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Gen Comp Endocrinol 2024 May 01;350:114472. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2024.114472.
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Mechanistic study of transcription factor Sox18 during heart development.

Liang J , Ul Hassan I , Yee Cheung M , Feng L , Lin YJ , Long Q , Wang C , Ding Y , Wang Z , Zhang Y , Li Y , Guo D , Guo X , Chi Bun Wong T , Kaleem Samma M , Rong Z , Qi X , Cai D , Ngai SM , Zhao H .

Heart development is a delicate and complex process regulated by coordination of various signaling pathways. In this study, we investigated the role of sox18 in heart development by modulating Wnt/β-Catenin signaling pathways. Our spatiotemporal expression analysis revealed that sox18 is mainly expressed in the heart, branchial arch, pharyngeal arch, spinal cord, and intersegmental vessels at the tailbud stage of Xenopus tropicalis embryo. Overexpression of sox18 in the X. tropicalis embryos causes heart edema, while loss-of-function of sox18 can change the signal of developmental heart marker gata4 at different stages, suggesting that sox18 plays an essential role in the development of the heart. Knockdown of SOX18 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells suggests a link between Sox18 and β-CATENIN, a key regulator of the Wnt signaling pathway. Sox18 negatively regulates islet1 and tbx3, the downstream factors of Wnt/β-Catenin signaling, during the linear heart tube formation and the heart looping stage. Taken together, our findings highlight the crucial role of Sox18 in the development of the heart via inhibiting Wnt/β-Catenin signaling.

PubMed ID: 38373462
Article link: Gen Comp Endocrinol

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: gata4 isl1 sox18 tbx3
GO keywords: Wnt signaling pathway involved in heart development [+]
Morpholinos: sox18 MO2