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. 2019 Dec;34:119077.
doi: 10.1016/j.gep.2019.119077. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Armadillo-like Helical Domain containing-4 Is Dynamically Expressed in Both the First and Second Heart Fields

Free PMC article

Armadillo-like Helical Domain containing-4 Is Dynamically Expressed in Both the First and Second Heart Fields

Simon J Conway et al. Gene Expr Patterns. .
Free PMC article


Armadillo repeat and Armadillo-like helical domain containing proteins form a large family with diverse and fundamental functions in many eukaryotes. Herein we investigated the spatiotemporal expression pattern of Armadillo-like helical domain containing 4 (or Armh4) as an uncharacterized protein coding mouse gene, within the mouse embryo during the initial stages of heart morphogenesis. We found Armh4 is initially expressed in both first heart field as well as the second heart field progenitors and subsequently within predominantly their cardiomyocyte derivatives. Armh4 expression is initially cardiac-restricted in the developing embryo and is expressed in second heart field subpharyngeal mesoderm prior to cardiomyocyte differentiation, but Armh4 diminishes as the embryonic heart matures into the fetal heart. Armh4 is subsequently expressed in craniofacial structures and neural crest-derived dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia. Whereas lithium chloride-induced stimulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling elevated Armh4 expression in both second heart field subpharyngeal mesodermal progenitors and outflow tract, right ventricle and atrial cardiomyocytes, neither a systemic loss of Islet-1 nor an absence of cardiac neural crest cells had any effect upon Armh4 expression. These results confirm that Wnt/β-catenin-responsive Armh4 is a useful specific biomarker of the FHF and SHF cardiomyocyte derivatives only.

Keywords: Armadillo-like helical domain; Armh4; Beta-catenin/Wnt signaling; First and second heart field; Gene expression.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interest statement

The authors have no competing interests to declare.

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