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Cardiovasc Res. 2006 Nov 1;72(2):198-209. Epub 2006 Jun 29.

The role of Wnt signalling in cardiac development and tissue remodelling in the mature heart.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, D-89081 Ulm, Germany.


The heart is one of the first organs to function in the developing embryo. Vertebrate heart development can be subdivided into different phases, e.g. specification of myo- and endocardial progenitor cells during the establishment of heart-forming fields within the anterior lateral plate mesoderm, formation of the linear heart tube by merging of the paired heart-forming fields in front of the foregut, looping of the heart tube and transformation of the tubular embryonic heart into the four-chambered heart. The molecular mechanisms underlying these processes are phylogenetically remarkably conserved and involve the activation of specific transcriptional programs by different extracellular growth factors. In this review, we will focus on the functions of the Wnt family of growth factors in normal cardiac development and in tissue remodelling in the mature heart under pathological conditions.

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