Disruption of pdgfra alters endocardial and myocardial fusion during zebrafish cardiac assembly

Suzan El-Rass, Shahram Eisa-Beygi, Edbert Khong, Koroboshka Brand-Arzamendi, Antonio Mauro, Haibo Zhang, Karl J. Clark, Stephen C. Ekker, Xiao Yan Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Cardiac development in vertebrates is a finely tuned process regulated by a set of conserved signaling pathways. Perturbations of these processes are often associated with congenital cardiac malformations. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor ' (PDGFR') is a highly conserved tyrosine kinase receptor, which is essential for development and organogenesis. Disruption of Pdgfr' function in murine models is embryonic lethal due to severe cardiovascular defects, suggesting a role in cardiac development, thus necessitating the use of alternative models to explore its precise function. In this study, we generated a zebrafish pdgfra mutant line by gene trapping, in which the Pdgfra protein is truncated and fused with mRFP (PdgframRFP). Our results demonstrate that pdgfra mutants have defects in cardiac morphology as a result of abnormal fusion of myocardial precursors. Expression analysis of the developing heart at later stages suggested that Pdgfra-mRFP is expressed in the endocardium. Further examination of the endocardium in pdgfra mutants revealed defective endocardial migration to the midline, where cardiac fusion eventually occurs. Together, our data suggests that pdgfra is required for proper medial migration of both endocardial and myocardial precursors, an essential step required for cardiac assembly and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-357
Number of pages10
JournalBiology Open
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 15 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, grant RGPIN 05389-14 (X.-Y.W.), Fondation Brain Canada (Brain Canada Foundation), grant PSG14-3505 (X.-Y.W.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


  • Cardiac fusion
  • Gene trapping
  • Heart development
  • Pdgfra
  • Zebrafish


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