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Dis Model Mech 2024 Mar 19; doi: 10.1242/dmm.050507.
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Fbrsl1 is required for heart development in Xenopus laevis and de novo variants in FBRSL1 can cause human heart defects.

Berger H , Gerstner S , Horstmann MF , Pauli S , Borchers A .

De novo truncating variants in Fibrosin-like protein 1 (FBRSL1), a member of the AUTS2 gene family, cause a disability syndrome, including organ malformations such as heart defects. Here, we use Xenopus laevis to investigate whether Fbrsl1 plays a role in heart development. Xenopus laevis fbrsl1 is expressed in tissues relevant for heart development and morpholino-mediated knockdown of Fbrsl1 results in severely hypoplastic hearts. Our data suggest that Fbrsl1 is required for the development of the first heart field, which contributes to the ventricle and the atria, but not for the second heart field, which gives rise to the outflow tract. The morphant heart phenotype could be rescued using a human N-terminal FBRSL1 isoform that contains an alternative exon, but lacks the AUTS2 domain. N-terminal isoforms carrying patient variants failed to rescue. Interestingly, a long human FBRSL1 isoform, harboring the AUTS2 domain, did also not rescue the morphant heart defects. Thus, our data suggest that different FBRSL1 isoforms may have distinct functions and that only the short N-terminal isoform, appears to be critical for heart development.

PubMed ID: 38501224
Article link: Dis Model Mech
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