Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol:99 issue:5 pages:2878-83
Receptors for bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) superfamily, are persistently expressed during cardiac development, yet mice lacking type II or type IA BMP receptors die at gastrulation and cannot be used to assess potential later roles in creation of the heart. Here, we used a Cre/lox system for cardiac myocyte-specific deletion of the type IA BMP receptor, ALK3. ALK3 was specifically required at mid-gestation for normal development of the trabeculae, compact myocardium, interventricular septum, and endocardial cushion. Cardiac muscle lacking ALK3 was specifically deficient in expressing TGFbeta2, an established paracrine mediator of cushion morphogenesis. Hence, ALK3 is essential, beyond just the egg cylinder stage, for myocyte-dependent functions and signals in cardiac organogenesis.