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J Cell Biol. 2008 Jul 28;182(2):315-25. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200710067.

Slug is a direct Notch target required for initiation of cardiac cushion cellularization.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Biophysics, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver V5Z 1L3, Canada.

Abstract

Snail family proteins are key regulators of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, but their role in endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is less well studied. We show that Slug, a Snail family member, is expressed by a subset of endothelial cells as well as mesenchymal cells of the atrioventricular canal and outflow tract during cardiac cushion morphogenesis. Slug deficiency results in impaired cellularization of the cardiac cushion at embryonic day (E)-9.5 but is compensated by increased Snail expression at E10.5, which restores cardiac cushion EMT. We further demonstrate that Slug, but not Snail, is directly up-regulated by Notch in endothelial cells and that Slug expression is required for Notch-mediated repression of the vascular endothelial cadherin promoter and for promoting migration of transformed endothelial cells. In contrast, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) induces Snail but not Slug. Interestingly, activation of Notch in the context of TGF-beta stimulation results in synergistic up-regulation of Snail in endothelial cells. Collectively, our data suggest that combined expression of Slug and Snail is required for EMT in cardiac cushion morphogenesis.

PMID:
18663143
PMCID:
PMC2483533
DOI:
10.1083/jcb.200710067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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