The fibroblast growth factor signaling axis controls cardiac stem cell differentiation through regulating autophagy

Jue Zhang, Junchen Liu, Leyuan Liu, Wallace L. McKeehan, Fen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling axis plays important roles in heart development. Yet, the molecular mechanism by which the FGF regulates cardiogenesis is not fully understood. Using genetically engineered mouse and in vitro cultured embryoid body (EB) models, we demonstrate that FGF signaling suppresses premature differentiation of heart progenitor cells, as well as autophagy in outflow tract (OFT) myocardiac cells. The FGF also promotes mesoderm differentiation in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) but inhibits cardiomyocyte differentiation of the mesoderm cells at later stages. Furthermore, inhibition of FGF signaling increases myocardial differentiation and autophagy in both ex vivo cultured embryos and EBs, whereas activation of autophagy promotes myocardial differentiation. Thus, a link between FGF signals preventing premature differentiation of heart progenitor cells and suppression of autophagy has been established. These findings provide the first evidence that autophagy plays a role in heart progenitor differentiation, and suggest a new venue to regulate stem/progenitor cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-691
Number of pages2
JournalAutophagy
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • Autophagy
  • FGF
  • Heart defect
  • Heart development
  • Premature differentiation
  • Second heart field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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