Editors' ChoiceCardiac Development

Sweet View of Heart Development

Science's STKE  04 Sep 2001:
Vol. 2001, Issue 98, pp. tw11
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.98.tw11

Cardiac valves are essential for normal heart function. Formation of the atrioventricular valve in the developing vertebrate heart involves complex but poorly defined signaling interactions between myocardial and endocardial cells at the boundary of the atrium and ventricle. Walsh and Stainier provide molecular insight into this process through their analysis of a zebrafish mutant called jekyll, which is severely defective in the initiation of heart valve formation. The mutated gene encodes UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (Ugdh), an enzyme required for production of hyaluronic acid and proteoglycans. Loss of Ugdh appears to disrupt the events that mark the valve-forming region as distinct from atrium and ventricle.

E. C. Walsh and D. Y. R. Stainier, UDP-Glucose dehydrogenase required for cardiac valve formation in zebrafish. Science 293, 1670-1673 (2001). [Abstract] [Full Text]