Elastin provides reversible extensibility and stores energy during the cardiac cycle in large blood vessels. It is only present in vertebrate animals with a closed circulatory system and high, pulsatile blood pressures. Elastin is crucial for proper cardiac function in vertebrates, as mice lacking elastin (eln-/-) die soon after birth with cardiovascular abnormalities including long, tortuous, stenotic, stiff arteries and high left ventricular (LV) pressure with low cardiac output [1, 2].

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