Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Universidad Autonoma De Madrid (2016)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Endothelial deletion of Ino80 disrupts coronary angiogenesis and causes congenital heart disease. Nature communications Rhee, S. n., Chung, J. I., King, D. A., D'amato, G. n., Paik, D. T., Duan, A. n., Chang, A. n., Nagelberg, D. n., Sharma, B. n., Jeong, Y. n., Diehn, M. n., Wu, J. C., Morrison, A. J., Red-Horse, K. n. 2018; 9 (1): 368


    During development, the formation of a mature, well-functioning heart requires transformation of the ventricular wall from a loose trabecular network into a dense compact myocardium at mid-gestation. Failure to compact is associated in humans with congenital diseases such as left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC). The mechanisms regulating myocardial compaction are however still poorly understood. Here, we show that deletion of the Ino80 chromatin remodeler in vascular endothelial cells prevents ventricular compaction in the developing mouse heart. This correlates with defective coronary vascularization, and specific deletion of Ino80 in the two major coronary progenitor tissues-sinus venosus and endocardium-causes intermediate phenotypes. In vitro, endothelial cells promote myocardial expansion independently of blood flow in an Ino80-dependent manner. Ino80 deletion increases the expression of E2F-activated genes and endothelial cell S-phase occupancy. Thus, Ino80 is essential for coronary angiogenesis and allows coronary vessels to support proper compaction of the heart wall.

    View details for PubMedID 29371594

  • Myocardial Notch1-Rbpj deletion does not affect NOTCH signaling, heart development or function. PloS one Salguero-Jimenez, A., Grego-Bessa, J., D'Amato, G., Jimenez-Borreguero, L. J., de la Pompa, J. L. 2018; 13 (12): e0203100


    During vertebrate cardiac development NOTCH signaling activity in the endocardium is essential for the crosstalk between endocardium and myocardium that initiates ventricular trabeculation and valve primordium formation. This crosstalk leads later to the maturation and compaction of the ventricular chambers and the morphogenesis of the cardiac valves, and its alteration may lead to disease. Although endocardial NOTCH signaling has been shown to be crucial for heart development, its physiological role in the myocardium has not been clearly established. Here we have used mouse genetics to evaluate the role of NOTCH in myocardial development. We have inactivated the unique and ubiquitous NOTCH effector RBPJ in early cardiomyocytes progenitors, and examined its consequences in cardiac development and function. Our results show that mice with Tnnt2-Cre-mediated myocardial-specific deletion of Rbpj develop to term, with homozygous mutant animals showing normal expression of cardiac development markers, and normal adult heart function. Similar observations have been obtained after Notch1 deletion with Tnnt2-Cre. We have also deleted Rbpj in both myocardial and endocardial progenitor cells, using the Nkx2.5-Cre driver, resulting in ventricular septal defect (VSD), double outlet right ventricle (DORV), and bicuspid aortic valve (BAV), due to NOTCH signaling abrogation in the endocardium of cardiac valves. Our data demonstrate that NOTCH-RBPJ inactivation in the myocardium does not affect heart development or adult cardiac function.

    View details for PubMedID 30596653

  • Single-cell analysis of early progenitor cells that build coronary arteries. Nature Su, T. n., Stanley, G. n., Sinha, R. n., D'Amato, G. n., Das, S. n., Rhee, S. n., Chang, A. H., Poduri, A. n., Raftrey, B. n., Dinh, T. T., Roper, W. A., Li, G. n., Quinn, K. E., Caron, K. M., Wu, S. n., Miquerol, L. n., Butcher, E. C., Weissman, I. n., Quake, S. n., Red-Horse, K. n. 2018


    Arteries and veins are specified by antagonistic transcriptional programs. However, during development and regeneration, new arteries can arise from pre-existing veins through a poorly understood process of cell fate conversion. Here, using single-cell RNA sequencing and mouse genetics, we show that vein cells of the developing heart undergo an early cell fate switch to create a pre-artery population that subsequently builds coronary arteries. Vein cells underwent a gradual and simultaneous switch from venous to arterial fate before a subset of cells crossed a transcriptional threshold into the pre-artery state. Before the onset of coronary blood flow, pre-artery cells appeared in the immature vessel plexus, expressed mature artery markers, and decreased cell cycling. The vein-specifying transcription factor COUP-TF2 (also known as NR2F2) prevented plexus cells from overcoming the pre-artery threshold by inducing cell cycle genes. Thus, vein-derived coronary arteries are built by pre-artery cells that can differentiate independently of blood flow upon the release of inhibition mediated by COUP-TF2 and cell cycle factors.

    View details for PubMedID 29973725

  • DACH1 stimulates shear stress-guided endothelial cell migration and coronary artery growth through the CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling axis GENES & DEVELOPMENT Chang, A. H., Raftrey, B. C., D'Amato, G., Surya, V. N., Poduri, A., Chen, H. I., Goldstone, A. B., Woo, J., Fuller, G. G., Dunn, A. R., Red-Horse, K. 2017; 31 (13): 1308–24


    Sufficient blood flow to tissues relies on arterial blood vessels, but the mechanisms regulating their development are poorly understood. Many arteries, including coronary arteries of the heart, form through remodeling of an immature vascular plexus in a process triggered and shaped by blood flow. However, little is known about how cues from fluid shear stress are translated into responses that pattern artery development. Here, we show that mice lacking endothelial Dach1 had small coronary arteries, decreased endothelial cell polarization, and reduced expression of the chemokine Cxcl12 Under shear stress in culture, Dach1 overexpression stimulated endothelial cell polarization and migration against flow, which was reversed upon CXCL12/CXCR4 inhibition. In vivo, DACH1 was expressed during early arteriogenesis but was down in mature arteries. Mature artery-type shear stress (high, uniform laminar) specifically down-regulated DACH1, while the remodeling artery-type flow (low, variable) maintained DACH1 expression. Together, our data support a model in which DACH1 stimulates coronary artery growth by activating Cxcl12 expression and endothelial cell migration against blood flow into developing arteries. This activity is suppressed once arteries reach a mature morphology and acquire high, laminar flow that down-regulates DACH1. Thus, we identified a mechanism by which blood flow quality balances artery growth and maturation.

    View details for PubMedID 28779009

  • Notch signalling in ventricular chamber development and cardiomyopathy FEBS JOURNAL D'Amato, G., Luxan, G., Luis de la Pompa, J. 2016; 283 (23): 4223-4237


    The vertebrate heart is the first organ to form and function during embryogenesis. Primitive streak-derived cardiac progenitors located bilaterally move rostral to form the primitive heart tube that subsequently undergoes rightward looping, remodelling and septation to give rise to the mature four-chambered heart. Tightly regulated tissue interactions orchestrate the patterning, proliferation and differentiation processes that give rise to the adult ventricles. Studies in animal models have demonstrated the crucial function of the Notch signalling pathway in ventricular development and how alterations in human NOTCH signalling may lead to disease in the form of cardiomyopathies, such as left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC). In this review, we discuss how during trabecular formation and ventricular compaction, Dll4-Notch1 signals from chamber endocardium to regulate cardiomyocyte proliferation and differentiation in a noncell autonomous fashion and how, at later stages, myocardial Jag1 and Jag2 activate Notch1 in chamber endocardium to sustain chamber patterning and compaction with simultaneous coronary vessel development mediated by Dll4-Notch1. We suggest that alterations in these molecular mechanisms underlie MIB1-related familial LVNC and favour the hypothesis that this cardiomyopathy has a congenital nature.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/febs.13773

    View details for Web of Science ID 000392742500002

    View details for PubMedID 27260948

  • Sequential Ligand-Dependent Notch Signaling Activation Regulates Valve Primordium Formation and Morphogenesis CIRCULATION RESEARCH MacGrogan, D., D'Amato, G., Travisano, S., Martinez-Poveda, B., Luxan, G., Del Monte-Nieto, G., Papoutsi, T., Sbroggio, M., Bou, V., Gomez-del Arco, P., Jose Gomez, M., Zhou, B., Miguel Redondo, J., Jimenez-Borreguero, L. J., Luis de la Pompa, J. 2016; 118 (10): 1480-U101


    The Notch signaling pathway is crucial for primitive cardiac valve formation by epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and NOTCH1 mutations cause bicuspid aortic valve; however, the temporal requirement for the various Notch ligands and receptors during valve ontogeny is poorly understood.The aim of this study is to determine the functional specificity of Notch in valve development.Using cardiac-specific conditional targeted mutant mice, we find that endothelial/endocardial deletion of Mib1-Dll4-Notch1 signaling, possibly favored by Manic-Fringe, is specifically required for cardiac epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Mice lacking endocardial Jag1, Notch1, or RBPJ displayed enlarged valve cusps, bicuspid aortic valve, and septal defects, indicating that endocardial Jag1 to Notch1 signaling is required for post-epithelial-mesenchymal transition valvulogenesis. Valve dysmorphology was associated with increased mesenchyme proliferation, indicating that Jag1-Notch1 signaling restricts mesenchyme cell proliferation non-cell autonomously. Gene profiling revealed upregulated Bmp signaling in Jag1-mutant valves, providing a molecular basis for the hyperproliferative phenotype. Significantly, the negative regulator of mesenchyme proliferation, Hbegf, was markedly reduced in Jag1-mutant valves. Hbegf expression in embryonic endocardial cells could be readily activated through a RBPJ-binding site, identifying Hbegf as an endocardial Notch target. Accordingly, addition of soluble heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor to Jag1-mutant outflow tract explant cultures rescued the hyperproliferative phenotype.During cardiac valve formation, Dll4-Notch1 signaling leads to epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cushion formation. Jag1-Notch1 signaling subsequently restrains Bmp-mediated valve mesenchyme proliferation by sustaining Hbegf-EGF receptor signaling. Our studies identify a mechanism of signaling cross talk during valve morphogenesis involved in the origin of congenital heart defects associated with reduced NOTCH function.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.308077

    View details for Web of Science ID 000376468700009

    View details for PubMedID 27056911

  • The Chromatin Remodeling Complex Chd4/NuRD Controls Striated Muscle Identity and Metabolic Homeostasis. Cell metabolism Gómez-del Arco, P., Perdiguero, E., Yunes-Leites, P. S., Acín-Pérez, R., Zeini, M., Garcia-Gomez, A., Sreenivasan, K., Jiménez-Alcázar, M., Segalés, J., López-Maderuelo, D., Ornés, B., Jiménez-Borreguero, L. J., D'Amato, G., Enshell-Seijffers, D., Morgan, B., Georgopoulos, K., Islam, A. B., Braun, T., de la Pompa, J. L., Kim, J., Enriquez, J. A., Ballestar, E., Muñoz-Cánoves, P., Redondo, J. M. 2016; 23 (5): 881-892


    Heart muscle maintains blood circulation, while skeletal muscle powers skeletal movement. Despite having similar myofibrilar sarcomeric structures, these striated muscles differentially express specific sarcomere components to meet their distinct contractile requirements. The mechanism responsible is still unclear. We show here that preservation of the identity of the two striated muscle types depends on epigenetic repression of the alternate lineage gene program by the chromatin remodeling complex Chd4/NuRD. Loss of Chd4 in the heart triggers aberrant expression of the skeletal muscle program, causing severe cardiomyopathy and sudden death. Conversely, genetic depletion of Chd4 in skeletal muscle causes inappropriate expression of cardiac genes and myopathy. In both striated tissues, mitochondrial function was also dependent on the Chd4/NuRD complex. We conclude that an epigenetic mechanism controls cardiac and skeletal muscle structural and metabolic identities and that loss of this regulation leads to hybrid striated muscle tissues incompatible with life.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.04.008

    View details for PubMedID 27166947

  • Endocardial Notch Signaling in Cardiac Development and Disease. Circulation research Luxán, G., D'Amato, G., MacGrogan, D., de la Pompa, J. L. 2016; 118 (1): e1-e18


    The Notch signaling pathway is an ancient and highly conserved signaling pathway that controls cell fate specification and tissue patterning in the embryo and in the adult. Region-specific endocardial Notch activity regulates heart morphogenesis through the interaction with multiple myocardial-, epicardial-, and neural crest-derived signals. Mutations in NOTCH signaling elements cause congenital heart disease in humans and mice, demonstrating its essential role in cardiac development. Studies in model systems have provided mechanistic understanding of Notch function in cardiac development, congenital heart disease, and heart regeneration. Notch patterns the embryonic endocardium into prospective territories for valve and chamber formation, and later regulates the signaling processes leading to outflow tract and valve morphogenesis and ventricular trabeculae compaction. Alterations in NOTCH signaling in the endocardium result in congenital structural malformations that can lead to disease in the neonate and adult heart.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.305350

    View details for PubMedID 26635389

  • Endothelial Jag1-RBPJ signalling promotes inflammatory leucocyte recruitment and atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular research Nus, M., Martínez-Poveda, B., MacGrogan, D., Chevre, R., Amato, G. D., Sbroggio, M., Rodríguez, C., Martínez-González, J., Andrés, V., Hidalgo, A., de la Pompa, J. L. 2016


    To determine the role of NOTCH during the arterial injury response and the subsequent chronic arterial-wall inflammation underlying atherosclerosis.We have generated a mouse model of endothelial-specific (Cdh5-driven) depletion of the Notch effector recombination signal binding protein for immunoglobulin kappa J region (RBPJ) [(ApoE-/-); homozygous RBPJk conditional mice (RBPJflox/flox); Cadherin 5-CreERT, tamoxifen inducible driver mice (Cdh5-CreERT)]. Endothelial-specific deletion of RBPJ or systemic deletion of Notch1 in athero-susceptible ApoE-/- mice fed a high-cholesterol diet for 6 weeks resulted in reduced atherosclerosis in the aortic arch and sinus. Intravital microscopy revealed decreased leucocyte rolling on the endothelium of ApoE-/-; RBPJflox/flox; Cdh5-CreERT mice, correlating with a lowered content of leucocytes and macrophages in the vascular wall. Transcriptome analysis revealed down-regulation of proinflammatory and endothelial activation pathways in atherosclerotic tissue of RBPJ-mutant mice. During normal Notch activation, Jagged1 signalling up-regulation in endothelial cells promotes nuclear translocation of the Notch1 intracellular domain (N1ICD) and its physical interaction with nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB). This N1ICD-NF-κB interaction is required for reciprocal transactivation of target genes, including vascular cell adhesion molecule-1.Notch signalling pathway inactivation decreases leucocyte rolling, thereby preventing endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation. Attenuation of Notch signalling might provide a treatment strategy for atherosclerosis.

    View details for PubMedID 27496872

  • Sequential Notch activation regulates ventricular chamber development NATURE CELL BIOLOGY D'Amato, G., Luxan, G., Del Monte-Nieto, G., Martinez-Poveda, B., Torroja, C., Walter, W., Bochter, M. S., Benedito, R., Cole, S., Martinez, F., Hadjantonakis, A., Uemura, A., Jimenez-Borreguero, L. J., de la Pompa, J. L. 2016; 18 (1): 7-?


    Ventricular chambers are essential for the rhythmic contraction and relaxation occurring in every heartbeat throughout life. Congenital abnormalities in ventricular chamber formation cause severe human heart defects. How the early trabecular meshwork of myocardial fibres forms and subsequently develops into mature chambers is poorly understood. We show that Notch signalling first connects chamber endocardium and myocardium to sustain trabeculation, and later coordinates ventricular patterning and compaction with coronary vessel development to generate the mature chamber, through a temporal sequence of ligand signalling determined by the glycosyltransferase manic fringe (MFng). Early endocardial expression of MFng promotes Dll4-Notch1 signalling, which induces trabeculation in the developing ventricle. Ventricular maturation and compaction require MFng and Dll4 downregulation in the endocardium, which allows myocardial Jag1 and Jag2 signalling to Notch1 in this tissue. Perturbation of this signalling equilibrium severely disrupts heart chamber formation. Our results open a new research avenue into the pathogenesis of cardiomyopathies.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncb3280

    View details for Web of Science ID 000367030900013

    View details for PubMedID 26641715

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4816493

  • Mutations in the NOTCH pathway regulator MIB1 cause left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy. Nature medicine Luxán, G., Casanova, J. C., Martínez-Poveda, B., Prados, B., D'Amato, G., MacGrogan, D., Gonzalez-Rajal, A., Dobarro, D., Torroja, C., Martinez, F., Izquierdo-García, J. L., Fernández-Friera, L., Sabater-Molina, M., Kong, Y., Pizarro, G., Ibañez, B., Medrano, C., García-Pavía, P., Gimeno, J. R., Monserrat, L., Jiménez-Borreguero, L. J., de la Pompa, J. L. 2013; 19 (2): 193-201


    Left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC) causes prominent ventricular trabeculations and reduces cardiac systolic function. The clinical presentation of LVNC ranges from asymptomatic to heart failure. We show that germline mutations in human MIB1 (mindbomb homolog 1), which encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase that promotes endocytosis of the NOTCH ligands DELTA and JAGGED, cause LVNC in autosomal-dominant pedigrees, with affected individuals showing reduced NOTCH1 activity and reduced expression of target genes. Functional studies in cells and zebrafish embryos and in silico modeling indicate that MIB1 functions as a dimer, which is disrupted by the human mutations. Targeted inactivation of Mib1 in mouse myocardium causes LVNC, a phenotype mimicked by inactivation of myocardial Jagged1 or endocardial Notch1. Myocardial Mib1 mutants show reduced ventricular Notch1 activity, expansion of compact myocardium to proliferative, immature trabeculae and abnormal expression of cardiac development and disease genes. These results implicate NOTCH signaling in LVNC and indicate that MIB1 mutations arrest chamber myocardium development, preventing trabecular maturation and compaction.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.3046

    View details for PubMedID 23314057