Cardiac remodeling in Drosophila arises from changes in actin gene expression and from a contribution of lymph gland-like cells to the heart musculature

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Abstract

Understanding the basis of normal heart remodeling can provide insight into the plasticity of the cardiac state, and into the potential for treating diseased tissue. In Drosophila, the adult heart arises during metamorphosis from a series of events, that include the remodeling of an existing cardiac tube, the elaboration of new inflow tracts, and the addition of a layer of longitudinal muscle fibers. We have identified genes active in all these three processes, and studied their expression in order to characterize in greater detail normal cardiac remodeling. Using a Transglutaminase-lacZ transgenic line, that is expressed in the inflow tracts of the larval and adult heart, we confirm the existence of five inflow tracts in the adult structure. In addition, expression of the Actin87E actin gene is initiated in the remodeling cardiac tube, but not in the longitudinal fibers, and we have identified an Act87E promoter fragment that recapitulates this switch in expression. We also establish that the longitudinal fibers are multinucleated, characterizing these cells as specialized skeletal muscles. Furthermore, we have defined the origin of the longitudinal fibers, as a subset of lymph gland cells associated with the larval dorsal vessel. These studies underline the myriad contributors to the formation of the adult Drosophila heart, and provide new molecular insights into the development of this complex organ. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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Shah, A. P., Nongthomba, U., Kelly Tanaka, K. K., Denton, M. L. B., Meadows, S. M., Bancroft, N., … Cripps, R. M. (2011). Cardiac remodeling in Drosophila arises from changes in actin gene expression and from a contribution of lymph gland-like cells to the heart musculature. Mechanisms of Development, 128(3–4), 222–233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mod.2011.01.001

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