J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 20; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020020 (registering DOI) - published 27 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The development of the dorsal vessel in Drosophila is one of the first systems in which key mechanisms regulating cardiogenesis have been defined in great detail at the genetic and molecular level. Due to evolutionary conservation, these findings have also provided major inputs into studies of cardiogenesis in vertebrates. Many of the major components that control Drosophila cardiogenesis were discovered based on candidate gene approaches and their functions were defined by employing the outstanding genetic tools and molecular techniques available in this system. More recently, approaches have been taken that aim to interrogate the entire genome in order to identify novel components and describe genomic features that are pertinent to the regulation of heart development. Apart from classical forward genetic screens, the availability of the thoroughly annotated Drosophila genome sequence made new genome-wide approaches possible, which include the generation of massive numbers of RNA interference (RNAi) reagents that were used in forward genetic screens, as well as studies of the transcriptomes and proteomes of the developing heart under normal and experimentally manipulated conditions. Moreover, genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments have been performed with the aim to define the full set of genomic binding sites of the major cardiogenic transcription factors, their relevant target genes, and a more complete picture of the regulatory network that drives cardiogenesis. This review will give an overview on these genome-wide approaches to Drosophila heart development and on computational analyses of the obtained information that ultimately aim to provide a description of this process at the systems level.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 19; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020019 - published 24 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Valosin-containing protein (VCP) is a highly conserved mechanoenzyme that helps maintain protein homeostasis in all cells and serves specialized functions in distinct cell types. In skeletal muscle, it is critical for myofibrillogenesis and atrophy. However, little is known about VCP’s role(s) in the heart. Its functional diversity is determined by differential binding of distinct cofactors/adapters, which is likely disrupted during disease. VCP mutations cause multisystem proteinopathy (MSP), a pleiotropic degenerative disorder that involves inclusion body myopathy. MSP patients display progressive muscle weakness. They also exhibit cardiomyopathy and die from cardiac and respiratory failure, which are consistent with critical myocardial roles for the enzyme. Nonetheless, efficient models to interrogate VCP in cardiac muscle remain underdeveloped and poorly studied. Here, we investigated the significance of VCP and mutant VCP in the Drosophila heart. Cardiac-restricted RNAi-mediated knockdown of TER94, the Drosophila VCP homolog, severely perturbed myofibrillar organization and heart function in adult flies. Furthermore, expression of MSP disease-causing alleles engendered cardiomyopathy in adults and structural defects in embryonic hearts. Drosophila may therefore serve as a valuable model for examining role(s) of VCP in cardiogenesis and for identifying novel heart-specific VCP interactions, which when disrupted via mutation, contribute to or elicit cardiac pathology.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 18; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020018 - published 12 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Drosophila cardiac tube was once thought to be a simple linear structure, however research over the past 15 years has revealed significant cellular and molecular complexity to this organ. Prior reviews have focused upon the gene regulatory networks responsible for the specification of the cardiac field and the activation of cardiac muscle structural genes. Here we focus upon highlighting the existence, function, and development of unique cell types within the dorsal vessel, and discuss their correspondence to analogous structures in the vertebrate heart.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 17; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020017 - published 19 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In the review, now published as part of the special issue devoted to the development of the conduction tissues, de Vries and his colleagues discuss the potential role of the so-called “dead-end tract” as a substrate for arrhythmogenesis .[...]
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 16; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020016 - published 15 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Congenital heart disease is the most common congenital defect. During childhood, survival is generally good but, in adulthood, late complications are not uncommon. Abnormal autonomic control in children with congenital heart disease may contribute considerably to the pathophysiology of these long term sequelae. This narrative review of 34 studies aims to summarize current knowledge on function of the autonomic nervous system in children with a congenital heart defect. Large scale studies that measure both branches of the nervous system for prolonged periods of time in well-defined patient cohorts in various phases of childhood and adolescence are currently lacking. Pending such studies, there is not yet a good grasp on the extent and direction of sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic function in pediatric congenital heart disease. Longitudinal studies in homogenous patient groups linking autonomic nervous system function and clinical outcome are warranted.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 15; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020015 - published 12 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The circulatory system of Drosophilamelanogaster represents an easily amenable genetic model whose analysis at different levels, i.e., from single molecules up to functional anatomy, has provided new insights into general aspects of cardiogenesis, heart physiology and cardiac aging, to name a few examples. In recent years, the Drosophila heart has also attracted the attention of researchers in the field of biomedicine. This development is mainly due to the fact that several genes causing human heart disease are also present in Drosophila, where they play the same or similar roles in heart development, maintenance or physiology as their respective counterparts in humans. This review will attempt to briefly introduce the anatomy of the Drosophila circulatory system and then focus on the different cell types and non-cellular tissue that constitute the heart.