Determining the role of SOX17 and hypoxia in coronary vessel development

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Jones, Brendan
Sharma, Bikram
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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SOX17 is a gene that is involved in the regulation of angiogenesis, a process by which new blood vessels are formed. It is unclear whether SOX17 in these coronary progenitors is activated by hypoxia-inducible cues. To test whether Sox17 is important in coronary vessel growth, we analyzed coronary vessel growth in embryonic hearts that is lacking Sox17 and compared it to control hearts with normal Sox17 activity. We found that coronary vessel development was stunted when Sox17 was depleted from the heart suggesting that Sox17 is required for normal coronary vessel development. Next, we wanted to test whether Sox17 activity is hypoxia dependent. We tested this in HUVECs cell culture by culturing the control group in normoxic (21% oxygen) and experiment group in hypoxia (1% oxygen) and analyzing Sox17 expression. We did not find conclusive results from our HUVECs experiment and need further quantitative analysis to determine whether Sox17 is activated by hypoxia.