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Gene Expr Patterns. 2012 Jan-Feb;12(1-2):53-62. doi: 10.1016/j.gep.2011.11.004. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

The expression of Visinin-like 1 during mouse embryonic development.

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Biochemistry and Developmental Biology Department, Institute of Biomedicine, P.O. Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8, University of Helsinki, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


Visinin like 1 (Vsnl1) encodes a calcium binding protein which is well conserved between species. It was originally found in the brain and its biological functions in central nervous system have been addressed in several studies. Low expression levels have also been found in some peripheral organs, but very little information is available regarding its physiological roles in non-neuronal tissues. Except for the kidney, the expression pattern of Vsnl1 mRNA and protein has not yet been addressed during embryogenesis. By in situ hybridization and immunolabeling we have extensively analyzed the expression pattern of Vsnl1 during murine development. Vsnl1 specifies the cardiac primordia and its expression becomes restricted to the atrial myocardium after heart looping. However, in the adult heart, Vsnl1 is expressed by all four cardiac chambers. It also serves as a specific marker for the cardiomyocyte-derived structures in the systemic and pulmonary circulation. Vsnl1 is dynamically expressed also by many other organs during development e.g. taste buds, cochlea, thyroid, tooth, salivary and adrenal gland. The stage specific expression pattern of Vsnl1 makes it a potentially useful marker particularly in studies of cardiac and vascular morphogenesis.

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