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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Significance of bone morphogenetic protein-4 function in the initial myofibrillogenesis of chick cardiogenesis.

The heart is the first organ to form and function during vertebrate embryogenesis. Using a secreted protein, noggin, which specifically antagonizes bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 and -4, we examined the role played by BMP during the initial myofibrillogenesis in chick cultured precardiac mesoendoderm (mesoderm + endoderm; ME). Conditioned medium from COS7 cells transfected with Xenopus noggin cDNA inhibited the expression of sarcomeric proteins (such as sarcomeric alpha-actinin, Z-line titin, and sarcomeric myosin), and so myofibrillogenesis was perturbed in cultured stage 4 precardiac ME; however, it did not inhibit the expression of smooth muscle alpha-actin (the first isoform of alpha-actin expressed during cardiogenesis). In cultured stage 5 precardiac ME, noggin did not inhibit either the formation of I-Z-I components or the expression of sarcomeric myosin, but it did inhibit the formation of A-bands. Although BMP4 was required to induce expressions of sarcomeric alpha-actinin, titin, and sarcomeric myosin in cultured stage 6 posterolateral mesoderm (noncardiogenic mesoderm), smooth muscle alpha-actin was expressed without the addition of BMP4. Interestingly, in cultured stage 6 posterolateral mesoderm, BMP2 induced the expressions of sarcomeric alpha-actinin and titin, but not of sarcomeric myosin. These results suggest that (1) BMP4 function lies upstream of the initial formation of I-Z-I components and A-bands separately in a stage-dependent manner, and (2) at least two signaling pathways are involved in the initial cardiac myofibrillogenesis: one is an unknown pathway responsible for the expression of smooth muscle alpha-actin; the other is BMP signaling, which is involved in the expression of sarcomeric alpha-actinin, titin, and sarcomeric myosin.[1]


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