ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-130703-37
Tcf7l1 proteins cell autonomously restrict cardiomyocyte and promote endothelial specification in zebrafish
Sorrell, M.R., Dohn, T.E., D'Aniello, E., and Waxman, J.S.
Date: 2013
Source: Developmental Biology   380(2): 199-210 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Waxman, Joshua
Keywords: wnt signaling, Tcf7l1, cardiomyocyte development, endothelial cell development, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Endothelial Cells/cytology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac/cytology*
  • Transcription Factor 7-Like 1 Protein/genetics
  • Transcription Factor 7-Like 1 Protein/physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology*
PubMed: 23707897 Full text @ Dev. Biol.

Tcf7l1 (formerly Tcf3) proteins are conserved transcription factors whose function as transcriptional repressors is relieved through interactions with β-catenin. Although the functions of Tcf7l1 proteins have been studied in many developmental contexts, whether this conserved mediator of Wnt signaling is required for appropriate cardiomyocyte (CM) development has not been investigated. We find that Tcf7l1 proteins are necessary during two developmental periods to limit CM number in zebrafish embryos: prior to gastrulation and after the initial wave of CM differentiation. In contrast to partially redundant roles in anterior neural patterning, we find that Tcf7l1a and Tcf7l1b have non-redundant functions with respect to restricting CM specification during anterior mesodermal patterning, suggesting that between the two zebrafish Tcf7l1 paralogs there is a limit to the transcriptional repression provided during early CM specification. Using cell transplantation experiments, we determine that the Tcf7l1 paralogs are required cell autonomously to restrict CM specification and promote endothelial cell (EC) specification, which is overtly similar to the ability of Wnt signaling to direct a transformation between these progenitors in embryonic stem cells. Therefore, these results argue that during anterior–posterior patterning of the mesoderm Tcf7l1 proteins are cell autonomously required to limit Wnt signaling, which balances CM and EC progenitor specification within the anterior lateral plate mesoderm. This study expands our understanding of the in vivo developmental requirements of Tcf7l1 proteins and the mechanisms directing CM development in vertebrates.