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Dev Biol August 15, 2000; 224 (2): 226-37.
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BMP signaling is required for heart formation in vertebrates.

Shi Y , Katsev S , Cai C , Evans S .

In these studies, we have taken advantage of a transient transgenic strategy in Xenopus embryos to demonstrate that BMP signaling is required in vivo for heart formation in vertebrates. Ectopic expression of dominant negative Type I (tALK3) or Type II (tBMPRII) BMP receptors in developing Xenopus embryos results in reduction or absence of heart formation. Additionally, blocking BMP signaling in this manner downregulates expression of XNkx2-5, a homeobox gene required for cardiac specification, prior to differentiation. Notably, however, initial expression of XNkx2-5 is not affected. Mutant phenotypes can be rescued by co-injection of mutant with wild-type receptors or co-injection of mutant receptors with XSmad1, a downstream mediator of BMP signaling. Whole-mount in situ analyses indicate that ALK3 and XSmad1 are coexpressed in cardiogenic regions. Together, our results demonstrate that BMP signaling is required for maintenance of XNkx2-5 expression and heart formation and suggest that ALK3, BMPRII, and XSmad1 may mediate this signaling.

PubMed ID: 10926762
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: bmp4 bmpr1a bmpr2 myl2 nkx2-5 smad1 tbx2 tnni3

Article Images: [+] show captions