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Effect of vascular cadherin knockdown on zebrafish vasculature during development.

PloS one | Jan 20, 2010

BACKGROUND: Vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cad) is essential for endothelial barrier integrity and vascular sprouting. However, the role of this important protein in cardiovascular development is only recently becoming apparent. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To characterize the role of VE-cadherin in cardiovascular development, we analyzed cardiovascular development in a zebrafish VE-cad knockdown model. Embryos deficient in VE-cad show profoundly impaired cardiac development despite having apparently normal peripheral vasculature. Initial formation of the heart proceeds normally in knockdown embryos, but subsequent looping morphogenesis is impaired. Consistent with these results, VE-cad knockdown embryos demonstrate impaired cardiac function and early circulatory arrest. Histologic examination of knockdown embryos shows persistent, abnormal separation of the endocardial and myocardial layers. Using transmission electron microscopy, we demonstrate that endocardial junctions form poorly in VE-cad knockdown embryos, with resulting leak across the endothelial layer and reduction in the density of the cardiac jelly. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate a significant role for VE-cadherin in cardiac development independent of its effects on the formation of the peripheral vasculature.

Pubmed ID: 20098718 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Animals, Genetically Modified | Antigens, CD | Base Sequence | Blood Vessels | Cadherins | DNA Primers | Gene Knockdown Techniques | In Situ Hybridization | Zebrafish

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A collection of genome databases for vertebrates and other eukaryotic species with DNA and protein sequence search capabilities. The goal of Ensembl is to automatically annotate the genome, integrate this annotation with other available biological data and make the data publicly available via the web. The range of available data has also expanded to include comparative genomics, variation and regulatory data. Ensembl allows users to: upload and analyze data and save it to an Ensembl account; search for a DNA or protein sequence using BLAST or BLAT; fetch desired data from the public database, using the Perl API; download the databases via FTP in FASTA, MySQL and other formats; and mine Ensembl with BioMart and export sequences or tables in text, HTML, or Excel format. The DNA sequences and assemblies used in the Ensembl genebuild are provided by various projects around the world. Ensembl has entered into an agreement with UCSC and NCBI with regard to sequence identifiers in order to improve consistency between the data provided by different genome browsers. The site also links to the Ensembl blog with updates on new species and sequences as they are added to the database.

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