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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46798. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046798. Epub 2012 Oct 2.

A boolean model of the cardiac gene regulatory network determining first and second heart field identity.

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1
Research Group Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Institute for Neural Information Processing, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.

Abstract

Two types of distinct cardiac progenitor cell populations can be identified during early heart development: the first heart field (FHF) and second heart field (SHF) lineage that later form the mature heart. They can be characterized by differential expression of transcription and signaling factors. These regulatory factors influence each other forming a gene regulatory network. Here, we present a core gene regulatory network for early cardiac development based on published temporal and spatial expression data of genes and their interactions. This gene regulatory network was implemented in a Boolean computational model. Simulations reveal stable states within the network model, which correspond to the regulatory states of the FHF and the SHF lineages. Furthermore, we are able to reproduce the expected temporal expression patterns of early cardiac factors mimicking developmental progression. Additionally, simulations of knock-down experiments within our model resemble published phenotypes of mutant mice. Consequently, this gene regulatory network retraces the early steps and requirements of cardiogenic mesoderm determination in a way appropriate to enhance the understanding of heart development.

PMID:
23056457
PMCID:
PMC3462786
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0046798
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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