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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Maternal and zygotic Zfp57 modulate NOTCH signaling in cardiac development.


PMID 25848000

Abstract

Zfp57 is a maternal-zygotic effect gene that maintains genomic imprinting. Here we report that Zfp57 mutants exhibited a variety of cardiac defects including atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), thin myocardium, and reduced trabeculation. Zfp57 maternal-zygotic mutant embryos displayed more severe phenotypes with higher penetrance than the zygotic ones. Cardiac progenitor cells exhibited proliferation and differentiation defects in Zfp57 mutants. ZFP57 is a master regulator of genomic imprinting, so the DNA methylation imprint was lost in embryonic heart without ZFP57. Interestingly, the presence of imprinted DLK1, a target of ZFP57, correlated with NOTCH1 activation in cardiac cells. These results suggest that ZFP57 may modulate NOTCH signaling during cardiac development. Indeed, loss of ZFP57 caused loss of NOTCH1 activation in embryonic heart with more severe loss observed in the maternal-zygotic mutant. Maternal and zygotic functions of Zfp57 appear to play redundant roles in NOTCH1 activation and cardiomyocyte differentiation. This serves as an example of a maternal effect that can influence mammalian organ development. It also links genomic imprinting to NOTCH signaling and particular developmental functions.