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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1996 Aug;6(4):454-60.

Vertebrate heart development.

Author information

  • Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, 53706, USA. glyons@macc.wisc.edu


This review summarizes recent studies of the cellular and molecular events involved in the determination and differentiation of cardiac myocytes in vertebrate embryos. Fate-mapping studies in mouse, chick, amphibian and zebrafish embryos suggest that cardiac muscle precursors are specified shortly before or at the time of gastrulation. Nuclear factors, such as dHAND, aryl hydrocarbon receptor, GATA-6, Nkx-2.3, growth arrest homeobox (Gax) and cardiac adriamycin responsive protein (CARP), which have recently been described as playing a role in the commitment and/or differentiation of cardiac myocytes are discussed.

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