Modeling gatad1-associated dilated cardiomyopathy in adult zebrafish

Jingchun Yang, Sahrish Shah, Timothy M. Olson, Xiaolei Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Animal models have played a critical role in validating human dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) genes, particularly those that implicate novel mechanisms for heart failure. However, the disease phenotype may be delayed due to age-dependent penetrance. For this reason, we generated an adult zebrafish model, which is a simpler vertebrate model with higher throughput than rodents. Specifically, we studied the zebrafish homologue of GATAD1, a recently identified gene for adult-onset autosomal recessive DCM. We showed cardiac expression of gatad1 transcripts, by whole mount in situ hybridization in zebrafish embryos, and demonstrated nuclear and sarcomeric I-band subcellular localization of Gatad1 protein in cardiomyocytes, by injecting a Tol2 plasmid encoding fluorescently-tagged Gatad1. We next generated gatad1 knock-out fish lines by TALEN technology and a transgenic fish line that expresses the human DCM GATAD1-S102P mutation in cardiomyocytes. Under stress conditions, longitudinal studies uncovered heart failure (HF)-like phenotypes in stable KO mutants and a tendency toward HF phenotypes in transgenic lines. Based on these efforts of studying a gene-based inherited cardiomyopathy model, we discuss the strengths and bottlenecks of adult zebrafish as a new vertebrate model for assessing candidate cardiomyopathy genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2016


  • Adult zebrafish
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Gatad1
  • Transgenic fish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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