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Gene Review

nkx2.5  -  NK2 homeobox 5

Danio rerio

Synonyms: SO:0000704, nk2.5, nkx2-5, zgc:111912
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High impact information on nkx2.5

  • Together, these results implicate zebrafish Gata5 in controlling the growth, morphogenesis, and differentiation of the heart and endoderm and indicate that Gata5 regulates the expression of the early myocardial gene nkx2.5 [1].
  • Forced expression of gata5 in swr/bmp2b and Zoep mutants restores robust nkx2.5 expression [2].
  • Embryos lacking zygotic oep (Zoep mutants) display cardia bifida and, as we show here, also display reduced or absent nkx2.5 expression [2].
  • Recently, we have demonstrated that the zinc finger transcription factor Gata5 is an essential regulator of nkx2.5 expression [2].
  • The preeminence of nkx2.7 in these embryonic lineages is consistent with a key role in cell fate determination, perhaps in part through the induction of nkx2.5 and nkx2 [3].

Anatomical context of nkx2.5

  • As an indicator of cardiac induction, we examine expression of nkx2.5, the earliest known marker of precardiac mesoderm; to assess anterior-posterior patterning, we distinguish ventricle from atrium with antibodies that recognize different myosin heavy chain isoforms [4].

Regulatory relationships of nkx2.5

  • We conclude that Bmp2b and Oep function at least partly through Gata5 to regulate nkx2.5 expression and promote myocardial differentiation [2].


  1. Gata5 is required for the development of the heart and endoderm in zebrafish. Reiter, J.F., Alexander, J., Rodaway, A., Yelon, D., Patient, R., Holder, N., Stainier, D.Y. Genes Dev. (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. Bmp2b and Oep promote early myocardial differentiation through their regulation of gata5. Reiter, J.F., Verkade, H., Stainier, D.Y. Dev. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. A new tinman-related gene, nkx2.7, anticipates the expression of nkx2.5 and nkx2.3 in zebrafish heart and pharyngeal endoderm. Lee, K.H., Xu, Q., Breitbart, R.E. Dev. Biol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Screening mosaic F1 females for mutations affecting zebrafish heart induction and patterning. Alexander, J., Stainier, D.Y., Yelon, D. Dev. Genet. (1998) [Pubmed]
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