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    The molecular and developmental basis for the majority of birth defects is unknown. Tissues and organs form during embryonic development through the integration of numerous signaling and transcriptional pathways. Our major goal is to define pathways controlling organ formation to understand normal development, the molecular basis for congenital and other genetic defects, and potential mechanisms for organ regeneration and repair. Our focus is primarily on the cardiovascular system, but the development of other organs and tissues is also being investigated in our laboratory.

    We use a combination of gene knockouts, transgenic reporter assays, biochemical, computational, and genomic approaches to investigate basic developmental mechanisms. We primarily use the mouse as a model system, but several current projects also use cultured cells, zebrafish, and Drosophila as models to understand developmental gene regulation. Current work in the lab is focused primarily on cell autonomous mechanisms underlying gene regulation, tissue specification, organ formation during cardiovascular, craniofacial, neural crest, and skeletal muscle development and function.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    NAVBO Workshops at Vascular Biology 2017
    NIH/NHLBI R13HL137350May 1, 2017 - Apr 30, 2018
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Identification and application of regulatory elements for heart regeneration
    NIH/NHLBI R01HL136182Dec 15, 2016 - Nov 30, 2020
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    NAVBO Workshops at Vascular Biology 2014
    NIH/NHLBI R13HL123272Aug 1, 2014 - Jul 31, 2015
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Molecular and Genetic Regulation of Craniofacial Development
    NIH/NIDCR R01DE019118Sep 25, 2009 - Jun 30, 2014
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Transcriptional Networks During Cardiac Differentiation
    NIH/NHLBI P01HL089707Jul 1, 2007 - Jul 31, 2018
    Role: Co-Investigator
    Role of MEF2C in muscle development and regeneration
    NIH/NIAMS R01AR052130Aug 15, 2005 - Jul 31, 2012
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Regulation of cardiovascular transcription
    NIH/NHLBI R01HL064658Sep 28, 2000 - Jan 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Molecular and Cellular Basis of Cardiovascular Disease
    NIH/NHLBI T32HL007731Jul 1, 1992 - May 31, 2023
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Featured Publications
    Collapse Websites
    Collapse Twitter

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. 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 B. Cooperative activation of cardiac transcription through myocardin bridging of paired MEF2 sites. Development. 2017 04 01; 144(7):1235-1241. PMID: 28351867.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Overman J, Fontaine F, Moustaqil M, Mittal D, Sierecki E, Sacilotto N, Zuegg J, Robertson AA, Holmes K, Salim AA, Mamidyala S, Butler MS, Robinson AS, Lesieur E, Johnston W, Alexandrov K, Black B, Hogan BM, De Val S, Capon RJ, Carroll JS, Bailey TL, Koopman P, Jauch R, Smyth MJ, Cooper MA, Gambin Y, Francois M. Pharmacological targeting of the transcription factor SOX18 delays breast cancer in mice. Elife. 2017 01 31; 6. PMID: 28137359.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Celona B, Dollen JV, Vatsavayai SC, Kashima R, Johnson JR, Tang AA, Hata A, Miller BL, Huang EJ, Krogan NJ, Seeley WW, Black B. Suppression of C9orf72 RNA repeat-induced neurotoxicity by the ALS-associated RNA-binding protein Zfp106. Elife. 2017 Jan 10; 6. PMID: 28072389.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Marín-Juez R, Marass M, Gauvrit S, Rossi A, Lai SL, Materna SC, Black B, Stainier DY. Fast revascularization of the injured area is essential to support zebrafish heart regeneration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 10 04; 113(40):11237-11242. PMID: 27647901.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Kang J, Hu J, Karra R, Dickson AL, Tornini VA, Nachtrab G, Gemberling M, Goldman JA, Black B, Poss KD. Modulation of tissue repair by regeneration enhancer elements. Nature. 2016 Apr 14; 532(7598):201-6. PMID: 27049946; PMCID: PMC4844022 [Available on 04/14/17].
    6. Barnes RM, Harris IS, Jaehnig EJ, Sauls K, Sinha T, Rojas A, Schachterle W, McCulley DJ, Norris RA, Black B. MEF2C regulates outflow tract alignment and transcriptional control of Tdgf1. Development. 2016 Mar 01; 143(5):774-9. PMID: 26811383.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Hu J, Verzi MP, Robinson AS, Tang PL, Hua LL, Xu SM, Kwok PY, Black B. Endothelin signaling activates Mef2c expression in the neural crest through a MEF2C-dependent positive-feedback transcriptional pathway. Development. 2015 Aug 15; 142(16):2775-80. PMID: 26160899; PMCID: PMC4550968.
    8. Tapaltsyan V, Charles C, Hu J, Mindell D, Ahituv N, Wilson GM, Black B, Viriot L, Klein OD. Identification of novel Fgf enhancers and their role in dental evolution. Evol Dev. 2016 Jan-Feb; 18(1):31-40. PMID: 26086993; PMCID: PMC4826035 [Available on 01/01/17].
    9. Hogan BM, Black B. Developmental biology: Diversity in the lymphatic vasculature. Nature. 2015 Jun 04; 522(7554):37-8. PMID: 25992543.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Aoto K, Sandell LL, Butler Tjaden NE, Yuen KC, Watt KE, Black B, Durnin M, Trainor PA. Mef2c-F10N enhancer driven ß-galactosidase (LacZ) and Cre recombinase mice facilitate analyses of gene function and lineage fate in neural crest cells. Dev Biol. 2015 Jun 01; 402(1):3-16. PMID: 25794678; PMCID: PMC4433593.
    11. Anderson CM, Hu J, Barnes RM, Heidt AB, Cornelissen I, Black B. Myocyte enhancer factor 2C function in skeletal muscle is required for normal growth and glucose metabolism in mice. Skelet Muscle. 2015; 5:7. PMID: 25789156; PMCID: PMC4364460.
    12. Ehlers ML, Celona B, Black B. NFATc1 controls skeletal muscle fiber type and is a negative regulator of MyoD activity. Cell Rep. 2014 Sep 25; 8(6):1639-1648. PMID: 25242327; PMCID: PMC4180018.
    13. Robinson AS, Materna SC, Barnes RM, De Val S, Xu SM, Black B. An arterial-specific enhancer of the human endothelin converting enzyme 1 (ECE1) gene is synergistically activated by Sox17, FoxC2, and Etv2. Dev Biol. 2014 Nov 15; 395(2):379-389. PMID: 25179465; PMCID: PMC4252918.
    14. Hua LL, Vedantham V, Barnes RM, Hu J, Robinson AS, Bressan M, Srivastava D, Black B. Specification of the mouse cardiac conduction system in the absence of Endothelin signaling. Dev Biol. 2014 Sep 15; 393(2):245-254. PMID: 25050930; PMCID: PMC4143461.
    15. Parker SC, Stitzel ML, Taylor DL, Orozco JM, Erdos MR, Akiyama JA, van Bueren KL, Chines PS, Narisu N. Chromatin stretch enhancer states drive cell-specific gene regulation and harbor human disease risk variants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 29; 110(44):17921-6. PMID: 24127591; PMCID: PMC3816444.
    16. Wythe JD, Dang LT, Devine WP, Boudreau E, Artap ST, He D, Schachterle W, Stainier DY, Oettgen P, Black B, Bruneau BG, Fish JE. ETS factors regulate Vegf-dependent arterial specification. Dev Cell. 2013 Jul 15; 26(1):45-58. PMID: 23830865; PMCID: PMC3754838.
    17. Lammerts van Bueren K, Black B. Regulation of endothelial and hematopoietic development by the ETS transcription factor Etv2. Curr Opin Hematol. 2012 May; 19(3):199-205. PMID: 22406820.
      View in: PubMed
    18. McCulley DJ, Black B. Transcription factor pathways and congenital heart disease. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2012; 100:253-77. PMID: 22449847; PMCID: PMC3684448.
    19. May D, Blow MJ, Kaplan T, McCulley DJ, Jensen BC, Akiyama JA, Holt A, Plajzer-Frick I, Shoukry M, Wright C, Afzal V, Simpson PC, Rubin EM, Black B, Bristow J, Pennacchio LA, Visel A. Large-scale discovery of enhancers from human heart tissue. Nat Genet. 2011 Dec 04; 44(1):89-93. PMID: 22138689; PMCID: PMC3246570.
    20. Palencia-Desai S, Kohli V, Kang J, Chi NC, Black B, Sumanas S. Vascular endothelial and endocardial progenitors differentiate as cardiomyocytes in the absence of Etsrp/Etv2 function. Development. 2011 Nov; 138(21):4721-32. PMID: 21989916; PMCID: PMC3190385.
    21. Schachterle W, Rojas A, Xu SM, Black B. ETS-dependent regulation of a distal Gata4 cardiac enhancer. Dev Biol. 2012 Jan 15; 361(2):439-49. PMID: 22056786; PMCID: PMC3246565.
    22. Murakami M, Nguyen LT, Hatanaka K, Schachterle W, Chen PY, Zhuang ZW, Black B, Simons M. FGF-dependent regulation of VEGF receptor 2 expression in mice. J Clin Invest. 2011 Jul; 121(7):2668-78. PMID: 21633168; PMCID: PMC3223828.
    23. Agarwal P, Verzi MP, Nguyen T, Hu J, Ehlers ML, McCulley DJ, Xu SM, Dodou E, Anderson JP, Wei ML, Black B. The MADS box transcription factor MEF2C regulates melanocyte development and is a direct transcriptional target and partner of SOX10. Development. 2011 Jun; 138(12):2555-65. PMID: 21610032; PMCID: PMC3100711.
    24. Tsuchihashi T, Maeda J, Shin CH, Ivey KN, Black B, Olson EN, Yamagishi H, Srivastava D. Hand2 function in second heart field progenitors is essential for cardiogenesis. Dev Biol. 2011 Mar 01; 351(1):62-9. PMID: 21185281; PMCID: PMC3039109.
    25. Wang J, Greene SB, Bonilla-Claudio M, Tao Y, Zhang J, Bai Y, Huang Z, Black B, Wang F, Martin JF. Bmp signaling regulates myocardial differentiation from cardiac progenitors through a MicroRNA-mediated mechanism. Dev Cell. 2010 Dec 14; 19(6):903-12. PMID: 21145505; PMCID: PMC3010389.
    26. Blow MJ, McCulley DJ, Li Z, Zhang T, Akiyama JA, Holt A, Plajzer-Frick I, Shoukry M, Wright C, Chen F, Afzal V, Bristow J, Ren B, Black B, Rubin EM, Visel A, Pennacchio LA. ChIP-Seq identification of weakly conserved heart enhancers. Nat Genet. 2010 Sep; 42(9):806-10. PMID: 20729851; PMCID: PMC3138496.
    27. Rojas A, Schachterle W, Xu SM, Martín F, Black B. Direct transcriptional regulation of Gata4 during early endoderm specification is controlled by FoxA2 binding to an intronic enhancer. Dev Biol. 2010 Oct 15; 346(2):346-55. PMID: 20692247; PMCID: PMC2945415.
    28. Harris IS, Black B. Development of the endocardium. Pediatr Cardiol. 2010 Apr; 31(3):391-9. PMID: 20135106; PMCID: PMC2836465.
    29. Ha Choi J, Wah Yee S, Kim MJ, Nguyen L, Ho Lee J, Kang JO, Hesselson S, Castro RA, Stryke D, Johns SJ, Kwok PY, Ferrin TE, Goo Lee M, Black B, Ahituv N, Giacomini KM. Identification and characterization of novel polymorphisms in the basal promoter of the human transporter, MATE1. Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2009 Oct; 19(10):770-80. PMID: 19745787; PMCID: PMC2976711.
    30. Rojas A, Schachterle W, Xu SM, Black B. An endoderm-specific transcriptional enhancer from the mouse Gata4 gene requires GATA and homeodomain protein-binding sites for function in vivo. Dev Dyn. 2009 Oct; 238(10):2588-98. PMID: 19777593; PMCID: PMC2827249.
    31. Koshiba-Takeuchi K, Mori AD, Kaynak BL, Cebra-Thomas J, Sukonnik T, Georges RO, Latham S, Beck L, Beck L, Henkelman RM, Black B, Olson EN, Wade J, Takeuchi JK, Nemer M, Gilbert SF, Bruneau BG. Reptilian heart development and the molecular basis of cardiac chamber evolution. Nature. 2009 Sep 03; 461(7260):95-8. PMID: 19727199; PMCID: PMC2753965.
    32. Kang J, Nathan E, Xu SM, Tzahor E, Black B. Isl1 is a direct transcriptional target of Forkhead transcription factors in second-heart-field-derived mesoderm. Dev Biol. 2009 Oct 15; 334(2):513-22. PMID: 19580802; PMCID: PMC2928383.
    33. Lee Y, Hami D, De Val S, Kagermeier-Schenk B, Wills AA, Black B, Weidinger G, Poss KD. Maintenance of blastemal proliferation by functionally diverse epidermis in regenerating zebrafish fins. Dev Biol. 2009 Jul 15; 331(2):270-80. PMID: 19445916; PMCID: PMC2821826.
    34. De Val S, Black B. Transcriptional control of endothelial cell development. Dev Cell. 2009 Feb; 16(2):180-95. PMID: 19217421; PMCID: PMC2728550.
    35. Yee SW, Shima JE, Hesselson S, Nguyen L, De Val S, Lafond RJ, Kawamoto M, Johns SJ, Stryke D, Kwok PY, Ferrin TE, Black B, Gurwitz D, Ahituv N, Giacomini KM. Identification and characterization of proximal promoter polymorphisms in the human concentrative nucleoside transporter 2 (SLC28A2). J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009 Mar; 328(3):699-707. PMID: 19098160; PMCID: PMC2682268.
    36. De Val S, Chi NC, Meadows SM, Minovitsky S, Anderson JP, Harris IS, Ehlers ML, Agarwal P, Visel A, Xu SM, Pennacchio LA, Dubchak I, Krieg PA, Stainier DY, Black B. Combinatorial regulation of endothelial gene expression by ets and forkhead transcription factors. Cell. 2008 Dec 12; 135(6):1053-64. PMID: 19070576; PMCID: PMC2782666.
    37. McCulley DJ, Kang JO, Martin JF, Black B. BMP4 is required in the anterior heart field and its derivatives for endocardial cushion remodeling, outflow tract septation, and semilunar valve development. Dev Dyn. 2008 Nov; 237(11):3200-9. PMID: 18924235; PMCID: PMC2728547.
    38. Khiem D, Cyster JG, Schwarz JJ, Black B. A p38 MAPK-MEF2C pathway regulates B-cell proliferation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Nov 04; 105(44):17067-72. PMID: 18955699; PMCID: PMC2579379.
    39. Rojas A, Kong SW, Agarwal P, Gilliss B, Pu WT, Black B. GATA4 is a direct transcriptional activator of cyclin D2 and Cdk4 and is required for cardiomyocyte proliferation in anterior heart field-derived myocardium. Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Sep; 28(17):5420-31. PMID: 18591257; PMCID: PMC2519727.
    40. Chi NC, Shaw RM, De Val S, Kang G, Jan LY, Black B, Stainier DY. Foxn4 directly regulates tbx2b expression and atrioventricular canal formation. Genes Dev. 2008 Mar 15; 22(6):734-9. PMID: 18347092; PMCID: PMC2275426.
    41. Heidt AB, Rojas A, Harris IS, Black B. Determinants of myogenic specificity within MyoD are required for noncanonical E box binding. Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Aug; 27(16):5910-20. PMID: 17562853; PMCID: PMC1952131.
    42. Verzi MP, Agarwal P, Brown C, McCulley DJ, Schwarz JJ, Black B. The transcription factor MEF2C is required for craniofacial development. Dev Cell. 2007 Apr; 12(4):645-52. PMID: 17420000; PMCID: PMC1920108.
    43. Bruneau BG, Black B. The heart's Da Vinci code: a Renaissance at Keystone. Development. 2007 May; 134(9):1631-3. PMID: 17395645.
      View in: PubMed
    44. Prall OW, Menon MK, Solloway MJ, Watanabe Y, Zaffran S, Bajolle F, Biben C, McBride JJ, Robertson BR, Chaulet H, Stennard FA, Wise N, Schaft D, Wolstein O, Furtado MB, Shiratori H, Chien KR, Hamada H, Black B, Saga Y, Robertson EJ, Buckingham ME, Harvey RP. An Nkx2-5/Bmp2/Smad1 negative feedback loop controls heart progenitor specification and proliferation. Cell. 2007 Mar 09; 128(5):947-59. PMID: 17350578.
      View in: PubMed
    45. Black B. Transcriptional pathways in second heart field development. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2007 Feb; 18(1):67-76. PMID: 17276708; PMCID: PMC1855211.
    46. Pennacchio LA, Ahituv N, Moses AM, Prabhakar S, Nobrega MA, Shoukry M, Minovitsky S, Dubchak I, Holt A, Lewis KD, Plajzer-Frick I, Akiyama J, De Val S, Afzal V, Black B, Couronne O, Eisen MB, Visel A, Rubin EM. In vivo enhancer analysis of human conserved non-coding sequences. Nature. 2006 Nov 23; 444(7118):499-502. PMID: 17086198.
      View in: PubMed
    47. Jaehnig EJ, Heidt AB, Greene SB, Cornelissen I, Black B. Increased susceptibility to isoproterenol-induced cardiac hypertrophy and impaired weight gain in mice lacking the histidine-rich calcium-binding protein. Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Dec; 26(24):9315-26. PMID: 17030629; PMCID: PMC1698540.
    48. Ai D, Liu W, Ma L, Dong F, Lu MF, Wang D, Verzi MP, Cai C, Gage PJ, Evans S, Black B, Brown NA, Martin JF. Pitx2 regulates cardiac left-right asymmetry by patterning second cardiac lineage-derived myocardium. Dev Biol. 2006 Aug 15; 296(2):437-49. PMID: 16836994.
      View in: PubMed
    49. Park EJ, Ogden LA, Talbot A, Evans S, Cai CL, Black B, Frank DU, Moon AM. Required, tissue-specific roles for Fgf8 in outflow tract formation and remodeling. Development. 2006 Jun; 133(12):2419-33. PMID: 16720879; PMCID: PMC1780034.
    50. Black B. A single mutation causes a spectrum of cardiovascular defects: the potential role of genetic modifiers, epigenetic influences, and stochastic events in phenotypic variability. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2006 Feb; 40(2):201-4. PMID: 16337649.
      View in: PubMed
    51. Verzi MP, McCulley DJ, De Val S, Dodou E, Black B. The right ventricle, outflow tract, and ventricular septum comprise a restricted expression domain within the secondary/anterior heart field. Dev Biol. 2005 Nov 01; 287(1):134-45. PMID: 16188249.
      View in: PubMed
    52. Rojas A, De Val S, Heidt AB, Xu SM, Bristow J, Black B. Gata4 expression in lateral mesoderm is downstream of BMP4 and is activated directly by Forkhead and GATA transcription factors through a distal enhancer element. Development. 2005 Aug; 132(15):3405-17. PMID: 15987774.
      View in: PubMed
    53. Heidt AB, Black B. Transgenic mice that express Cre recombinase under control of a skeletal muscle-specific promoter from mef2c. Genesis. 2005 May; 42(1):28-32. PMID: 15828002.
      View in: PubMed
    54. Takeuchi JK, Mileikovskaia M, Koshiba-Takeuchi K, Heidt AB, Mori AD, Arruda EP, Gertsenstein M, Georges R, Davidson L, Mo R, Hui CC, Henkelman RM, Nemer M, Black B, Nagy A, Bruneau BG. Tbx20 dose-dependently regulates transcription factor networks required for mouse heart and motoneuron development. Development. 2005 May; 132(10):2463-74. PMID: 15843409.
      View in: PubMed
    55. Stennard FA, Costa MW, Lai D, Biben C, Furtado MB, Solloway MJ, McCulley DJ, Leimena C, Preis JI, Dunwoodie SL, Elliott DE, Prall OW, Black B, Fatkin D, Harvey RP. Murine T-box transcription factor Tbx20 acts as a repressor during heart development, and is essential for adult heart integrity, function and adaptation. Development. 2005 May; 132(10):2451-62. PMID: 15843414.
      View in: PubMed
    56. De Val S, Anderson JP, Heidt AB, Khiem D, Xu SM, Black B. Mef2c is activated directly by Ets transcription factors through an evolutionarily conserved endothelial cell-specific enhancer. Dev Biol. 2004 Nov 15; 275(2):424-34. PMID: 15501228.
      View in: PubMed
    57. Dodou E, Verzi MP, Anderson JP, Xu SM, Black B. Mef2c is a direct transcriptional target of ISL1 and GATA factors in the anterior heart field during mouse embryonic development. Development. 2004 Aug; 131(16):3931-42. PMID: 15253934.
      View in: PubMed
    58. Anderson JP, Dodou E, Heidt AB, De Val SJ, Jaehnig EJ, Greene SB, Olson EN, Black B. HRC is a direct transcriptional target of MEF2 during cardiac, skeletal, and arterial smooth muscle development in vivo. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 May; 24(9):3757-68. PMID: 15082771; PMCID: PMC387749.
    59. Dodou E, Xu SM, Black B. mef2c is activated directly by myogenic basic helix-loop-helix proteins during skeletal muscle development in vivo. Mech Dev. 2003 Sep; 120(9):1021-32. PMID: 14550531.
      View in: PubMed
    60. Naya FJ, Black B, Wu H, Bassel-Duby R, Richardson JA, Hill JA, Olson EN. Mitochondrial deficiency and cardiac sudden death in mice lacking the MEF2A transcription factor. Nat Med. 2002 Nov; 8(11):1303-9. PMID: 12379849.
      View in: PubMed
    61. Verzi MP, Anderson JP, Dodou E, Kelly KK, Greene SB, North BJ, Cripps RM, Black B. N-twist, an evolutionarily conserved bHLH protein expressed in the developing CNS, functions as a transcriptional inhibitor. Dev Biol. 2002 Sep 01; 249(1):174-90. PMID: 12217327.
      View in: PubMed
    62. Black B, Brewer G, Lyles DS. Effect of vesicular stomatitis virus matrix protein on host-directed translation in vivo. J Virol. 1994 Jan; 68(1):555-60. PMID: 8254771; PMCID: PMC236321.