Promotion of avian endothelial cell differentiation by GATA transcription factors
Caramai N. Kamei, Hervé Kempf, Ronit Yelin, Georges Daoud, Richard G. James, Andrew B. Lassar, Clifford J. Tabin, Thomas M. Schultheiss
Developmental Biology 353 (2011) 29–37 doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.02.016
In the avian embryo, endothelial cells originate from several sources, including the lateral plate and somite mesoderm. In this study, we show that Gata transcription factors are expressed in the lateral plate and in vasculogenic regions of the avian somite and are able to promote a vascular endothelial fate when ectopically expressed in somite precursors. A fusion of GATA4 to the transcriptional activator VP16 promoted endothelium formation, indicating that GATA transcription factors promote vasculogenesis via activation of downstream targets, while a fusion of GATA4 to the transcriptional repressor engrailed repressed expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 2, a marker of endothelial precursors. These findings indicate a role for GATA transcription factors in the differentiation of the endothelium.