Wnt signaling is a key regulator of vertebrate heart development; however, specific roles for human cardiomyocyte development remain uncertain. Here we use human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to analyze systematically in human cardiomyocyte development the expression of endogenous Wnt signaling components, monitor pathway activity, and dissect stage-specific requirements for canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling mechanisms using small-molecule inhibitors. Our analysis suggests that WNT3 and WNT8A, via FZD7 and canonical signaling, regulate BRACHYURY expression and mesoderm induction; that WNT5A/5B, via ROR2 and noncanonical signaling, regulate MESP1 expression and cardiovascular development; and that later in development WNT2, WNT5A/5B, and WNT11, via FZD4 and FZD6, regulate functional cardiomyocyte differentiation via noncanonical Wnt signaling. Our findings confirm in human development previously proposed roles for canonical Wnt signaling in sequential stages of vertebrate cardiomyogenesis, and identify more precise roles for noncanonical signaling and for individual Wnt signal and Wnt receptor genes in human cardiomyocyte development.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Stem Cell Reports|
|Early online date||15 Sep 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Oct 2016|
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- School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition, Medical Sciences - Personal Chair
- Institute of Medical Sciences