Krit1 is required for abluminal cell fates during valvulogenesis.
(A–F) Single confocal z-section images of endocardial cells within the atrioventricular canal (AVC) region marked by Tg(kdrl:EGFP)s843 expression (cyan) and Alcam staining (magenta). (A) At 48 hpf, wild-type (WT) endocardial cushion cells express Alcam (asterisks). (B) In krit1ty219c mutants, endocardial cells of the AVC region do not express Alcam and cushions do not form (arrow). (C) Injection of egfp-krit1 mRNA rescues cardiac cushion formation in krit1ty219c mutants (n = 15/15). krit1ty219c mutant hearts form cardiac cushions and endocardial cushion cells express Alcam. (D) By 96 hpf, Alcam expression is mainly restricted to luminal endocardial cells of the developing WT cardiac valve leaflet (asterisks). (E) krit1ty219c mutants do not form valve leaflets but AVC endocardial cells express Alcam (asterisks). (F) krit1ty219c mutant that was initially rescued by egfp-krit1 mRNA injection has a dysmorphic cardiac valve leaflet at 96 hpf with an agglomeration of luminal Alcam-positive cells (asterisks). (G–L) Whole-mount in situ hybridization of klf2a cardiac expression. (G) At 54 hpf, klf2a expression is restricted to endocardial cells of the AVC in WT while (H) klf2a is strongly expressed throughout the entire endocardium in krit1ty219c mutant. (I) krit1ty219c mutant rescued by injection of egfp-krit1 mRNA has a restricted and strong klf2a expression at the AVC (n = 6/6). (J) By 96 hpf, klf2a expression is restricted to the AVC in WT while (K) klf2a is strongly expressed throughout the entire endocardium in krit1ty219c mutants. (L) krit1ty219c mutant embryo injected with egfp-krit1 mRNA has high klf2a levels throughout the entire endocardium (n = 8/8). A: atrium, V: ventricle, L: luminal, AL: abluminal. Scale bars are 10 μm.