February 1 2007
2:00 LSB 2320

Dr. Jeroen Bakkers
Hubrecht Laboratory, The Netherlands

Zebrafish genetics and congenital heart defects.


During early vertebrate development bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are required for the determination of cell fates. These extracellular growth factors signal via their specific receptor complexes and the intracellular transcription factors Smad1,5 and 8. Furthermore their activity is restricted by the expression of the BMP inhibitors noggin, chordin and follistatin resulting in a gradient of Bmp activity. BMPs have additional functions during later steps of development including the specification of the heart field. By modulating BMP activity in zebrafish we are studying in which cell specification steps, BMPs play a role during heart development. Our recent data will be presented showing a central role for BMP signaling during left-right patterning of the heart and specification of the AV canal.

Bakkers,J., Kramer,C., Pothof,J., Quaedvlieg,N.E.M., Spaink,H.P. and Hammerschmidt,M. (2004) Hyaluronan synthase 2 (Has2) is required upstream of Rac1 to govern dorsal migration of lateral cells during zebrafish gastrulation. Development 132: 525-537

Bakkers,J., Hild,M., Kramer,C., Furutani-Seiki,M. and Hammerschmidt,M. (2002). Zebrafish deltaNp63 is a direct target of BMP signaling and encodes a transcriptional repressor blocking neural specification in the ventral ectoderm. Dev Cell. ; 2(5):617-27