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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (1)
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Loughna, Siobhan (2)
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Ehler, Elisabeth (1)
Emes, Richard D. (1)
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Heavy and light roles: myosin in the morphogenesis of the heart
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Myosin is an essential component of cardiac muscle, from the onset of cardiogenesis through to the adult heart. Although traditionally known for its role in energy transduction and force development, recent studies suggest that both myosin heavy-chain and myosin light-chain proteins are required for a correctly formed heart. Myosins are structural proteins that are not only expressed from early stages of heart development, but when mutated in humans they may give rise to congenital heart defects. This review will discuss the roles of myosin, specifically with regards to the developing heart. The expression of each myosin protein will be described, and the effects that altering expression has on the heart in embryogenesis in different animal models will be discussed. The human molecular genetics of the myosins will also be reviewed.
Myosin; Myosin heavy chain; Myosin light chain; Heart; Sarcomere; Development; Congenital heart defects
Knockdown of embryonic myosin heavy chain reveals an essential role in the morphology and function of the developing heart
Rutland, Catrin Sian
Emes, Richard D.
Development (Cambridge, England)
The expression and function of embryonic myosin heavy chain (eMYH) has not been investigated within the early developing heart. This is despite the knowledge that other structural proteins, such as alpha and beta myosin heavy chains and cardiac alpha actin, play crucial roles in atrial septal development and cardiac function. Most cases of atrial septal defects and cardiomyopathy are not associated with a known causative gene, suggesting that further analysis into candidate genes is required. Expression studies localised eMYH in the developing chick heart. eMYH knockdown was achieved using morpholinos in a temporal manner and functional studies were carried out using electrical and calcium signalling methodologies. Knockdown in the early embryo led to abnormal atrial septal development and heart enlargement. Intriguingly, action potentials of the eMYH knockdown hearts were abnormal in comparison with the alpha and beta myosin heavy chain knockdowns and controls. Although myofibrillogenesis appeared normal, in knockdown hearts the tissue integrity was affected owing to apparent focal points of myocyte loss and an increase in cell death. An expression profile of human skeletal myosin heavy chain genes suggests that human myosin heavy chain 3 is the functional homologue of the chick eMYH gene. These data provide compelling evidence that eMYH plays a crucial role in important processes in the early developing heart and, hence, is a candidate causative gene for atrial septal defects and cardiomyopathy.
Atrial septal development; Cardiomyopathy; Myosin; Chick
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