Skip Header

You are using a version of browser that may not display all the features of this website. Please consider upgrading your browser.

Slug is a direct Notch target required for initiation of cardiac cushion cellularization.

Niessen K., Fu Y., Chang L., Hoodless P.A., McFadden D., Karsan A.

Snail family proteins are key regulators of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, but their role in endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is less well studied. We show that Slug, a Snail family member, is expressed by a subset of endothelial cells as well as mesenchymal cells of the atrioventricular canal and outflow tract during cardiac cushion morphogenesis. Slug deficiency results in impaired cellularization of the cardiac cushion at embryonic day (E)-9.5 but is compensated by increased Snail expression at E10.5, which restores cardiac cushion EMT. We further demonstrate that Slug, but not Snail, is directly up-regulated by Notch in endothelial cells and that Slug expression is required for Notch-mediated repression of the vascular endothelial cadherin promoter and for promoting migration of transformed endothelial cells. In contrast, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) induces Snail but not Slug. Interestingly, activation of Notch in the context of TGF-beta stimulation results in synergistic up-regulation of Snail in endothelial cells. Collectively, our data suggest that combined expression of Slug and Snail is required for EMT in cardiac cushion morphogenesis.

J. Cell Biol. 182:315-325(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]