The vertebrate heart develops from two distinct lineages of cardiomyocytes that arise from the first and second heart fields (FHF and SHF, respectively). The FHF forms the primitive heart tube, while adding cells from the SHF allows elongation at both poles of the tube. Initially seen as an exclusive characteristic of higher vertebrates, recent work has demonstrated the presence of a distinct FHF and SHF in lower vertebrates, including zebrafish. We found that key transcription factors that regulate septation and chamber formation in higher vertebrates, including Tbx5 and Pitx2, influence relative FHF and SHF contributions to the zebrafish heart tube. To identify molecular modulators of heart field migration, we used microarray-based expression profiling following inhibition of tbx5a and pitx2ab in embryonic zebrafish (Mosimann & Panakova, et al, 2015; GSE70750). Here, we describe in more detail the procedure used to process, prioritize, and analyze the expression data for functional enrichment.
Keywords: Genomics; Heart development; Zebrafish; pitx2; tbx5.