Author(s): Combs MD, Yutzey KE
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Abstract In recent years, significant advances have been made in the definition of regulatory pathways that control normal and abnormal cardiac valve development. Here, we review the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the early development of valve progenitors and establishment of normal valve structure and function. Regulatory hierarchies consisting of a variety of signaling pathways, transcription factors, and downstream structural genes are conserved during vertebrate valvulogenesis. Complex intersecting regulatory pathways are required for endocardial cushion formation, valve progenitor cell proliferation, valve cell lineage development, and establishment of extracellular matrix compartments in the stratified valve leaflets. There is increasing evidence that the regulatory mechanisms governing normal valve development also contribute to human valve pathology. In addition, congenital valve malformations are predominant among diseased valves replaced late in life. The understanding of valve developmental mechanisms has important implications in the diagnosis and management of congenital and adult valve disease.
This article was published in Circ Res
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy