Hand is a direct target of Tinman and GATA factors during Drosophila cardiogenesis and hematopoiesis

Department of Molecular Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 6000 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.
Development (Impact Factor: 6.27). 09/2005; 132(15):3525-36. DOI: 10.1242/dev.01899
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The existence of hemangioblasts, which serve as common progenitors for hematopoietic cells and cardioblasts, has suggested a molecular link between cardiogenesis and hematopoiesis in Drosophila. However, the molecular mediators that might link hematopoiesis and cardiogenesis remain unknown. Here, we show that the highly conserved basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor Hand is expressed in cardioblasts, pericardial nephrocytes and hematopoietic progenitors. The homeodomain protein Tinman and the GATA factors Pannier and Serpent directly activate Hand in these cell types through a minimal enhancer, which is necessary and sufficient to drive Hand expression in these different cell types. Hand is activated by Tinman and Pannier in cardioblasts and pericardial nephrocytes, and by Serpent in hematopoietic progenitors in the lymph gland. These findings place Hand at a nexus of the transcriptional networks that govern cardiogenesis and hematopoiesis, and indicate that the transcriptional pathways involved in development of the cardiovascular, excretory and hematopoietic systems may be more closely related than previously appreciated.

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