The coxsackie-adenovirus receptor (CAR) is a cell surface transmembrane protein originally recognized for its role as a binding site for coxsackie- and adeno-viruses. As such, it is believed to play an important role in pathogenesis of myocarditis. Other studies have suggested that CAR also plays an important role in embryonic development, which is not surprising given the strong expression of the receptor in heart, brain, liver, pancreas, kidney, small intestine, and various epithelia during development. A number of studies have looked at downregulation and upregulation of CAR and have confirmed the central role of CAR during critical periods of development. These studies all demonstrated embryonic lethality with variable phenotypes: electrophysiological abnormalities, cardiac structural deformations, and extracardiac abnormalities, such as lymphatic malformations. The purpose of this review is to summarize the existing literature about CAR and formulate some questions for future studies, with an emphasis on the role of CAR during embryonic heart development.
- congenital heart disease
- coxsackie-adenovirus receptor
- embryonic heart development
- knock out mice