The Apelin receptor enhances Nodal/TGFβ signaling to ensure proper cardiac development

Ashish R. Deshwar, Serene C. Chng, Lena Ho, Bruno Reversade, Ian C. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The Apelin receptor (Aplnr) is essential for heart development, controlling the early migration of cardiac progenitors. Here we demonstrate that in zebrafish Aplnr modulates Nodal/TGFβ signaling, a key pathway essential for mesendoderm induction and migration. Loss of Aplnr function leads to a reduction in Nodal target gene expression whereas activation of Aplnr by a non-peptide agonist increases the expression of these same targets. Furthermore, loss of Aplnr results in a delay in the expression of the cardiogenic transcription factors mespaa/ab. Elevating Nodal levels in aplnra/b morphant and double mutant embryos is sufficient to rescue cardiac differentiation defects. We demonstrate that loss of Aplnr attenuates the activity of a point source of Nodal ligands Squint and Cyclops in a non-cell autonomous manner. Our results favour a model in which Aplnr is required to fine-tune Nodal output, acting as a specific rheostat for the Nodal/TGFβ pathway during the earliest stages of cardiogenesis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue numberApril 2016
StatePublished - Apr 14 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'The Apelin receptor enhances Nodal/TGFβ signaling to ensure proper cardiac development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this