Constitutive Expression of GATA4 Dramatically Increases the Cardiogenic Potential of D3 Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

Lillian L. Laemmle, Justus B. Cohen, Joseph C. Glorioso*
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA

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© Laemmle et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, 428 Bridgeside Point II, 450 Technology Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA; Tel: +1 412-648-8538; Fax: +1 412-624-8997; Email:


The transcription factor GATA binding protein 4 (GATA4) is a vital regulator of cardiac programming that acts by inducing the expression of many different genes involved in cardiomyogenesis. Here we generated a D3 mouse embryonic stem cell line that constitutively expresses high levels of GATA4 and show that these cells have dramatically increased cardiogenic potential compared to an eGFP-expressing control cell line. Embryoid bodies (EB) derived from the D3-GATA4 line displayed increased levels of cardiac gene expression and showed more abundant cardiomyocyte differentiation than control eGFP EB. These cells and two additional lines expressing lower levels of GATA4 provide a platform to screen previously untested cardiac genes and gene combinations for their ability to further increase the efficiency of cardiomyocyte differentiation beyond that achieved by transgenic GATA4 alone. Non-integrative delivery of identified gene combinations will aid in the production of differentiated cells for the treatment of ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Keywords: Cardiac development, Cardiomyocytes, Embryoid bodies, ES cells, GATA4.