Thymosin beta4 (TB4) has multiple functions in cellular response in processes as diverse as embryonic organ development and the pathogeneses of disease, especially those associated with cardiac coronary vessels. However, the specific roles played by TB4 during heart valve development in vertebrates are largely unknown. Here, we identified a novel function of TB4 in endothelialmesenchymal transformation (EMT) in cardiac valve endocardial cushions in zebrafish. The expressions of thymosin family members in developing zebrafish embryos were determined by whole mount in situ hybridization. Of the thymosin family members only zTB4 was expressed in the developing heart region. Cardiac valve development at 48 h post fertilization was defected in zebrafish TB4 (zTB4) morpholino-injected embryos (morphants). In zTB4 morphants, abnormal linear heart tube development was observed. The expressions of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 4, notch1b, and hyaluronic acid synthase (HAS) 2 genes were also markedly reduced in atrio-ventricular canal (AVC). Endocardial cells in the AVC region were stained with anti-Zn5 antibody reactive against Dm-grasp (an EMT marker) to observe EMT in developing cardiac valves in zTB4 morphants. EMT marker expression in valve endothelial cells was confirmed after transfection with TB4 siRNA in the presence of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) by RT-PCR and immunofluorescent assay. Zn5-positive endocardial AVC cells were not observed in zTB4 morphants, and knockdown of TB4 suppressed TGF-β-induced EMT in ovine valve endothelial cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate that TB4 plays a pivotal role in cardiac valve formation by increasing EMT.1.