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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Oct 3;374(4):647-52. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.07.075. Epub 2008 Jul 24.

meis1 regulates the development of endothelial cells in zebrafish.

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Horizontal Medical Research Organization, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


The differentiation of endothelial cells is tightly connected with the formation of blood vessels during vertebrate development. The signaling pathways mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (vegf) are required for these processes. Here we show that a proto-oncogene, meis1, plays important roles in the vascular development in zebrafish. Knockdown of meis1 by anti-sense meis1 morpholino (meis1 MO) led to the impairment of intersegmental vessel (ISV) formation. In meis1 morphants, the expression of an artery marker was reduced in dorsal aorta (DA), and the expression of vein markers was expanded in DA and posterior cardinal vein (PCV), suggesting the defects on artery development. Furthermore, the expression of vegf receptor, flk1, was significantly decreased in these embryos. Interestingly, flk1 MO-injected embryos exhibited similar defects as meis1 morphants. Thus, these results implicate that meis1 is a novel regulator involved in endothelial cell development, presumably affecting the vegf signaling pathway.

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