Twist factor regulation of non-cardiomyocyte cell lineages in the developing heart

Nathan J. VanDusen, Anthony B. Firulli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The heart is a complex organ that is composed of numerous cell types, which must integrate their programs for proper specification, differentiation and cardiac morphogenesis. During cardiogenesis members of the Twist-family of basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors play distinct roles within cardiac lineages such as the endocardium and extra-cardiac lineages such as the cardiac neural crest (cNCC) and epicardium. While the study of these cell populations is often eclipsed by that of cardiomyocytes, the contributions of non-cardiomyocytes to development and disease are increasingly being appreciated as both dynamic and essential. This review summarizes what is known regarding Twist-family bHLH function in extra-cardiac cell populations and the endocardium, with a focus on regulatory mechanisms, downstream targets, and expression profiles. Improving our understanding of the molecular pathways that Twist-family bHLH factors mediate in these lineages will be necessary to ascertain how their dysfunction leads to congenital disease and adult pathologies such as myocardial infarctions and cardiac fibroblast induced fibrosis. Indeed, this knowledge will prove to be critical to clinicians seeking to improve current treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalDifferentiation
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

Keywords

  • Cardiac development
  • Endocardium
  • Epicardium
  • Hand factors
  • Neural crest
  • Twist1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research

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