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Schultheiss TM, Burch JB, Lassar AB
A role for bone morphogenetic proteins in the induction of cardiac myogenesis
Genes & Development (1997) 11:451-462.
Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that govern heart specification in vertebrates. Here we demonstrate that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling plays a central role in the induction of cardiac myogenesis in the chick embryo. At the time when chick precardiac cells become committed to the cardiac muscle lineage, they are in contact with tissues expressing BMP-2 BMP-4, and BMP-7. Application of BMP-2-soaked beads in vivo elicits ectopic expression of the cardiac transcription factors CNkx-2.5 and GATA-4. Furthermore, administration of soluble BMP-2 or BMP-4 to explant cultures induces full cardiac differentiation in stage 5 to 7 anterior medial mesoderm, a tissue that is normally not cardiogenic. The competence to undergo cardiogenesis in response to BMPs is restricted to mesoderm located in the anterior regions of gastrula- to neurula-stage embryos. The secreted protein noggin, which binds to BMPs and antagonizes BMP activity, completely inhibits differentiation of the precardiac mesoderm, indicating that BMP activity is required for myocardial differentiation in this tissue. Together, these data imply that a cardiogenic field exists in the anterior mesoderm and that localized expression of BMPs selects which cells within this field enter the cardiac myocyte lineage.
Publication Date: 1997-02-15.
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