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Dev Dyn 2019 Jun 01;2486:465-476. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.39.
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Loss of function of Kmt2d, a gene mutated in Kabuki syndrome, affects heart development in Xenopus laevis.

Schwenty-Lara J , Nürnberger A , Borchers A .

BACKGROUND: Kabuki syndrome is a haploinsufficient congenital multi-organ malformation syndrome, which frequently includes severe heart defects. Mutations in the histone H3K4 methyltransferase KMT2D have been identified as the main cause of Kabuki syndrome, however, the role of KMT2D in heart development remains to be characterized. RESULTS: Here we analyze the function of Kmt2d at different stages of Xenopus heart development. Xenopus Kmt2d is ubiquitously expressed at early stages of cardiogenesis, with enrichment in the anterior region including the cardiac precursor cells. Morpholino-mediated knockdown of Kmt2d led to hypoplastic hearts lacking the three-chambered structure. Analyzing different stages of cardiogenesis revealed that development of the first and second heart fields as well as cardiac differentiation were severely affected by loss of Kmt2d function. CONCLUSION: Kmt2d loss of function in Xenopus recapitulates the hypoplastic heart defects observed in Kabuki syndrome patients and shows that Kmt2d function is required for the establishment of the primary and secondary heart fields. Thus, Xenopus Kmt2d morphants can be a valuable tool to elucidate the etiology of the congenital heart defects associated with Kabuki syndrome.

PubMed ID: 30980591
Article link: Dev Dyn
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: isl1 kmt2d myh6 nkx2-5 tbx20
GO keywords: heart development
Morpholinos: kmt2d MO1 kmt2d MO2

Disease Ontology terms: Kabuki syndrome [+]
Phenotypes: Xla Wt + kmt2d MO (Fig. 2 C D F J I) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions