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Dev Biol 1999 Dec 01;2161:57-71. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1999.9469.
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A role for GATA-4/5/6 in the regulation of Nkx2.5 expression with implications for patterning of the precardiac field.

Jiang Y , Drysdale TA , Evans T .

Interactions between the key regulatory genes of the cardiogenic pathway, including those from the GATA and Nkx2 transcription factor families, are not well defined. Treating neurula-stage Xenopus embryos with retinoic acid (RA) causes a specific block in cardiomyocyte development that correlates with a progressive reduction in the region of the presumptive heart-forming region expressing Nkx2.5. In contrast, RA does not block expression of the GATA-4/5/6 genes, which are transcribed normally in an overlapping pattern with Nkx2.5 throughout cardiogenesis. Instead, GATA-4/5/6 transcription levels are increased, including an expansion of the expression domain corresponding to lateral plate mesoderm that is part of the early heart field, but that normally is progressively restricted in its ability to contribute to the myocardium. GATA-dependent regulatory sequences of the Nkx2.5 gene that implicate GATA-4/5/6 as upstream positive regulators were described recently. However, our experiments also indicate that GATA factors might normally antagonize transcription of Nkx2.5. To test this hypothesis we generated a dominant negative isoform of GATA-4 (SRG4) capable of inhibiting transcription of GATA-dependent target genes. Ectopic expression of SRG4 results in a transient expansion of the Nkx2.5 transcript pattern, indicating that a normal function of GATA factors is to limit the boundary of the Nkx2.5 expression domain to the most anterior ventral region of the heart field. Regulatory mechanisms altered by excess RA must function normally to limit GATA-4/5/6 expression levels, to define the region of Nkx2.5 expression and regulate myocardial differentiation.

PubMed ID: 10588863
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: gata4 gata5 gata6 mxi1 nkx2-5 sox17a tbc1d8 tbx2 tnni3

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