mTOR deletion in neural crest cells disrupts cardiac outflow tract remodeling and causes a spectrum of cardiac defects through the mTORC1 pathway

Academic Article


  • A critical cell type participating in cardiac outflow tract development is a subpopulation of the neural crest cells, the cardiac neural crest cells (NCCs), whose defect causes a spectrum of cardiovascular abnormalities. Accumulating evidence indicates that mTOR, which belongs to the PI3K-related kinase family and impacts multiple signaling pathways in a variety of contexts, plays a pivotal role for NCC development. Here, we investigated functional roles of mTOR for cardiac neural crest development using several lines of mouse genetic models. We found that disruption of mTOR caused NCC defects and failure of cardiac outflow tract separation, which resulted in a spectrum of cardiac defects including persistent truncus arteriosus, ventricular septal defect and ventricular wall defect. Specifically, mutant neural crest cells showed reduced migration into the cardiac OFT and prematurely exited the cell cycle. A number of critical factors and fundamental signaling pathways, which are important for neural crest and cardiomyocyte development, were impaired. Moreover, actin dynamics was disrupted by mTOR deletion. Finally, by phenotyping the neural crest Rptor and Rictor knockout mice respectively, we demonstrate that mTOR acts principally through the mTORC1 pathway for cardiac neural crest cells. Altogether, these data established essential roles of mTOR for cardiac NCC development and imply that dysregulation of mTOR in NCCs may underline a spectrum of cardiac defects.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 15582515
  • Author List

  • Nie X; Ricupero CL; Jiao K; Yang P; Mao JJ
  • Start Page

  • 241
  • End Page

  • 250
  • Volume

  • 477