[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The heart is the most common site of congenital defects, and valvuloseptal defects are the most common of the cardiac anomalies seen in the newborn. The process of endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) in the cardiac cushions is a required step during early valve development, and Notch signaling is required for this process. Here we show that Notch activation induces the transcription of both subunits of the soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) heterodimer, GUCY1A3 and GUCY1B3, which form the nitric oxide receptor. In parallel, Notch also promotes nitric oxide (NO) production by inducing Activin A, thereby activating a PI3-kinase/Akt pathway to phosphorylate eNOS. We thus show that the activation of sGC by NO through a Notch-dependent autocrine loop is necessary to drive early EndMT in the developing atrioventricular canal (AVC).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Notch and transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) play critical roles in endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), a process that is essential for heart development. Previously, we have shown that Notch and TGFbeta signaling synergistically induce Snail expression in endothelial cells, which is required for EndMT in cardiac cushion morphogenesis. Here, we report that Notch activation modulates TGFbeta signaling pathways in a receptor-activated Smad (R-Smad)-specific manner. Notch activation inhibits TGFbeta/Smad1 and TGFbeta/Smad2 signaling pathways by decreasing the expression of Smad1 and Smad2 and their target genes. In contrast, Notch increases SMAD3 mRNA expression and protein half-life and regulates the expression of TGFbeta/Smad3 target genes in a gene-specific manner. Inhibition of Notch in the cardiac cushion of mouse embryonic hearts reduces Smad3 expression. Notch and TGFbeta synergistically up-regulate a subset of genes by recruiting Smad3 to both Smad and CSL binding sites and cooperatively inducing histone H4 acetylation. This is the first evidence that Notch activation affects R-Smad expression and that cooperative induction of histone acetylation at specific promoters underlies the selective synergy between Notch and TGFbeta signaling pathways.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2009; 284(29):19452-62. · 4.65 Impact Factor