ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-070726-22
Effect of dihydrofolate reductase gene knock-down on the expression of heart and neural crest derivatives expressed transcript 2 in zebrafish cardiac development
Sun, S.N., Gui, Y.H., Wang, Y.X., Qian, L.X., Jiang, Q., Liu, D., and Song, H.Y.
Date: 2007
Source: Chinese Medical Journal   120(13): 1166-1171 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Jiang, Qiu, Qian, Linxi, Song, Houyan, Wang, Yuexiang
Keywords: folic acid, heart and neural crest derivatives expressed transcript 2 protein, heart, development, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/genetics*
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/physiology
  • Female
  • Heart/embryology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital/etiology*
  • Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase/genetics
  • Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase/physiology*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology
PubMed: 17637246
BACKGROUND: Folic acid is very important for embryonic development and dihydrofolate reductase is one of the key enzymes in the process of folic acid performing its biological function. Therefore, the dysfunction of dihydrofolate reductase can inhibit the function of folic acid and finally cause the developmental malformations. In this study, we observed the abnormal cardiac phenotypes in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene knock-down zebrafish embryos, investigated the effect of DHFR on the expression of heart and neural crest derivatives expressed transcript 2 (HAND2) and explored the possible mechanism of DHFR knock-down inducing zebrafish cardiac malformations. METHODS: Morpholino oligonucleotides were microinjected into fertilized eggs to knock down the functions of DHFR or HAND2. Full length of HAND2 mRNA which was transcribed in vitro was microinjected into fertilized eggs to overexpress HAND2. The cardiac morphologies, the heart rates and the ventricular shortening fraction were observed and recorded under the microscope at 48 hours post fertilization. Whole-mount in situ hybridization and real-time PCR were performed to detect HAND2 expression. RESULTS: DHFR or HAND2 knock-down caused the cardiac malformation in zebrafish. The expression of HAND2 was obviously reduced in DHFR knock-down embryos (P < 0.05). Microinjecting HAND2 mRNA into fertilized eggs can induce HAND2 overexpression. HAND2 overexpression rescued the cardiac malformation phenotypes of DHFR knock-down embryos. CONCLUSIONS: DHFR plays a crucial role in cardiac development. The down-regulation of HAND2 caused by DHFR knock-down is the possible mechanism of DHFR knock-down inducing the cardiac malformation.