Yan, L., Zhou, Y., Yu, S., Ji, G., Wang, L., Liu, W., and Gu, A. (2013) 8-Oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 (ogg1) maintains the function of cardiac progenitor cells during heart formation in zebrafish. Experimental cell research. 319(19):2954-63.
Genomic damage may devastate the potential of progenitor cells and consequently impair early organogenesis. We found that ogg1, a key enzyme initiating the base-excision repair, was enriched in the embryonic heart in zebrafish. So far, little is known about DNA repair functions in cardiogenesis. Here, we addressed the critical role of ogg1 in cardiogenesis for the first time. ogg1 mainly expressed in the anterior lateral plate mesoderm (ALPM), the primary heart tube, and subsequently the embryonic myocardium by in situ hybridisation. Loss of ogg1 resulted in severe cardiac morphogenesis and functional abnormalities, including the short heart length, arrhythmia, decreased cardiomyocytes and nkx2.5+ cardiac progenitor cells. Moreover, the increased apoptosis and repressed proliferation of progenitor cells caused by ogg1 deficiency might contribute to the heart phenotype. The microarray analysis showed that the expression of genes involved in embryonic heart tube morphogenesis and heart structure were significantly changed due to the lack of ogg1. Among those, foxh1 is an important partner of ogg1 in the cardiac development in response to DNA damage. Our work demonstrates the requirement of ogg1 cardiac progenitors and heart development in zebrafish. These findings may be helpful for understanding the aetiology of congenital cardiac deficits.