Pluto Bioinformatics

GSE148123: Transient Nodal signalling in left precursors coordinates opposed asymmetries shaping the heart loop

Bulk RNA sequencing

The secreted factor Nodal has been shown to be a major left determinant. Although it is associated with severe congenital heart defects, its role in heart morphogenesis has remained poorly understood. Here, we report that Nodal is transiently active in precursors of the mouse heart tube poles, before the morphological changes of heart looping. In conditional mutants, we show that Nodal is not required to initiate asymmetric morphogenesis. We provide evidence of a heart-specific random generator of asymmetry that is independent of Nodal. Using 3D quantifications and simulations, we demonstrate that Nodal functions as a bias of this mechanism: it is required to amplify and coordinate opposed left-right asymmetries at the heart tube poles, thus generating a robust helical shape. We identify downstream effectors of Nodal signalling, regulating asymmetries in cell proliferation, cell differentiation and extra-cellular matrix composition. Our work provides novel insight into how Nodal regulates asymmetric organogenesis. SOURCE: Audrey Desgrange ( - Imagine - Institut Pasteur

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