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1.  Modulation of myosin filament organization by C-protein family members. 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1996;7(1):113-127.
We have analyzed the interactions between two types of sarcomeric proteins: myosin heavy chain (MyHC) and members of an abundant thick filament-associated protein family (myosin-binding protein; MyBP). Previous work has demonstrated that when MyHC is transiently transfected into mammalian nonmuscle COS cells, the expressed protein forms spindle-shaped structures consisting of bundles of myosin thick filaments. Co-expression of MyHC and MyBP-C or -H modulates the MyHC structures, resulting in dramatically longer cables consisting of myosin and MyBP encircling the nucleus. Immunoelectron microscopy indicates that these cable structures are more uniform in diameter than the spindle structures consisting solely of MyHC, and that the myosin filaments are compacted in the presence of MyBP. Deletion analysis of MyBP-H indicates that cable formation is dependent on the carboxy terminal 24 amino acids. Neither the MyHC spindles nor the MyHC/MyBP cables associate with the endogenous actin cytoskeleton of the COS cell. While there is no apparent co-localization between these structures and the microtubule network, colchicine treatment of the cells promotes the formation of longer assemblages, suggesting that cytoskeletal architecture may physically impede or regulate polymer formation/extension. The data presented here contribute to a greater understanding of the interactions between the MyBP family and MyHC, and provide additional evidence for functional homology between MyBP-C and MyBP-H.
PMCID: PMC278617  PMID: 8741844
2.  Histochemical and immunohistochemical profile of human and rat ocular medial rectus muscles 
To compare the organization of human and rat ocular medial recti muscles (MR).
The cryosections of human and rat MR were processed for myofibrillar ATPase (mATPase), succinate dehydrogenase and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. To reveal myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms, specific monoclonal antibodies against MyHC-1/β- slow, α-cardiac (-α), -2a, -2x, -2b, -extraocular (eom), -embryonic (-emb) and -neonatal (-neo) were applied. The MyHC gene expression was studied by in situ hybridization in human muscle.
The muscle fibers were arranged in two distinct layers in both species. In the orbital layer most fibers were highly oxidative and expressed fast MyHC isoforms, whereas slow and oxidative fibers expressed MyHC-1 and -α, some of them also MyHC-2a, -2x, -eom, very rarely -emb, and –neo. In the global layer, slow fibers with very low oxidative and glycolytic activity and three types of fast fibers, glycolytic, oxidative and oxidative-glycolytic, could be distinguished. The slow medium-sized fibers with mATPase activity stable at pH 4.4 expressed mostly MyHC-1 and -α in rat, while in humans they co-expressed MyHC-1 with -2b, -2x, -eom, and -neo. In both species, the fast fibers showed variable mATPase activity after preincubation at pH 9.4, and co-expressed various combinations of MyHC-2b, -2x, -2a and -eom but not -emb and -neo. MyHC-2b expressing fibers were larger and glycolytic, while MyHC-2a expressing fibers were smaller and highly oxidative in both species. To our knowledge, the present study is the first that demonstrated the expression of MyHC-2b in any of human skeletal muscles. Though the expression of MyHC genes did not correlate with the immunohistochemical profile of fibers in human MR, the expression of MyHC-2b gene was undoubtedly confirmed.
Rat MR represent a good model that can be applied to study human MR in experiment or disease, however certain differences are to be expected due to specific oculomotor demands in humans.
PMCID: PMC2758108  PMID: 19609551
Ocular medial rectus muscle; Rat; Human; Histochemistry; Immunohistochemistry; Myosin heavy chain isoforms; In situ hybridization
3.  Myosin Heavy Chain Expression in Mouse Extraocular Muscle: More Complex Than Expected 
The expression of myosin heavy chains in mouse extraocular muscle is complex, with developmental isoforms retained and coexpression of multiple isoforms in single muscle fibers. The myosin expression may reflect the need of the ocular motor system for fine gradation of force generation.
To characterize the expression patterns of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms in mouse extraocular muscles (EOMs) during postnatal development.
MyHC isoform expression in mouse EOMs from postnatal day (P)0 to 3 months was evaluated by quantitative polymerase chair reaction (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry. The longitudinal and cross-sectional distribution of each MyHC isoform and coexpression of certain isoforms in single muscle fibers was determined by single, double, and triple immunohistochemistry.
MyHC isoform expression in postnatal EOMs followed the developmental rules observed in other skeletal muscles; however, important exceptions were found. First, developmental isoforms were retained in the orbital layer of the adult EOMs. Second, expression of emb-MyHC, neo-MyHC, and 2A-MyHC was restricted to the orbital layer and that of 2B-MyHC to the global layer. Third, although slow-MyHC and 2B-MyHC did not exhibit obvious longitudinal variations, emb-MyHC, neo-MyHC, and 2A-MyHC were more abundant distally and were excluded from the innervational zone, whereas eom-MyHC complemented their expression and was more abundant in the mid-belly region in both the orbital and global layers. Fourth, coexpression of MyHC isoforms in single global layer fibers was rare, but it was common among the orbital layer fibers.
MyHC isoforms have complex expression patterns, exhibiting not only longitudinal and cross-sectional variation of each isoform, but also of coexpression in single fibers. The highly heterogeneous MyHC expression reflects the complex contractile profiles of EOMs, which in turn are a function of the requirements of eye movements, which range from extremely fast saccades to sustained position, each with a need for precise coordination of each eye.
PMCID: PMC3055759  PMID: 20610840
4.  Evidence for myoblast-extrinsic regulation of slow myosin heavy chain expression during muscle fiber formation in embryonic development 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1993;121(4):795-810.
Vertebrate muscles are composed of an array of diverse fast and slow fiber types with different contractile properties. Differences among fibers in fast and slow MyHC expression could be due to extrinsic factors that act on the differentiated myofibers. Alternatively, the mononucleate myoblasts that fuse to form multinucleated muscle fibers could differ intrinsically due to lineage. To distinguish between these possibilities, we determined whether the changes in proportion of slow fibers were attributable to inherent differences in myoblasts. The proportion of fibers expressing slow myosin heavy chain (MyHC) was found to change markedly with time during embryonic and fetal human limb development. During the first trimester, a maximum of 75% of fibers expressed slow MyHC. Thereafter, new fibers formed which did not express this MyHC, so that the proportion of fibers expressing slow MyHC dropped to approximately 3% of the total by midgestation. Several weeks later, a subset of the new fibers began to express slow MyHC and from week 30 of gestation through adulthood, approximately 50% of fibers were slow. However, each myoblast clone (n = 2,119) derived from muscle tissues at six stages of human development (weeks 7, 9, 16, and 22 of gestation, 2 mo after birth and adult) expressed slow MyHC upon differentiation. We conclude from these results that the control of slow MyHC expression in vivo during muscle fiber formation in embryonic development is largely extrinsic to the myoblast. By contrast, human myoblast clones from the same samples differed in their expression of embryonic and neonatal MyHCs, in agreement with studies in other species, and this difference was shown to be stably heritable. Even after 25 population doublings in tissue culture, embryonic stage myoblasts did not give rise to myoblasts capable of expressing MyHCs typical of neonatal stages, indicating that stage-specific differences are not under the control of a division dependent mechanism, or intrinsic "clock." Taken together, these results suggest that, unlike embryonic and neonatal MyHCs, the expression of slow MyHC in vivo at different developmental stages during gestation is not the result of commitment to a distinct myoblast lineage, but is largely determined by the environment.
PMCID: PMC2119786  PMID: 8491773
5.  Type 2X-myosin heavy chain is coded by a muscle fiber type-specific and developmentally regulated gene 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1993;123(4):823-835.
We have previously reported the identification of a distinct myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform in a major subpopulation of rat skeletal muscle fibers, referred to as 2X fibers (Schiaffino, S., L. Gorza, S. Sartore, L. Saggin, M. Vianello, K. Gundersen, and T. Lomo. 1989. J. Muscle Res. Cell Motil. 10:197-205). However, it was not known whether 2X-MyHC is the product of posttranslational modification of other MyHCs or is coded by a distinct mRNA. We report here the isolation and characterization of cDNAs coding a MyHC isoform that is expressed in type 2X skeletal muscle fibers. 2X-MyHC transcripts differ from other MyHC transcripts in their restriction map and 3' end sequence and are thus derived from a distinct gene. In situ hybridization analyses show that 2X-MyHC transcripts are expressed at high levels in the diaphragm and fast hindlimb muscles and can be coexpressed either with 2B- or 2A- MyHC transcripts in a number of fibers. At the single fiber level the distribution of each MyHC mRNA closely matches that of the corresponding protein, determined by specific antibodies on serial sections. In hindlimb muscles 2X-, 2A-, and 2B-MyHC transcripts are first detected by postnatal day 2-5 and display from the earliest stages a distinct pattern of distribution in different muscles and different fibers. The emergence of type 2 MyHC isoforms thus defines a distinct neonatal phase of fiber type differentiation during muscle development. The functional significance of MyHC isoforms is discussed with particular reference to the velocity of shortening of skeletal muscle fibers.
PMCID: PMC2200149  PMID: 8227143
6.  Myocarditis-inducing epitope of myosin binds constitutively and stably to I-Ak on antigen-presenting cells in the heart 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1995;182(5):1291-1300.
Immune interactions in the heart were studied using a murine model of myosin-induced autoimmune myocarditis. A T cell hybridoma specific for mouse cardiac myosin was generated from A/J mice and used to demonstrate that endogenous myosin/I-Ak complexes are constitutively expressed on antigen-presenting cells in the heart. This T cell hybridoma, Seu.5, was used as a functional probe to identify a myocarditis-inducing epitope of cardiac myosin. Overlapping peptides based on the cardiac myosin heavy chain alpha (myhc alpha) sequences were synthesized and tested for their ability to stimulate Seu.5 T cells. One peptide, myhc alpha (325-357) strongly stimulated the Seu.5 T cells, localizing the epitope to this region of the myhc alpha molecule. Using truncated peptides, the epitope was further localized to residues 334-352. The myhc alpha (334-352) peptide strongly induced myocarditis when administered to A/J mice, which was histologically indistinguishable from that induced by myosin. The myhc alpha (334-352) epitope was present in cardiac myosin and not skeletal muscle myosins, providing a biochemical basis for the cardiac specificity of this autoimmune disease. Induction of myocarditis by this epitope was restricted to the myhc alpha isoform and not the myhc beta isoform, suggesting there may be a difference in the efficiency of generating tolerance to these isoforms of cardiac myosin, which are differentially developmentally regulated. The myhc alpha (334-352) epitope bound to purified I-Ak molecules in a similar manner to other I-Ak-restricted immunogenic epitopes, HEL(48-61) and RNase(43-56). Importantly, the myhc alpha (334-352) epitope was able to bind to I-Ak molecules on the surface of antigen-presenting cells in a stable manner. These findings demonstrate that autoantigenic epitopes can behave in a dominant manner and constitutively bind to class II molecules in the target organ in a similar manner to foreign immunogenic epitopes.
PMCID: PMC2192215  PMID: 7595200
7.  Nerve-dependent changes in skeletal muscle myosin heavy chain after experimental denervation, cross-reinnervation and in a demyelinating mouse model of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A 
Muscle & nerve  2008;38(6):1572-1584.
Innervation regulates the contractile properties of vertebrate muscle fibers, in part through the effect of electrical activity on expression of distinct myosins. Here we analyse the role of innervation in regulating the accumulation of the general, maturational and adult forms of rodent slow myosin heavy chain (MyHC) that are defined by the presence of distinct antigenic epitopes. Denervation increases the number of fibers that express general slow MyHC, but it decreases the adult slow MyHC epitope. Cross-reinnervation of slow muscle by a fast nerve leads to an increase in the number of fibers that express fast MyHC. In both cases, there is an increase in fibers that express slow and fast IIA MyHCs but without the adult slow MyHC epitope. The data suggest that innervation is required for maturation and maintenance of diversity of both slow and fast fibers. The sequence of slow MyHC epitope transitions is a useful biomarker, and it may play a significant role during nerve-dependent changes in muscle fiber function. We applied this detailed muscle analysis to a transgenic mouse model of Human Motor and Sensory Neuropathy IA, also known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease Type 1A (CMT1A), in which electrical conduction in some motor neurons is poor due to demyelination. The mice display atrophy of some muscle fibers and changes in slow and fast MyHC epitope expression suggestive of a progressive increase in innervation of muscle fibers by fast motor neurons, even at early stages. The potential role of these early changes in disease pathogenesis is discussed.
PMCID: PMC3008217  PMID: 19016545
Muscle; myosin; human motor and sensory neuropathy IA; denervation; innervation; fast; slow; type I; type II; fiber type; antibody; post-translational modification; demyelination
8.  Regional variation in IIM myosin heavy chain expression in the temporalis muscle of female and male baboons(Papio anubis) 
Archives of oral biology  2012;58(4):435-443.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether high amounts of fast/type II myosin heavy chain (MyHC) in the superficial as compared to the deep temporalis muscle of adult female and male baboons(Papio anubis) correlates with published data on muscle function during chewing. Electromyograpic (EMG) data show a regional specialization in activation from low to high amplitude activity during hard/tough object chewing cycles in the baboon superficial temporalis (Wall et al., 2007, 2008). A positive correlation between fast/type II MyHC amount and EMG activity will support the high occlusal force hypothesis.
Deep anterior temporalis (DAT), superficial anterior temporalis (SAT), and superficial posterior temporalis (SPT) muscle samples were analyzed using SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis to test the prediction that SAT and SPT will show high amounts of fast/type II MyHC compared to DAT. Serial muscle sections were incubated against NOQ7.5.4D and MY32 antibodies to determine the breadth of slow/type I versus fast/type II expression within each section.
Type I and type IIM MyHCs comprise nearly 100% of the MyHCs in the temporalis muscle. IIM MyHC was the overwhelmingly predominant fast MyHC, though there was a small amount of type IIA MyHC (≤5%) in DAT in two individuals. SAT and SPT exhibited a fast/type II phenotype and contained large amounts of IIM MyHC whereas DAT exhibited a type I/type II (hybrid) phenotype and contained a significantly greater proportion of MyHC-I. MyHC-I expression in DAT was sexually dimorphic as it was more abundant in females.
The link between the distribution of IIM MyHC and high relative EMG amplitudes in SAT and SPT during hard/tough object chewing cycles is evidence of regional specialization in fiber type to generate high occlusal forces during chewing. The high proportion of MyHC-I in DAT of females may be related to a high frequency of individual fiber recruitment in comparison to males.
PMCID: PMC3593987  PMID: 23102552
Myosin Type Composition; Mastication; Muscle; Anatomy
9.  Muscle Fiber Type Specific Induction of Slow Myosin Heavy Chain 2 Gene Expression by Electrical Stimulation 
Experimental cell research  2010;316(6):1039-1049.
Vertebrate skeletal muscle fiber types are defined by a broad array of differentially expressed contractile and metabolic protein genes. The mechanisms that establish and maintain these different fiber types vary throughout development and with changing functional demand. Chicken skeletal muscle fibers can be generally categorized as fast and fast/slow based on expression of the slow myosin heavy chain 2 (MyHC2) gene in fast/slow muscle fibers. To investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control fiber type formation in secondary or fetal muscle fibers, myoblasts from the fast pectoralis major (PM) and fast/slow medial adductor (MA) muscles were isolated, allowed to differentiate in vitro, and electrically stimulated. MA muscle fibers were induced to express the slow MyHC2 gene by electrical stimulation, whereas PM muscle fibers did not express the slow MyHC2 gene under identical stimulation conditions. However, PM muscle fibers did express the slow MyHC2 gene when electrical stimulation was combined with inhibition of inositol triphosphate receptor (IP3R) activity. Electrical stimulation was sufficient to increase nuclear localization of expressed Nuclear-Factor-of-Activated-T-cells (NFAT), NFAT-mediated transcription, and slow MyHC2 promoter activity in MA muscle fibers. In contrast, both electrical stimulation and inhibitors of IP3R activity were required for these effects in PM muscle fibers. Electrical stimulation also increased levels of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-γ co-activator-1 (PGC-1α) protein in PM and MA muscle fibers. These results indicate that MA muscle fibers can be induced by electrical stimulation to express the slow MyHC2 gene and that fast PM muscle fibers are refractory to stimulation-induced slow MyHC2 gene expression due to fast PM muscle fiber specific cellular mechanisms involving IP3R activity.
PMCID: PMC2834843  PMID: 20070941
stimulation; NFAT; IP3R; fiber-type; myosin
10.  β-Myosin Heavy Chain Is Induced by Pressure Overload in a Minor Sub-Population of Smaller Mouse Cardiac Myocytes 
Circulation research  2011;109(6):629-638.
Induction of the fetal hypertrophic marker gene beta-myosin heavy chain (β-MyHC) is a signature feature of pressure overload hypertrophy in rodents. β-MyHC is assumed present in all or most enlarged myocytes.
To quantify the number and size of myocytes expressing endogenous β-MyHC using a flow cytometry approach.
Methods and Results
Myocytes were isolated from the LV of male C57Bl/6J mice after transverse aortic constriction (TAC), and the fraction of cells expressing endogenous β-MyHC was quantified by flow cytometry on 10,000–20,000 myocytes, using a validated β-MyHC antibody. Side scatter by flow cytometry in the same cells was validated as an index of myocyte size. β-MyHC-positive myocytes were 3±1% of myocytes in control hearts (n=12), increasing to 25±10% at 3d-6w after TAC (n=24, p<0.01). β-MyHC-positive myocytes did not enlarge with TAC, and were smaller at all times than myocytes without β-MyHC (~70% as large, p<0.001). β-MyHC-positive myocytes arose by addition of β-MyHC to α-MyHC, and had more total MyHC after TAC than did the hypertrophied myocytes that had α-MyHC only. Myocytes positive for β-MyHC were found in discrete regions of the LV, in 3 patterns, peri-vascular, in areas with fibrosis, and in apparently normal myocardium.
β-MyHC protein is induced by pressure overload in a minor sub-population of smaller cardiac myocytes. The hypertrophied myocytes after TAC have α-MyHC only. These data challenge the current paradigm of the fetal hypertrophic gene program, and identify a new sub-population of smaller working ventricular myocytes with more myosin.
PMCID: PMC3166391  PMID: 21778428
beta-myosin heavy chain; cardiac hypertrophy; fetal genes; flow cytometry; pressure overload
11.  Abundant expression of myosin heavy-chain IIB RNA in a subset of human masseter muscle fibres 
Archives of oral biology  2001;46(11):1039-1050.
Type IIB fast fibres are typically demonstrated in human skeletal muscle by histochemical staining for the ATPase activity of myosin heavy-chain (MyHC) isoforms. However, the monoclonal antibody specific for the mammalian IIB isoform does not detect MyHC IIB protein in man and MyHC IIX RNA is found in histochemically identified IIB fibres, suggesting that the IIB protein isoform may not be present in man; if this is not so, jaw-closing muscles, which express a diversity of isoforms, are likely candidates for their presence. ATPase histochemistry, immunohistochemistry polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and in situ hybridization, which included a MyHC IIB-specific mRNA riboprobe, were used to compare the composition and RNA expression of MyHC isoforms in a human jaw-closing muscle, the masseter, an upper limb muscle, the triceps, an abdominal muscle, the external oblique, and a lower limb muscle, the gastrocnemius. The external oblique contained a mixture of histochemically defined type I, IIA and IIB fibres distributed in a mosaic pattern, while the triceps and gastrocnemius contained only type I and IIA fibres. Typical of limb muscle fibres, the MyHC I-specific mRNA probes hybridized with histochemically defined type I fibres, the IIA-specific probes with type IIA fibres and the IIX-specific probes with type IIB fibres. The MyHC IIB mRNA probe hybridized only with a few histochemically defined type I fibres in the sample from the external oblique; in addition to this IIB message, these fibres also expressed RNAs for MyHC I, IIA and IIX. MyHC IIB RNA was abundantly expressed in histochemical and immunohistochemical type IIA fibres of the masseter, together with transcripts for IIA and in some cases IIX. No MyHC IIB protein was detected in fibres and extracts of either the external oblique or masseter by immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting and electrophoresis. Thus, IIB RNA, but not protein, was found in the fibres of two different human skeletal muscles. It is believed this is the first report of the substantial expression of IIB mRNA in man as demonstrated in a subset of masseter fibres, but rarely in limb muscle, and in only a few fibres of the external oblique. These findings provide further evidence for the complexity of myosin gene expression, especially in jaw-closing muscles.
PMCID: PMC3848045  PMID: 11543711
In situ hybridization; Myosin gene expression; ATPase histochemistry; Immunohistochemistry; External oblique muscle; Fibre types
12.  Dietary Fat Influences the Expression of Contractile and Metabolic Genes in Rat Skeletal Muscle 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80152.
Dietary fat plays a major role in obesity, lipid metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases. To determine whether the intake of different types of dietary fats affect the muscle fiber types that govern the metabolic and contractile properties of the skeletal muscle, we fed male Wistar rats with a 15% fat diet derived from different fat sources. Diets composed of soybean oil (n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)-rich), fish oil (n-3 PUFA-rich), or lard (low in PUFAs) were administered to the rats for 4 weeks. Myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms were used as biomarkers to delineate the skeletal muscle fiber types. Compared with soybean oil intake, fish oil intake showed significantly lower levels of the fast-type MyHC2B and higher levels of the intermediate-type MyHC2X composition in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle, which is a fast-type dominant muscle. Concomitantly, MyHC2X mRNA levels in fish oil-fed rats were significantly higher than those observed in the soybean oil-fed rats. The MyHC isoform composition in the lard-fed rats was an intermediate between that of the fish oil and soybean oil-fed rats. Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 3, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4, and porin mRNA showed significantly upregulated levels in the EDL of fish oil-fed rats compared to those observed in soybean oil-fed and lard-fed rats, implying an activation of oxidative metabolism. In contrast, no changes in the composition of MyHC isoforms was observed in the soleus muscle, which is a slow-type dominant muscle. Fatty acid composition in the serum and the muscle was significantly influenced by the type of dietary fat consumed. In conclusion, dietary fat affects the expression of genes related to the contractile and metabolic properties in the fast-type dominant skeletal muscle, where the activation of oxidative metabolism is more pronounced after fish oil intake than that after soybean oil intake.
PMCID: PMC3823866  PMID: 24244634
13.  The genome of the diploid anuran Xenopus tropicalis contains a novel array of sarcoplasmic myosin heavy chain genes expressed in larval muscle and larynx 
Development genes and evolution  2008;218(7):389-397.
The sarcomeric myosin heavy chain (MyHC) proteins are a family of molecular motors responsible for the transduction of chemical energy into mechanical work in striated muscle. The vertebrate genome contains multiple copies of the MyHC gene, and expression of different isoforms correlates with differences in the physiological properties of muscle fibers. Most MyHC isoforms are found in two arrays, one containing the “fast-twitch” skeletal muscle isoforms and the other the “slow-twitch” or cardiac isoforms. To extend our understanding of MyHC evolution, we have examined the genome of the anuran Xenopus tropicalis. The X. tropicalis genome includes15 full-length MyHC genes organized in seven genomic locations. One unique array of MyHC genes is similar to the mammalian fast-skeletal array, but is not found in amniotes. The isoforms in this array are expressed during larval stages and in muscles of the adult larynx. Duplication of the fast-skeletal MyHC array appears to have led to expression divergence of muscle proteins in the larval and adult stages of the anuran life cycle. A striking similarity of gene order between regions flanking X. tropicalis MyHC arrays and human arrays was evident; genomic organization of MyHC isoforms may thus be highly conserved across tetrapods.
PMCID: PMC2925462  PMID: 18551304
Gene duplication; Comparative genomics; Evolution; Xenopus; Myosin heavy chain
14.  Cardiac myosin isoforms exhibit differential rates of MgADP release and MgATP binding detected by myocardial viscoelasticity 
We measured myosin crossbridge detachment rate and the rates of MgADP release and MgATP binding in mouse and rat myocardial strips bearing one of the two cardiac myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms. Mice and rats were fed an iodine-deficient, propylthiouracil diet resulting in ~100% expression of β-MyHC in the ventricles. Ventricles of control animals expressed ~100% α-MyHC. Chemically-skinned myocardial strips prepared from papillary muscle were subjected to sinusoidal length perturbation analysis at maximum calcium activation pCa 4.8 and 17°C. Frequency characteristics of myocardial viscoelasticity were used to calculate crossbridge detachment rate over 0.01 to 5 mM [MgATP]. The rate of MgADP release, equivalent to the asymptotic value of crossbridge detachment rate at high MgATP, was highest in mouse α-MyHC (111.4±6.2 s−1) followed by rat α-MyHC (65.0±7.3 s−1), mouse β-MyHC (24.3±1.8 s−1) and rat β-MyHC (15.5±0.8 s−1). The rate of MgATP binding was highest in mouse α-MyHC (325±32 mM−1.s−1) then mouse β-MyHC (152±23 mM−1.s−1), rat α-MyHC (108±10 mM−1.s−1) and rat β-MyHC (55±6 mM−1.s−1). Because the events of MgADP release and MgATP binding occur in a post power-stroke state of the myosin crossbridge, we infer that MgATP release and MgATP binding must be regulated by isoform- and species-specific structural differences located outside the nucleotide binding pocket, which is identical in sequence for these four myosins. We postulate that differences in the stiffness profile of the entire myosin molecule, including the thick filament and the myosin-actin interface, are primarily responsible for determining the strain on the nucleotide binding pocket and the subsequent differences in the rates of nucleotide release and binding observed among the four myosins examined here.
PMCID: PMC3535576  PMID: 23123290
PTU; sinusoidal analysis; time-on
15.  Nonmuscle Myosin IIB, a sarcomeric component in the Extraocular Muscles 
Experimental cell research  2010;316(12):1958-1965.
Extraocular muscles (EOMs) are categorized as skeletal muscles; however, emerging evidence indicates that their gene expression profile, metabolic characteristics and functional properties are significantly different from the prototypical members of this muscle class. Gene expression profiling of developing and adult EOM suggest that many myofilament and cytoskeletal proteins have unique expression patterns in EOMs, including the maintained expression of embryonic and fetal isoforms of myosin heavy chains (MyHC), the presence of a unique EOM specific MyHC and mixtures of both cardiac and skeletal muscle isoforms of thick and thin filament accessory proteins. We demonstrate that nonmuscle myosin IIB (nmMyH IIB) is a sarcomeric component in ~20% of the global layer fibers in adult rat EOMs. Comparisons of the myofibrillar distribution of nmMyHC IIB with sarcomeric MyHCs indicate that nmMyH IIB co-exists with slow MyHC isoforms. In longitudinal sections of adult rat EOM, nmMyHC IIB appears to be restricted to the A-bands. Although nmMyHC IIB has been previously identified as a component of skeletal and cardiac sarcomeres at the level of the Z-line, the novel distribution of this protein within the A band in EOMs is further evidence of both the EOMs complexity and unconventional phenotype.
PMCID: PMC2878921  PMID: 20350540
cytoskeleton; thick filament; tonic fibers
16.  Ablation of the murine alpha myosin heavy chain gene leads to dosage effects and functional deficits in the heart. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;98(8):1906-1917.
The alpha-myosin heavy chain (alpha-MyHC) is the major contractile protein expressed in the myocardium of adult mice. We have produced mice carrying a null mutation of alpha-MyHC by homologous recombination in murine ES cells. Homozygous null animals die between 11 and 12 d in utero of gross heart defects, while alpha-MyHC+/- heterozygotes survive and appear externally normal. The presence of a single functional alpha-MyHC+ allele in heterozygous animals results in reduced levels of the transcript and protein as well as fibrosis and alterations in sarcomeric structure. Examination of heart function using a working heart preparation revealed severe impairment of both contractility and relaxation in a subset of the alpha-MyHC+/- animals. Thus, two alpha-MyHC+ alleles are necessary for normal cardiac development, and hemizygosity for the normal allele can result in altered cardiac function.
PMCID: PMC507631  PMID: 8878443
17.  Myosinopathies: pathology and mechanisms 
Acta Neuropathologica  2012;125(1):3-18.
The myosin heavy chain (MyHC) is the molecular motor of muscle and forms the backbone of the sarcomere thick filaments. Different MyHC isoforms are of importance for the physiological properties of different muscle fiber types. Hereditary myosin myopathies have emerged as an important group of diseases with variable clinical and morphological expression depending on the mutated isoform and type and location of the mutation. Dominant mutations in developmental MyHC isoform genes (MYH3 and MYH8) are associated with distal arthrogryposis syndromes. Dominant or recessive mutations affecting the type IIa MyHC (MYH2) are associated with early-onset myopathies with variable muscle weakness and ophthalmoplegia as a consistent finding. Myopathies with scapuloperoneal, distal or limb-girdle muscle weakness including entities, such as myosin storage myopathy and Laing distal myopathy are the result of usually dominant mutations in the gene for slow/β cardiac MyHC (MYH7). Protein aggregation is part of the features in some of these myopathies. In myosin storage myopathy protein aggregates are formed by accumulation of myosin beneath the sarcolemma and between myofibrils. In vitro studies on the effects of different mutations associated with myosin storage myopathy and Laing distal myopathy indicate altered biochemical and biophysical properties of the light meromyosin, which is essential for thick filament assembly. Protein aggregates in the form of tubulofilamentous inclusions in association with vacuolated muscle fibers are present at late stage of dominant myosin IIa myopathy and sometimes in Laing distal myopathy. These protein aggregates exhibit features indicating defective degradation of misfolded proteins. In addition to protein aggregation and muscle fiber degeneration some of the myosin mutations cause functional impairment of the molecular motor adding to the pathogenesis of myosinopathies.
PMCID: PMC3535372  PMID: 22918376
Myopathy; Myosin; Myosin heavy chain; Mutation; Myosin storage myopathy; Laing distal myopathy; Protein aggregate
18.  Calcineurin-NFAT Signaling and Neurotrophins Control Transformation of Myosin Heavy Chain Isoforms in Rat Soleus Muscle in Response to Aerobic Treadmill Training 
This study elucidated the role of CaN-NFAT signaling and neurotrophins on the transformation of myosin heavy chain isoforms in the rat soleus muscle fiber following aerobic exercise training. To do so, we examined the content and distribution of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms in the rat soleus muscle fiber, the activity of CaN and expression of NFATc1 in these fibers, and changes in the expression of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neutrophin-3 (NT-3) in the soleus and striatum following high-and medium-intensity aerobic treadmill training. Specific pathogen-free 2 month old male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into three groups: Control group (Con, n = 8), moderate-intensity aerobic exercise group (M-Ex, n = 8) and high-intensity aerobic exercise group (H-Ex, n = 8). We used ATPase staining to identify the muscle fiber type I and II, SDS-PAGE to separate and analyze the isoforms MyHCI, MyHCIIA, MyHCIIB and MyHCIIx, and performed western blots to determine the expression of NFATc1, NGF, BDNF and NT-3. CaN activity was measured using a colorimetric assay. In the soleus muscle, 8 weeks of moderate-intensity exercise can induce transformation of MyHC IIA and MyHC IIB to MyHC IIX and MyHC I (p < 0.01), while high-intensity treadmill exercise can induce transform MyHC IIx to MyHC IIB, MyHC IIA and MyHC I (p < 0.01). In comparison to the control group, CaN activity and NFATcl protein level were significantly increased in both the M-Ex and H-Ex groups (p < 0.05, p < 0.01), with a more pronounced upregulation in the M-Ex group (p < 0.05). Eight weeks of moderate- and high-intensity aerobic exercise induced the expression of NGF, BDNF and NT-3 in the soleus muscle and the striatum (p < 0.01), with the most significant increase in the H-Ex group (p < 0.01). In the rat soleus muscle, (1) CaN–NFATcl signaling contributes to the conversion of MyHC I isoform in response to moderate-intensity exercise; (2) Neurotrophins NGF, BDNF and NT-3 might play a role in the conversion of MyHC II isoform in response to high-intensity treadmill exercise.
Key pointsEight weeks of moderate-intensity treadmill training induces the transformation MyHC IIA and MyHC IIB to MyHC IIX and MyHC I in the soleus muscles, while high-intensity exercise leads to transformation of MyHC IIX to MyHC IIA, MyHC IIB and MyHC I.MyHC I conversion in response to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise is mediated by calcineurin-NFATcl signaling.Eight weeks of moderate- and high-ntensity aerobic exercise induces the expression of NGF, BDNF and NT-3 in expression noted in rats subjected to high-intensity training. NGF and NT-3 expression in the striatum is lower than in the soleus muscle, while BDNF levels are similar. Neurotrophins may be involved in mediating MyHC II conversion in response to high-intensity aerobic exercise.
PMCID: PMC4234965  PMID: 25435788
Aerobic treadmill training; the muscle fiber type; neurotrophins; Myosin heavy chain isoforms transformation; Calcineurin/Nuclear factor of activated T cells c1
19.  Cardiac Myosin Heavy Chain Isoform Exchange Alters the Phenotype of cTnT-Related Cardiomyopathies in Mouse Hearts 
Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, FHC, is a clinically heterogeneous, autosomal-dominant disease of the cardiac sarcomere leading to extensive remodeling at both the whole heart and molecular levels. The remodeling patterns are mutation-specific, a finding that extends to the level of single amino acid substitutions at the same peptide residue. Here we utilize two well-characterized transgenic FHC mouse models carrying independent amino acid substitutions in the TM-binding region of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) at residue 92. R92Q and R92L cTnT domains have mutation-specific average peptide conformation and dynamics sufficient to alter thin filament flexibility and cross-bridge formation and R92 mutant myocytes demonstrate mutation-specific temporal molecular remodeling of Ca2+ kinetics and impaired cardiac contractility and relaxation. To determine if a greater economy of contraction at the crossbridge level would rescue the mechanical defects caused by the R92 cTnT mutations, we replaced the endogenous murine α-myosin heavy chain (MyHC) with the β-MyHC isoform. While β-MyHC replacement rescued the systolic dysfunction in R92Q mice, it failed to rescue the defects in diastolic function common to FHC-associated R92 mutations. Surprisingly, a significant component of the whole heart and molecular contractile improvement in the R92Q mice was due to improvements in Ca2+ homeostasis including SR uptake, [Ca2+]i amplitude and phospholamban phosphorylation. Our data demonstrate that while genetically altering the myosin composition of the heart bearing a thin filament FHC mutation is sufficient to improve contractility, diastolic performance is refractory despite improved Ca2+ kinetics. These data reveal a previously unrecognized role for MyHC isoforms with respect to Ca2+ homeostasis in the setting of cardiomyopathic remodeling and demonstrate the overall dominance of the thin filament mutation in determining the degree of diastolic impairment at the myofilament level.
PMCID: PMC3016872  PMID: 20004663
Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy; cardiac Troponin T; myosin heavy chain Isoforms; Ca2+ kinetics; contractile performance; cardiac relaxation
20.  Hair-cycle dependent differential expression of ADAM 10 and ADAM 12 
Dermato-endocrinology  2009;1(1):46-53.
ADAM proteases play important roles in processes of development and differentiation. However, no report has been found in the literature addressing the expression and function of ADAM proteases during hair cycling.
Cytoplasmic expression pattern of ADAM 10, 12 was similar between normal epidermis and hair infundibulum. In addition, cytoplasmic expression of ADAM 10 was observed in the hair bulb keratinocytes and fibroblasts of dermal papilla in anagen I–III hair follicles. In contrast, decreased ADAM 10 expression was observed in the hair matrix keratinocytes as compared to the hair bulb keratinocytes in anagen I–III hair follicles. Interestingly, ADAM 10 immunoreactivity was expressed weakly in the lower portion of outer root sheath (ORS) of anagen VI hair follicles, and strong ADAM 10 expression was detected in the ORS of catagen and telogen hair follicles. By contrast, ADAM 12 expression was not detected in the hair bulb keratinocytes of anagen I–III hair follicles. ADAM 12 immunoreactivity firstly appeared in the inner root sheath ( IRS ) of anagen IV—V hair follicles and was down-regulated in the IRS and hair cortex and medulla of catagen hair follicles, Strong ADAM 12 immunoreactivity was observed in the ORS of catagen and telogen hair follicles.
Material and methods
Samples of normal human skin (n = 30) were used. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed using ADAM 10, 12 specific polyclonal antibodies and a sensitive streptavidin-peroxidase technique.
Our study demonstrates a comparable staining pattern of decreased ADAM 10 immunoreactivity in hair matrix keratinocytes and the basal cell layer of normal epidermis and hair infundibulum. Expression of ADAM 10 in dermal papilla cells may imply a role in the induction and development of anagen hair follicles. In addition, expression of ADAM 10 in the ORS and hair bulb assume the involvment of ADAM 10 in the downward migration of anagen hair follicles. Furthermore ADAM 12 expression in the IRS may indicate a role in the differentiation of anagen hair follicles. Downregulation of ADAM 12 upon the onset of catagen hair stage suggests that ADAM 12 may play an important role of ADAM 12 in the apoptosis of hair follicle keratinocytes. In summary our findings suggest that ADAM 10 and 12 may be of importance for the regulation of hair cycling.
PMCID: PMC2715197  PMID: 20046589
ADAM 10; ADAM 12; hair cycle; immunohistochemistry; hair follicle
21.  Independent evolution of striated muscles in cnidarians and bilaterians 
Nature  2012;487(7406):231-234.
Striated muscles are present in bilaterian animals (e.g. vertebrates, insects, annelids) and some non-bilaterian eumetazoans (i.e. cnidarians and ctenophores). The striking ultrastructural similarity of striated muscles between these animal groups is thought to reflect a common evolutionary origin1, 2. Here we show that a muscle protein core set, including a Myosin type II Heavy Chain motor protein characteristic of striated muscles in vertebrates (MyHC-st), was already present in unicellular organisms before the origin of multicellular animals. Furthermore, myhc-st and myhc-non-muscle (myhc-nm) orthologues are expressed differentially in two sponges, compatible with the functional diversification of myhc paralogues before the origin of true muscles and the subsequent deployment of MyHC-st in fast-contracting smooth and striated muscle. Cnidarians and ctenophores possess myhc-st orthologues but lack crucial components of bilaterian striated muscles, such as troponin complex and titin genes, suggesting the convergent evolution of striated muscles. Consistently, jellyfish orthologues of a shared set of bilaterian z-disc proteins are not associated with striated muscles, but are instead expressed elsewhere or ubiquitously. The independent evolution of eumetazoan striated muscles through the addition of novel proteins to a pre-existing, ancestral contractile apparatus may serve as a paradigm for the evolution of complex animal cell types.
PMCID: PMC3398149  PMID: 22763458
22.  Myosin Heavy Chains IIa and IId Are Functionally Distinct in the Mouse  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1998;141(4):943-953.
Myosin in adult murine skeletal muscle is composed primarily of three adult fast myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms. These isoforms, MyHC-IIa, -IId, and -IIb, are >93% identical at the amino acid level and are broadly expressed in numerous muscles, and their genes are tightly linked. Mice with a null mutation in the MyHC-IId gene have phenotypes that include growth inhibition, muscle weakness, histological abnormalities, kyphosis (spinal curvature), and aberrant kinetics of muscle contraction and relaxation. Despite the lack of MyHC-IId, IId null mice have normal amounts of myosin in their muscles because of compensation by the MyHC-IIa gene. In each muscle examined from IId null mice, there was an increase in MyHC-IIa– containing fibers. MyHC-IIb content was unaffected in all muscles except the masseter, where its expression was extinguished in the IId null mice. Cross-sectional fiber areas, total muscle cross-sectional area, and total fiber number were affected in ways particular to each muscle. Developmental expression of adult MyHC genes remained unchanged in IId null mice. Despite this universal compensation of MyHC-IIa expression, IId null mice have severe phenotypes. We conclude that despite the similarity in sequence, MyHC-IIa and -IId have unique roles in the development and function of skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC2132782  PMID: 9585413
23.  Skeletal myosin heavy chain function in cultured lung myofibroblasts 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2003;163(1):119-129.
Myofibroblasts are unique contractile cells with both muscle and nonmuscle properties. Typically myofibroblasts are identified by the expression of α smooth muscle actin (ASMA); however some myofibroblasts also express sarcomeric proteins. In this study, we show that pulmonary myofibroblasts express three of the eight known sarcomeric myosin heavy chains (MyHCs) (IIa, IId, and embryonic) and that skeletal muscle myosin enzymatic activity is required for pulmonary myofibroblast contractility. Furthermore, inhibition of skeletal myosin activity and myofibroblast contraction results in a decrease in both ASMA and skeletal MyHC promoter activity and ASMA protein expression, suggesting a potential coupling of skeletal myosin activity and ASMA expression in myofibroblast differentiation. To understand the molecular mechanisms whereby skeletal muscle genes are regulated in myofibroblasts, we have found that members of the myogenic regulatory factor family of transcription factors and Ca2+-regulated pathways are involved in skeletal MyHC promoter activity. Interestingly, the regulation of skeletal myosin expression in myofibroblasts is distinct from that observed in muscle cells and suggests that cell context is important in its control.
PMCID: PMC2173446  PMID: 14557251
myofibroblast; skeletal myosin; actin; contraction; lung
24.  Impaired thymic tolerance to α-myosin directs autoimmunity to the heart in mice and humans 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2011;121(4):1561-1573.
Autoimmunity has long been linked to myocarditis and its sequela, dilated cardiomyopathy, the leading causes of heart failure in young patients. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly defined, with most clinical investigations focused on humoral autoimmunity as the target for intervention. Here, we show that the α-isoform of myosin heavy chain (α-MyHC, which is encoded by the gene Myh6) is the pathogenic autoantigen for CD4+ T cells in a spontaneous mouse model of myocarditis. Further, we found that Myh6 transcripts were absent in mouse medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) and peripheral lymphoid stromal cells, which have been implicated in mediating central and peripheral T cell tolerance, respectively. Transgenic expression of α-MyHC in thymic epithelium conferred tolerance to cardiac myosin and prevented myocarditis, demonstrating that α-MyHC is a primary autoantigen in this disease process. Remarkably, we found that humans also lacked α-MyHC in mTECs and had high frequencies of α-MyHC–specific T cells in peripheral blood, with markedly augmented T cell responses to α-MyHC in patients with myocarditis. Since α-MyHC constitutes a small fraction of MyHC in human heart, these findings challenge the longstanding notion that autoimmune targeting of MyHC is due to its cardiac abundance and instead suggest that it is targeted as a result of impaired T cell tolerance mechanisms. These results thus support a role for T cell–specific therapies for myocarditis.
PMCID: PMC3069776  PMID: 21436590
25.  IIb or not IIb? Regulation of myosin heavy chain gene expression in mice and men 
Skeletal Muscle  2011;1:5.
While the myosin heavy chain IIb isoform (MyHC-IIb) is the predominant motor protein in most skeletal muscles of rats and mice, the messenger RNA (mRNA) for this isoform is only expressed in a very small subset of specialized muscles in adult large mammals, including humans.
We identify the DNA sequences limiting MyHC-IIb expression in humans and explore the activation of this gene in human skeletal muscle. We demonstrate that the transcriptional activity of ~1.0 kb of the human MyHC-IIb promoter is greatly reduced compared to that of the corresponding mouse sequence in both mouse and human myotubes in vitro and show that nucleotide differences that eliminate binding sites for myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) and serum response factor (SRF) account for this difference. Despite these differences, we show that MyHC-IIb mRNA is expressed in fetal human muscle cells and that MyHC-IIb mRNA is significantly up-regulated in the skeletal muscle of Duchene muscular dystrophy patients.
These data identify the genetic basis for a key phenotypic difference between the muscles of large and small mammals, and demonstrate that mRNA expression of the MyHC-IIb gene can be re-activated in human limb muscle undergoing profound degeneration/regeneration.
PMCID: PMC3143903  PMID: 21798083

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