A syndrome of tricuspid atresia in mice with a targeted mutation of the gene encoding Fog-2 (Englisch)

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In: Nature Genetics   ;  25 ,  3  ;  353-356  ;  2000
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Tricuspid atresia (TA) is a common form of congenital heart disease, accounting for 1–3% of congenital cardiac disorders. TA is characterized by the congenital agenesis of the tricuspid valve connecting the right atrium to the right ventricle and both an atrial septal defect (ASD) and a ventricular septal defect (VSD). Some patients also have pulmonic stenosis, persistence of a left-sided superior vena cava or transposition of the great arteries. Most cases of TA are sporadic, but familial occurrences with disease in multiple siblings have been reported. Gata4 is a zinc-finger transcription factor with a role in early cardiac development. Gata4-deficient mice fail to form a ventral heart tube and die of circulatory failure at embryonic day (E) 8.5 (refs 6,7). Zfpm2 (also known as Fog-2) is a multi-zinc-finger protein that is co-expressed with Gata4 in the developing heart beginning at E8.5 (refs 8–10). Zfpm2 interacts specifically with the N-terminal zinc finger of Gata4 and represses Gata4-dependent transcription. Here we use targeted mutagenesis to explore the role of Zfpm2 in normal cardiac development. Zfpm2-deficient mice died of congestive heart failure at E13 with a syndrome of tricuspid atresia that includes an absent tricuspid valve, a large ASD, a VSD, an elongated left ventricular outflow tract, rightward displacement of the aortic valve and pulmonic stenosis. These mice also display hypoplasia of the compact zone of the left ventricle. Our findings indicate the importance of Zfpm2 in the normal looping and septation of the heart and suggest a genetic basis for the syndrome of tricuspid atresia.

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