Wnt5a and Wnt11 are essential for second heart field progenitor development.
ABSTRACT Wnt/β-catenin has a biphasic effect on cardiogenesis, promoting the induction of cardiac progenitors but later inhibiting their differentiation. Second heart field progenitors and expression of the second heart field transcription factor Islet1 are inhibited by the loss of β-catenin, indicating that Wnt/β-catenin signaling is necessary for second heart field development. However, expressing a constitutively active β-catenin with Islet1-Cre also inhibits endogenous Islet1 expression, reflecting the inhibitory effect of prolonged Wnt/β-catenin signaling on second heart field development. We show that two non-canonical Wnt ligands, Wnt5a and Wnt11, are co-required to regulate second heart field development in mice. Loss of Wnt5a and Wnt11 leads to a dramatic loss of second heart field progenitors in the developing heart. Importantly, this loss of Wnt5a and Wnt11 is accompanied by an increase in Wnt/β-catenin signaling, and ectopic Wnt5a/Wnt11 inhibits β-catenin signaling and promotes cardiac progenitor development in differentiating embryonic stem cells. These data show that Wnt5a and Wnt11 are essential regulators of the response of second heart field progenitors to Wnt/β-catenin signaling and that they act by restraining Wnt/β-catenin signaling during cardiac development.
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ABSTRACT: Wnt proteins regulate cell behavior via a canonical signaling pathway that induces β-catenin dependent transcription. It is now appreciated that Wnt/β-catenin signaling promotes the expansion of the second heart field (SHF) progenitor cells that ultimately give-rise to the majority of cardiomyocytes. However, activating β-catenin can also cause the loss of SHF progenitors, highlighting the necessity of precise control over β-catenin signaling during heart development. We recently reported that two non-canonical Wnt ligands, Wnt5a and Wnt11, act cooperatively to attenuate canonical Wnt signaling that would otherwise disrupt the SHF. While these data reveal the essential role of this anti-canonical Wnt5a/Wnt11 signaling in SHF development, the mechanisms by which these ligands inhibit the canonical Wnt pathway are unclear. Wnt11 was previously shown to inhibit β-catenin and promote cardiomyocyte maturation by activating a novel apoptosis-independent function of Caspases. Consistent with these data, we now show that Wnt5a and Wnt11 are capable of inducing Caspase activity in differentiating embryonic stem (ES) cells and that hearts from Wnt5a(-/-); Wnt11(-/-) embryos have diminished Caspase 3 (Casp3) activity. Furthermore, SHF markers are reduced in Casp3 mutant ES cells while the treatment of wild type ES cells with Caspase inhibitors blocked the ability of Wnt5a and Wnt11 to promote SHF gene expression. This finding was in agreement with our in vivo studies in which injecting pregnant mice with Caspase inhibitors reduced SHF marker expression in their gestating embryos. Caspase inhibition also blocked other Wnt5a/Wnt11 induced effects, including the suppression of β-catenin protein expression and activity. Interestingly, Wnt5a/Wnt11 treatment of differentiating ES cells reduced both phosphorylated and total Akt through a caspase dependent mechanism and phosphorylated Akt levels were increased in the hearts Caspase inhibitor treated. Surprisingly, inhibition of either Akt or PI3K in ES cells was an equally effective means of increasing SHF markers compared to treatment with Wnt5a/Wnt11. Moreover, Akt inhibition restored SHF gene expression in Casp3 mutant ES cells. Taken together, these findings suggest that Wnt5a/Wnt11 inhibit β-catenin to promote SHF development through caspase-dependent AKT degradation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Developmental Biology 12/2014; 398(1). · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human pluripotent stem cells can now be routinely differentiated into cardiac cell types including contractile cardiomyocytes, enabling the study of heart development and disease in vitro, and creating opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic interventions for patients. Our grasp of the system, however, remains partial, and a significant reason for this has been our inability to effectively purify and expand the intermediate cardiovascular progenitor cells (CPCs) equivalent to those studied in heart development. Doing so could facilitate the construction of a cardiac lineage cell fate map, boosting our capacity to more finely control stem cell lineage commitment to functionally distinct cardiac identities, as well as providing a model for identifying which genes confer cardiac potential on CPCs. This review offers a perspective on CPC development as understood from model organisms and pluripotent stem cell systems, focusing on issues of identity as well as the signaling implicated in inducing, expanding and patterning these cells.Developmental Biology 01/2015; · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Several in-vivo heart developmental models have been applied to decipher the cardiac developmental patterning encompassing early, dorsal, cardiac and visceral mesoderm as well as various transcription factors such as Gata, Hand, Tin, Dpp, Pnr. The expression of cardiac specific transcription factors, such as Gata4, Tbx5, Tbx20, Tbx2, Tbx3, Mef2c, Hey1 and Hand1 are of fundamental significance for the in-vivo cardiac development. Not only the transcription factors, but also the signaling molecules involved in cardiac development were conserved among various species. Enrichment of the bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) in the anterior lateral plate mesoderm is essential for the initiation of myocardial differentiation and the cardiac developmental process. Moreover, the expression of a number of cardiac transcription factors and structural genes initiate cardiac differentiation in the medial mesoderm. Other signaling molecules such as TGF-beta, IGF-1/2 and the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) play a significant role in cardiac repair/regeneration, ventricular heart development and specification of early cardiac mesoderm, respectively. The role of the Wnt signaling in cardiac development is still controversial discussed, as in-vitro results differ dramatically in relation to the animal models. Embryonic stem cells (ESC) were utilized as an important in-vitro model for the elucidation of the cardiac developmental processes since they can be easily manipulated by numerous signaling molecules, growth factors, small molecules and genetic manipulation. Finally, in the present review the dynamic role of the long noncoding RNA and miRNAs in the regulation of cardiac development are summarized and discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.International Journal of Cardiology 01/2015; 183C:117-128. · 6.18 Impact Factor