Sakamoto, Y. et al. Redundant roles of Sox17 and Sox18 in early cardiovascular development of mouse embryos. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 360, 539-544
Sox7, -17 and -18 constitute the Sox subgroup F (SoxF) of HMG box transcription factor genes, which all are co-expressed in developing vascular endothelial cells in mice. Here we characterized cardiovascular phenotypes of Sox17/Sox18-double and Sox17-single null embryos during early-somite stages. Whole-mount PECAM staining demonstrated the aberrant heart looping, enlarged cardinal vein and mild defects in anterior dorsal aorta formation in Sox17 single-null embryos. The Sox17/Sox18 double-null embryos showed more severe defects in formation of anterior dorsal aorta and head/cervical microvasculature, and in some cases, aberrant differentiation of endocardial cells and defective fusion of the endocardial tube. However, the posterior dorsal aorta and allantoic microvasculature was properly formed in all of the Sox17/Sox18 double-null embryos. The anomalies in both anterior dorsal aorta and head/cervical vasculature corresponded with the weak Sox7 expression sites. This suggests the region-specific redundant activities of three SoxF members along the anteroposterior axis of embryonic vascular network.
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