Tbx1 is regulated by forkhead proteins in the secondary heart field

Dev Dyn. 2006 Mar;235(3):701-10. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.20686.


Transcriptional regulation in a tissue-specific and quantitative manner is essential for developmental events, including those involved in cardiovascular morphogenesis. Tbx1 is a T-box-containing transcription factor that is responsible for many of the defects observed in 22q11 deletion syndrome in humans. Tbx1 is expressed in the secondary heart field (SHF) and is essential for cardiac outflow tract (OFT) development. We previously reported that Tbx1 is regulated by sonic hedgehog by means of forkhead (Fox) transcription factors in the head mesenchyme and pharyngeal endoderm, but how it is regulated in the SHF is unknown. Here, we show that Tbx1 expression in the SHF is regulated by Fox proteins through a combination of two evolutionarily conserved Fox binding sites in a dose-dependent manner. Cell fate analysis using the Tbx1 enhancer suggests that SHF-derived Tbx1-expressing cells contribute extensively to the right ventricular myocardium as well as the OFT during early development and ultimately give rise to the right ventricular infundibulum, pulmonary trunk, and pulmonary valves. These results suggest that Fox proteins are involved in most, if not all, Tbx1 expression domains and that Tbx1 marks a subset of SHF-derived cells, particularly those that uniquely contribute to the right-sided outflow tract and proximal pulmonary artery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Heart / growth & development*
  • Heart Ventricles / chemistry
  • Heart Ventricles / cytology
  • Heart Ventricles / growth & development
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / chemistry
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / analysis
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / genetics*
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • Tbx1 protein, mouse