Left-right asymmetry and cardiac looping: implications for cardiac development and congenital heart disease.
Proper morphogenesis and positioning of internal organs requires delivery and interpretation of precise signals along the anterior-posterior, dorsal-ventral, and left-right axes. An elegant signaling cascade determines left- versus right-sided identity in visceral organs in a concordant fashion, resulting in a predictable left-right (LR) organ asymmetry in all vertebrates. The complex morphogenesis of the heart and its connections to the vasculature are particularly dependent upon coordinated LR signaling pathways. Disorganization of LR signals can result in myriad congenital heart defects that are a consequence of abnormal looping and remodeling of the primitive heart tube into a multi-chambered organ. A framework for understanding how LR asymmetric signals contribute to normal organogenesis has emerged and begins to explain the basis of many human diseases of LR asymmetry. Here we review the impact of LR signaling pathways on cardiac development and congenital heart disease.
PubMed ID: 11376438
Article link: Am J Med Genet.
Genes referenced: rpsa