Bcar1/p130Cas is essential for ventricular development and neural crest cell remodelling of the cardiac outflow tract.
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AIMS: The adapter protein p130Cas, encoded by the Bcar1 gene, is a key regulator of cell movement, adhesion, and cell cycle control in diverse cell types. Bcar1 constitutive knockout mice are embryonic lethal by embryonic days (E) 11.5-12.5, but the role of Bcar1 in embryonic development remains unclear. Here, we investigated the role of Bcar1 specifically in cardiovascular development and defined the cellular and molecular mechanisms disrupted following targeted Bcar1 deletions. METHODS AND RESULTS: We crossed Bcar1 floxed mice with Cre transgenic lines allowing for cell-specific knockout either in smooth muscle and early cardiac tissues (SM22-Cre), mature smooth muscle cells (smMHC-Cre), endothelial cells (Tie2-Cre), second heart field cells (Mef2c-Cre), or neural crest cells (NCC) (Pax3-Cre) and characterized these conditional knock outs using a combination of histological and molecular biology techniques. Conditional knockout of Bcar1 in SM22-expressing smooth muscle cells and cardiac tissues (Bcar1SM22KO) was embryonically lethal from E14.5-15.5 due to severe cardiovascular defects, including abnormal ventricular development and failure of outflow tract (OFT) septation leading to a single outflow vessel reminiscent of persistent truncus arteriosus. SM22-restricted loss of Bcar1 was associated with failure of OFT cushion cells to undergo differentiation to septal mesenchymal cells positive for SMC-specific α-actin, and disrupted expression of proteins and transcription factors involved in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation (EMT). Furthermore, knockout of Bcar1 specifically in NCC (Bcar1PAX3KO) recapitulated part of the OFT septation and aortic sac defects seen in the Bcar1SM22KO mutants, indicating a cell-specific requirement for Bcar1 in NCC essential for OFT septation. In contrast, conditional knockouts of Bcar1 in differentiated smooth muscle, endothelial cells, and second heart field cells survived to term and were phenotypically normal at birth and postnatally. CONCLUSION: Our work reveals a cell-specific requirement for Bcar1 in NCC, early myogenic and cardiac cells, essential for OFT septation, myocardialization and EMT/cell cycle regulation and differentiation to myogenic lineages.
Outflow tract septation
Crk-Associated Substrate Protein
Heart Defects, Congenital
Cancer Stem Cell
Mol and Systems Oncology
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Cardiovascular Research, 2022, 118 (8), pp. 1993 - 2005
OXFORD UNIV PRESS