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Published August 2005 | public
Journal Article

Isolation of arterial-specific genes by subtractive hybridization reveals molecular heterogeneity among arterial endothelial cells


Arteries are distinguished from veins by differences in gene expression, as well as in their anatomy and physiology. The characterization of arterial- and venous-specific genes may improve our understanding of cardiovascular development and disease. Here we report the results of a subtractive hybridization screen for arterial-specific genes, and describe in detail the expression of a novel arterial-specific gene, Depp (decidual protein induced by progesterone), using a GFP-Cre knock-in that permits a comparison of both instantaneous and cumulative expression patterns in situ. Several features of Depp expression are noteworthy. First, Depp is expressed in endothelial cells of peripheral tissues, but not in atrial or ventricular endocardial cells of the heart. Very few genes have been reported to discriminate between these two cell types, and therefore this specificity may be useful in generating conditional mutations in other genes implicated in cardiovascular development. Second, Depp reveals an unexpected degree of molecular heterogeneity among arterial endothelial cells. Third, Depp is up-regulated in subsets of endothelial cells, in settings of adult neo-vascularization, including tumor angiogenesis. Taken together, these data reveal unanticipated temporal and spatial heterogeneity among arterial endothelial cells of various tissues and organs, raising new questions regarding the functional significance of this diversity.

Additional Information

© 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Received 29 March 2005; Revised 27 April 2005; Accepted 28 April 2005; Published online 23 June 2005. We thank Brian Sauer for the EGFPCre construct; Gail Martin for the FRT-flanked PGK-neo construct; Catherine Dulac and Akihiko Shimono for the screening protocols; Yohsuke Mukouyama for helpful discussions; Guillermo Garcia-Cardena for tumor cells; Elisabetta Dejana and Lucia Zanetta for performing a corneal micropocket assay; Shirley Pease and Jade Wang for performing blastocyst injections; Bruce Kennedy and the staff of the Transgenic Animal Facility at Caltech for assistance with mouse breeding and care; Janet Baer and Claire Lindsell for revision of animal protocols; Gwen Williams for surgical assistance; Shelley Diamond and Stephanie Adams for FACS assistance; David Mathog for sequence analysis; Gaby Mosconi for laboratory management; Jung Sook Chang and Monica Martinez for technical support; Gina Mancuso for administrative assistance; and other Anderson lab members for technical help and discussion. D.J.A. is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023