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Dev Cell. April 1, 2008; 14 (4): 616-23.

Vertebrate CASTOR is required for differentiation of cardiac precursor cells at the ventral midline.

The CASTOR (CST) transcription factor was initially identified for its role in maintaining stem cell competence in the Drosophila dorsal midline. Here we report that Xenopus CST affects cardiogenesis. In CST-depleted embryos, cardiomyocytes at the ventral midline arrest and are maintained as cardiac progenitors, while cells in more dorsal regions of the heart undergo their normal program of differentiation. Cardia bifida results from failed midline differentiation, even though cardiac cell migration and initial cell fate specification occur normally. Our fate mapping studies reveal that this ventral midline population of cardiomyocytes ultimately gives rise to the outer curvature of the heart; however, CST-depleted midline cells overproliferate and remain a coherent population of nonintegrated cells positioned on the outer wall of the ventricle. These midline-specific requirements for CST suggest the regulation of cardiomyocyte differentiation is regionalized along a dorsal-ventral axis and that this patterning occurs prior to heart tube formation.

PubMed ID: 18410736
PMC ID: PMC2807748
Article link: Dev Cell.
Grant support: HL075256 NHLBI NIH HHS , R21 HL083965 NHLBI NIH HHS , T32HL69768 NHLBI NIH HHS , R01 HL089641-01A1 NHLBI NIH HHS , R21 HL083965-02 NHLBI NIH HHS , R01 HL089641 NHLBI NIH HHS , T32 HL069768 NHLBI NIH HHS , HL075256 NHLBI NIH HHS , R01 HL075256 NHLBI NIH HHS , R21 HL083965-02 NHLBI NIH HHS , R01 HL089641 NHLBI NIH HHS , R01 HL089641-01A1 NHLBI NIH HHS , T32HL69768 NHLBI NIH HHS , T32 HL069768 NHLBI NIH HHS , R21 HL083965 NHLBI NIH HHS

Genes referenced: a2m actc1 actl6a casz1 darmin gapdh hcst myh4 myh6 nkx2-5 slc5a8 sox2 tbx20 tbx5 tnni3

Antibodies referenced: Myh6 Ab1 Tpm1 Ab1
Morpholinos referenced: casz1 MO1 casz1 MO2 casz1 MO3

Abu-Issa, 2007, Pubmed[+]

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