University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Genetics Seminar  > From stripes to blood flow: cell fates of the lateral plate.

From stripes to blood flow: cell fates of the lateral plate.

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Host: Boris Adryan

The lateral mesoderm (LM) forms at the periphery of the developing vertebrate embryo and harbors the precursor cells for the cardiovascular and hematopoietic lineages, the kidney, and the limbs. How the LM initially emerges during development and how it patterns into its diverse cell fates remain incompletely understood. Deeper insight into the regulatory complexes that drive initial LM formation will critically contribute to the in vitro differentiation of ES and iPS cells towards therapeutic cell types. Towards uncovering the primordial LM program, we have been isolating and characterizing enhancer fragments that are active in the forming zebrafish LM, using both direct reporter and CreERT2 transgenics. Using genetic lineage tracing, we established that the draculin (drl) gene contains an early enhancer active from mid-gastrulation in the forming LM. At later stages, two additional, independent regulatory elements refine drl expression to the anterior heart field and the posterior blood and vessel lineages. drl regulation thus provides a paradigm for the molecular interplay of LM and downstream cardiovascular/hematopoietic cell fates. We have exploited the in vivo reporter features of drl to investigate the interplay of the developing heart lineages and the evolutionary origins of the cardiac septation program. We are now combining genetic, biochemical, in toto imaging, and epigenetic approaches to investigate the upstream program that drives activity of individual LM-specific regulatory elements.

This talk is part of the Genetics Seminar series.

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