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Accession IconGSE23381

Transcription profile of zebrafish hand2 (hanS6 allele) mutant embryos at 19hpf

Organism Icon Danio rerio
Sample Icon 6 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Zebrafish Genome Array (zebrafish)

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Heart formation requires the fusion of bilateral cardiomyocyte populations as they move toward the embryonic midline. The bHLH transcription factor Hand2 is essential for cardiac fusion; however, the effector genes that execute this function of Hand2 are unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence for a downstream component of the Hand2 pathway that mediates cardiac morphogenesis. Although hand2 is expressed in cardiomyocytes, mosaic analysis demonstrates that hand2 plays a non-autonomous role in regulating cardiomyocyte movement. Gene expression profiles reveal heightened expression of fibronectin 1 (fn1) in hand2 mutant embryos. Reciprocally, overexpression of hand2 leads to decreased Fibronectin levels. Furthermore, reduction of fn1 function enables rescue of cardiac fusion in hand2 mutants: bilateral cardiomyocyte populations merge and exhibit improved tissue architecture, albeit without major changes in apicobasal polarity. Together, our data provide a novel example of a tissue creating a favorable environment for its morphogenesis: the Hand2 pathway establishes an appropriate environment for cardiac fusion through negative modulation of Fn1 levels.
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