Expression of the rat connexin 39 (rCx39) gene in myoblasts and myotubes in developing and regenerating skeletal muscles: an in situ hybridization study.
ABSTRACT We report a detailed analysis of the expression pattern of the recently identified rat connexin gene, named rat connexin 39 (rCx39), both during embryonic development and in adult life. Qualitative and quantitative reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction analysis showed intense expression of rCx39 restricted to differentiating skeletal muscles, with a peak of expression detected at 18 days of embryonic life, followed by a rapid decline to undetectable levels within the first week of postnatal life. A combination of the in situ hybridization technique for the detection of rCx39 mRNA and immunohistochemistry for myogenin, a myoblast-specific marker, allowed us to establish that the mRNA for this connexin was expressed in myogenin-positive myoblasts and early myotubes but disappeared in mature myotubes. Moreover, in adult animals, rCx39 mRNA was expressed in myogenic cells involved in skeletal myofiber regeneration following a crush injury. This is the first case of a connexin being mainly expressed in the myogenic cell lineage. The information presented should pave the way to novel molecular approaches in studies on the role of connexin-based gap-junctional communication in skeletal muscle differentiation and regeneration.
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ABSTRACT: A computer program that progressively evaluates the hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity of a protein along its amino acid sequence has been devised. For this purpose, a hydropathy scale has been composed wherein the hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties of each of the 20 amino acid side-chains is taken into consideration. The scale is based on an amalgam of experimental observations derived from the literature. The program uses a moving-segment approach that continuously determines the average hydropathy within a segment of predetermined length as it advances through the sequence. The consecutive scores are plotted from the amino to the carboxy terminus. At the same time, a midpoint line is printed that corresponds to the grand average of the hydropathy of the amino acid compositions found in most of the sequenced proteins. In the case of soluble, globular proteins there is a remarkable correspondence between the interior portions of their sequence and the regions appearing on the hydrophobic side of the midpoint line, as well as the exterior portions and the regions on the hydrophilic side. The correlation was demonstrated by comparisons between the plotted values and known structures determined by crystallography. In the case of membrane-bound proteins, the portions of their sequences that are located within the lipid bilayer are also clearly delineated by large uninterrupted areas on the hydrophobic side of the midpoint line. As such, the membrane-spanning segments of these proteins can be identified by this procedure. Although the method is not unique and embodies principles that have long been appreciated, its simplicity and its graphic nature make it a very useful tool for the evaluation of protein structures.Journal of Molecular Biology 06/1982; 157(1):105-32. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cell-to-cell communication was characterized in prefusion chick embryo myoblast cultures, and it was determined that the prefusion myoblasts can interact via gap junctions, ionic coupling, and metabolic coupling. The biological relevance of this communication was supported by the detection of gap junctions between myoblasts in embryonic muscle. Communication was also examined in fusion-arrested cultures to determine its potential relationship to fusion competency. In cultures that were fusion arrested by treatment with either 1.8 mM ethyleneglycolbis-(beta-aminoethyl ether)N,N'-tetraacetic acid (EGTA), 3.3 X 10(-6) M 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR), or 1 microgram/ml cycloheximide (CHX), both gap junctions and ionic coupling were present. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that cell communication is not a sufficient property by itself, to generate fusion between myob-asts. The potential role of communication in myogenesis is discusssed with respect to these observations.The Journal of Cell Biology 01/1978; 75(3):788-806. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Embryonic myogenesis involves the staged induction of myogenic regulatory factors and positional cues that dictate cell determination, proliferation, and differentiation into adult muscle. Muscle is able to regenerate after damage, and muscle regeneration is generally thought to recapitulate myogenesis during embryogenesis. There has been considerable progress in the delineation of myogenesis pathways during embryogenesis, but it is not known whether the same signaling pathways are relevant to muscle regeneration in adults. Here, we defined the subset of embryogenesis pathways induced in muscle regeneration using a 27 time-point in vivo muscle regeneration series. The embryonic Wnt (Wnt1, 3a, 7a, 11), Shh pathway, and the BMP (BMP2, 4, 7) pathway were not induced during muscle regeneration. Moreover, antagonists of Wnt signaling, sFRP1, sFRP2, and sFRP4 (secreted frizzled-related proteins) were significantly up-regulated, suggesting active inhibition of the Wnt pathway. The pro-differentiation FGFR4 pathway was transiently expressed at day 3, commensurate with expression of MyoD, Myogenin, Myf5, and Pax7. Protein verification studies showed fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) protein to be strongly expressed in differentiating myoblasts and newly formed myotubes. We present evidence that FGF6 is likely the key ligand for FGFR4 during muscle regeneration, and further suggest that FGF6 is released from necrotic myofibers where it is then sequestered by basal laminae. We also confirmed activation of Notch1 in the regenerating muscle. Finally, known MyoD coactivators (MEF2A, p/CIP, TCF12) and repressors (Twist, Id2) were strongly induced at appropriate time points. Taken together, our results suggest that embryonic positional signals (Wnt, Shh, and BMP) are not induced in postnatal muscle regeneration, whereas cell-autonomous factors (Pax7, MRFs, FGFR4) involving muscle precursor proliferation and differentiation are recapitulated by muscle regeneration.Developmental Dynamics 03/2004; 229(2):380-92. · 2.59 Impact Factor