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Mol Cells. 2013 Feb;35(2):166-72. doi: 10.1007/s10059-013-2307-8. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Mutant-specific gene expression profiling identifies SRY-related HMG box 11b (SOX11b) as a novel regulator of vascular development in zebrafish.

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Yale Cardiovascular Research Center and Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.


Previous studies have identified two zebrafish mutants, cloche and groom of cloche, which lack the majority of the endothelial lineage at early developmental stages. However, at later stages, these avascular mutant embryos generate rudimentary vessels, indicating that they retain the ability to generate endothelial cells despite this initial lack of endothelial progenitors. To further investigate molecular mechanisms that allow the emergence of the endothelial lineage in these avascular mutant embryos, we analyzed the gene expression profile using microarray analysis on isolated endothelial cells. We find that the expression of the genes characteristic of the mesodermal lineages are substantially elevated in the kdrl (+) cells isolated from avascular mutant embryos. Subsequent validation and analyses of the microarray data identifies Sox11b, a zebrafish ortholog of SRY-related HMG box 11 (SOX11), which have not previously implicated in vascular development. We further define the function sox11b during vascular development, and find that Sox11b function is essential for developmental angiogenesis in zebrafish embryos, specifically regulating sprouting angiogenesis. Taken together, our analyses illustrate a complex regulation of endothelial specification and differentiation during vertebrate development.

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