The sinoatrial node (SAN) is the dominant pacemaker of the heart. Abnormalities in SAN formation and function can cause sinus arrhythmia, including sick sinus syndrome and sudden death. A better understanding of genes and signaling pathways that regulate SAN development and function is essential to develop more effective treatment to sinus arrhythmia, including biological pacemakers. In this review, we briefly summarize the key processes of SAN morphogenesis during development, and focus on the transcriptional network that drives SAN development.
Keywords: Cardiac progenitors; Heart field; Pacemaker; Sinus node development; Sinus node dysfunction; Transcriptional regulation.