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Bioessays. 2007 May;29(5):422-6.

A molecular signature for the "master" heart cell.

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Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.


The vertebrate heart comprises a variety of cell types, the majority of which are cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle and endothelial cells. Their origin is still an intriguing research topic and the question is whether these cells derive from a common or from multiple distinct progenitor cell(s). Three recent publications not only suggest the existence of a single progenitor cell that can give rise to cardiovascular lineages but additionally uncovered, at least in part, the molecular identity of such a multipotent precursor cell. These findings constitute major progress in the quest for stem-cell therapies for cardiac diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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