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During heart development the second heart field (SHF) provides progenitor cells for most cardiomyocytes and expresses the homeodomain factor Nkx2-5. We now show that feedback repression of Bmp2/Smad1 signaling by Nkx2-5 critically regulates SHF proliferation and outflow tract (OFT) morphology. In the cardiac fields of Nkx2-5 mutants, genes controlling(More)
Substantial insight has recently been achieved into the mechanisms responsible for the generation of left-right (L-R) asymmetry in the vertebrate body plan. However, the mechanism that underlies the initial breaking of symmetry has remained unclear. In the mouse, a leftward fluid flow on the ventral side of the node caused by the vortical motion of cilia(More)
Diverse histone modifications are catalysed and recognized by various specific proteins, establishing unique modification patterns that act as transcription signals. In particular, histone H3 trimethylation at lysine 36 (H3K36me3) is associated with actively transcribed regions and has been proposed to provide landmarks for continuing transcription;(More)
Pitx2 is left--right (L--R) asymmetrically expressed initially in the lateral plate and later in primordial visceral organs. The transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that underlie L--R asymmetric expression of Pitx2 were investigated. Mouse Pitx2 has a left side-specific enhancer (ASE) that mediates both the initiation and maintenance of L--R asymmetric(More)
Retinoic acid (RA), a derivative of vitamin A, plays a pivotal role in vertebrate development. The level of RA may be determined by the balance between its synthesis and degradation. We have examined the role of CYP26, a P450 enzyme that may degrade RA, by generating mutant mice that lack CYP26. CYP26(-/-) mice exhibited anomalies, including caudal(More)
The past decade or so has seen rapid progress in our understanding of how left-right (LR) asymmetry is generated in vertebrate embryos. However, many important questions about this process remain unanswered. Although a leftward flow of extra-embryonic fluid in the node cavity (nodal flow) is likely to be the symmetry-breaking event, at least in the mouse(More)
Unidirectional fluid flow plays an essential role in the breaking of left-right (L-R) symmetry in mouse embryos, but it has remained unclear how the flow is sensed by the embryo. We report that the Ca(2+) channel Polycystin-2 (Pkd2) is required specifically in the perinodal crown cells for sensing the nodal flow. Examination of mutant forms of Pkd2 shows(More)
The earliest recognizable sign of patterning of the mouse embryo along the anteroposterior (A-P) axis is the migration of the distal visceral endoderm (DVE) toward the future anterior side. Here we report an asymmetry in the mouse embryo at an unexpectedly early stage. The gene for Lefty1, a Nodal antagonist that influences the direction of DVE migration,(More)
Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) is a congenital heart defect inherited via complex genetic and/or environmental factors. We report detailed mapping in extended TAPVR kindreds and mutation analysis in TAPVR patients that implicate the PDGFRA gene in the development of TAPVR. Gene expression studies in mouse and chick embryos for both the(More)
Left-right (L-R) asymmetry in the mouse embryo is generated in the node and is dependent on cilia-driven fluid flow, but how the initial asymmetry is transmitted from the node to the lateral plate has remained unknown. We have now identified a transcriptional enhancer (ANE) in the human LEFTY1 gene that exhibits marked L>R asymmetric activity in perinodal(More)