Diego Franco

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During cardiogenesis, perturbation of a key transition at mid-gestation from cardiac patterning to cardiac growth and chamber maturation often leads to diverse types of congenital heart disease, such as ventricular septal defect (VSD), myocardium noncompaction, and ventricular hypertrabeculation. This transition, which occurs at embryonic day (E) 9.0-9.5 in(More)
In this study we challenge the generally accepted view that cardiac chambers form from an array of segmental primordia arranged along the anteroposterior axis of the linear and looping heart tube. We traced the spatial pattern of expression of genes encoding atrial natriuretic factor, sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase, Chisel, Irx5, Irx4, myosin light(More)
BACKGROUND Pitx2 is a homeobox transcription factor that plays a pivotal role in early left/right determination during embryonic development. Pitx2 loss-of-function mouse mutants display early embryonic lethality with severe cardiac malformations, demonstrating the importance of Pitx2 during cardiogenesis. Recently, independent genome-wide association(More)
The CXCL12gamma chemokine arises by alternative splicing from Cxcl12, an essential gene during development. This protein binds CXCR4 and displays an exceptional degree of conservation (99%) in mammals. CXCL12gamma is formed by a protein core shared by all CXCL12 isoforms, extended by a highly cationic carboxy-terminal (C-ter) domain that encompass four(More)
The heart is the first embryonic organ to function. Early in development, the heart shows autorhythmycity and periw x staltoid contraction waves 1,2 . Contraction requires the expression of a specific set of proteins that form the contractile apparatus, i.e. the sarcomere. The contraction– relaxation cycle of the sarcomeric apparatus is mediated by changing(More)
The homeobox gene Pitx2 has been characterized as a mediator of left-right signaling in heart, gut, and lung morphogenesis. However, the relationship between the developmental role of Pitx2 and its expression pattern at the organ level has not been explored. In this study we focus on the role of Pitx2 in heart morphogenesis. Chicken Pitx2 transcripts are(More)
RATIONALE The ventricular conduction system controls the propagation of electric activity through the heart to coordinate cardiac contraction. This system is composed of specialized cardiomyocytes organized in defined structures including central components and a peripheral Purkinje fiber network. How the mammalian ventricular conduction system is(More)
The repolarization phase of the cardiac action potential is dependent on transmembrane K(+) currents. The slow (I(Ks)) and fast (I(Kr)) components of the delayed-rectifier cardiac K(+) current are generated by pore-forming alpha subunits KCNQ1 and KCNH2, respectively, in association with regulatory beta-subunit KCNE1, KCNE2 and perphaps KCNE3. In the(More)
Pitx2 is a bicoid-related homeodomain transcription factor that plays a critical role in directing cardiac asymmetric morphogenesis. Ectopic Pitx2c expression in the developing myocardium correlates with double outlet right ventricle (DORV) in laterality mutants. Pitx2 loss of function experiments cause severe cardiovascular defects, such as atrial(More)
OBJECTIVES Previous studies have revealed the essential role of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha), a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, in cardiovascular development. We attempted to further characterize the underlying mechanisms resulting in abnormal cardiogenesis and defective angiogenesis in mice deficient for HIF-1alpha(More)