[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Muscle denervation due to injury, disease or aging results in impaired motor function. Restoring neuromuscular communication requires axonal re-growth and endplate reinnervation. Muscle activity inhibits the reinnervation of denervated muscle. The mechanism by which muscle activity regulates muscle reinnervation is poorly understood. Dach2 and Hdac9 are activity-regulated transcriptional co-repressors that are highly expressed in innervated muscle and suppressed following muscle denervation. Dach2 and Hdac9 control the expression of endplate-associated genes like those encoding nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Here we tested the idea that Dach2 and Hdac9 mediate the effects of muscle activity on muscle reinnervation. Dach2 and Hdac9 were found to act in a collaborative fashion to inhibit reinnervation of denervated mouse skeletal muscle and appear to act, at least in part by inhibiting denervation-dependent induction of Myog and Gdf5 gene expression. Although Dach2 and Hdac9 inhibit Myog and Gdf5 mRNA expression, Myog does not regulate Gdf5 transcription. Thus, Myog and Gdf5 appear to stimulate muscle reinnervation through parallel pathways. These studies suggest that manipulating the Dach2-Hdac9 signaling system and Gdf5 in particular, may be a good approach for enhancing motor function in instances where neuromuscular communication has been disrupted.
Development 10/2015; DOI:10.1242/dev.125674 · 6.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Muscle inactivity due to injury or disease results in muscle atrophy. The molecular mechanisms contributing to muscle atrophy are poorly understood. However, it is clear that expression of atrophy-related genes, like Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1, are intimately tied to loss of muscle mass. When these atrophy-related genes are knocked out, inactive muscles retain mass. Muscle denervation stimulates muscle atrophy and Myogenin (Myog) is a muscle-specific transcription factor that is highly induced following muscle denervation. To investigate if Myog contributes to muscle atrophy, we have taken advantage of conditional Myog null mice. We show that in the denervated soleus muscle Myog expression contributes to reduced muscle force, mass, and cross-sectional area. We found that Myog mediates these effects, at least in part, by regulating expression of the Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 genes. Indeed Myog over-expression in innervated muscle stimulates Atrogin-1 gene expression and Myog over-expression stimulates Atrogin-1 promoter activity. Thus, Myog and the signaling cascades regulating its induction following muscle denervation may represent novel targets for therapies aimed at reducing denervation-induced muscle atrophy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Muscle activity contributes to formation of the neuromuscular junction and affects muscle metabolism and contractile properties through regulated gene expression. However, the mechanisms coordinating these diverse activity-regulated processes remain poorly characterized. Recently, it was reported that histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) can mediate denervation-induced myogenin and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene expression. Here, we report that HDAC4 is not only necessary for denervation-dependent induction of genes involved in synaptogenesis (nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase) but also for denervation-dependent suppression of genes involved in glycolysis (muscle-specific enolase and phosphofructokinase). In addition, HDAC4 differentially regulates genes involved in muscle fiber type specification by inducing myosin heavy chain IIA and suppressing myosin heavy chain IIB. Consistent with these regulated gene profiles, HDAC4 is enriched in fast oxidative fibers of innervated tibialis anterior muscle and HDAC4 knockdown enhances glycolysis in cultured myotubes. HDAC4 mediates gene induction indirectly by suppressing the expression of Dach2 and MITR that function as myogenin gene corepressors. In contrast, HDAC4 is directly recruited to myocyte enhancer factor 2 sites within target promoters to mediate gene suppression. Finally, we discovered an HDAC4/myogenin positive feedback loop that coordinates gene induction and repression underlying muscle phenotypic changes after muscle denervation.
Molecular biology of the cell 02/2009; 20(4):1120-31. DOI:10.1091/mbc.E08-07-0759 · 4.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During development of the neuromuscular junction, nerve-derived agrin and the cell substrate laminin stimulate postsynaptic nAChR clustering. This clustering is dependent on activation of the tyrosine kinase, MuSK, which signals receptor clustering via a rapsyn-dependent mechanism. Myogenin is a muscle-specific transcription factor that controls myoblast differentiation and nAChR gene expression. Here, we used RNA interference to investigate if myogenin is also necessary for nAChR clustering. We find that myogenin expression is essential for robust nAChR clustering and cannot be compensated by the muscle regulatory factors MyoD, myf5, and MRF4. In addition, we show that clustering cannot be rescued in myogenin-depleted myotubes by simply overexpressing the essential clustering molecules MuSK, rapsyn, and nAChRs. These data suggest that myogenin controls the expression of molecules crucial to nAChR clustering in addition to its role in regulating nAChR gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using optical imaging assays, we investigated the dynamics of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) at laminin-associated clusters on cultured myotubes in the absence or presence of the nerve-derived clustering factor, agrin. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) on fluorescent bungarotoxin-labeled receptors, we found that approximately 9% of original fluorescence was recovered after 8 h as surface AChRs were recruited into clusters. By quantifying the loss of labeled receptors and the recovery of fluorescence after photobleaching, we estimated that the half-life of clustered receptors was approximately 4.5 h. Despite the rapid removal of receptors, the accumulation of new receptors at clusters was robust enough to maintain receptor density over time. We also found that the AChR half-life was not affected by agrin despite its role in inducing the aggregation of AChRs. Interestingly, when agrin was added to myotubes grown on laminin-coated substrates, most new receptors were not directed into preexisting laminin-induced clusters but instead formed numerous small aggregates on the entire muscle surface. Time-lapse imaging revealed that the agrin-induced clusters could be seen as early as 1 h, and agrin treatment resulted in the complete dissipation of laminin-associated clusters by 24 h. These results reveal that while laminin and agrin are involved in the clustering of receptors they are not critical to the regulation of receptor metabolic stability at these clusters, and further argue that agrin is able to rapidly and fully negate the laminin substrate clustering effect while inducing the rapid formation of new clusters.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During development of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), extrajunctional expression of genes, whose products are destined for the synapse, is suppressed by muscle activity. One of the best-studied examples of activity-dependent gene regulation in muscle are those encoding nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits. We recently showed that nAChR gene expression is inhibited by calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and CaMKII inhibitors block activity-dependent suppression of these genes. Here we report results investigating the mechanism by which CaMKII suppresses nAChR gene expression. We show that the muscle helix-loop-helix transcription factor, myogenin, is necessary for activity-dependent control of nAChR gene expression in cultured rat myotubes and is a substrate for CaMKII both in vitro and in vivo. CaMKII phosphorylation of myogenin is induced by muscle activity and this phosphorylation influences DNA binding and transactivation. Thus we have identified a signaling mechanism by which muscle activity controls nAChR gene expression in developing muscle.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Skeletal muscle contractile activity has been implicated in many aspects of muscle cell differentiation and maturation. Much of the research in this area has depended upon costly and labor-intensive cultures of isolated primary muscle cells because widely available immortalized muscle cell lines often do not display a high level of either spontaneous or stimulated contractile activity. We sought to develop conditionally-immortalized skeletal muscle cell lines that would provide a source of myofibers that exhibit robust spontaneous contractile activity similar to primary muscle cultures. Using a tetracycline-regulated retroviral vector expressing a temperature-sensitive T-antigen to infect primary myoblasts, we isolated individual clonal muscle precursor cell lines that have characteristics of activated satellite cells during growth and rapidly differentiate into mature myotubes with spontaneous contractile activity after culture in non-transformation-permissive conditions. Comparison of these cell lines (known as rat myoblast-like tetracycline (RMT) cell lines) to primary cell cultures revealed that they share a wide variety of morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics. Most importantly, the time-course and extent of activity-dependent gene regulation observed in primary cell culture for all genes tested, including subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), muscle specific kinase (MuSK), and myogenin, is reproduced in RMT lines. These immortalized cell lines are a useful alternative to primary cultures for studying muscle differentiation and molecular and physiological aspects of electrical activity in muscle fibers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We compared the reactions to denervation of limb muscles between young adult and old rats. After denervation for up to 4 months in 24-month-old rats, limb muscles were removed and analyzed for contractile properties, morphology, and levels of several key molecules, including the peptide elongation factors eEF1A-1 and eEF1A-2/S1, myogenin, gamma-subunit of the acetylcholine receptor, and cyclin D3. The principal difference between denervated old and young muscle is a somewhat slower rate of atrophy in denervated older muscle, especially among the type II fibers. Expression levels of certain molecules were higher in old than in young control muscle, but after denervation, levels of these molecules increased to the same absolute values in both young and old rats. Although many aspects of postdenervation reactions do not differ greatly between young and old animals, the lesser degree of atrophy in the old rats may reflect significant age-based mechanisms.
The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 11/2002; 57(10):B366-74. DOI:10.1093/gerona/57.10.B366 · 5.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) gene expression is regulated by both muscle activity and increased intracellular calcium. This regulation is an important developmental event that rids receptors from the extrajunctional region of the developing muscle fiber. In avian muscle, it has been proposed that muscle activity suppresses nAChR gene expression via calcium-activated protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent phosphorylation of the myogenic transcription factor, myogenin. Here, we examined the role that PKC and other kinases play in mediating calcium- and activity-dependent suppression of nAChR genes in rat primary myotubes. We found that although activated PKC could regulate nAChR promoter activity and transiently suppressed both nAChR and myogenin gene expression, it did not appear to be required for calcium- or activity-dependent control of nAChR gene expression in mammalian muscle. Neither depletion of PKC from myotubes nor specific pharmacological inhibition of PKC blocked the suppression of nAChR gene expression produced by calcium or muscle depolarization. In contrast, we provide evidence that calcium/calmodulin-activated protein kinase II participates in mediating the effects of muscle depolarization on nAChR and myogenin gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myogenin is a muscle-specific transcription factor participating in denervation-induced increases in nicotinic ACh receptor (nAChR) gene expression. Although myogenin RNA expression in denervated muscle is well documented, surprisingly little is known about myogenin protein expression. Therefore, we assayed myogenin protein and RNA in innervated and denervated muscles from young (4 mo) and old (24-32 mo) rats and compared this expression to that of the nAChR alpha-subunit RNA. These assays revealed increased myogenin protein expression within 1 day of denervation, preceding detectable increases in nAChR RNA. By 3 days of denervation, myogenin and nAChR alpha-subunit RNA were increased 500- and 130-fold, respectively, whereas myogenin protein increased 14-fold. Interestingly, old rats (32 mo) had 6-fold higher myogenin protein and approximately 80-fold higher mRNA levels than young rats. However, after denervation, expression levels were similar for young and old animals. The increased myogenin expression during aging, which tends to localize to small fibers, likely reflects spontaneous denervation and/or regeneration. Our results show that increased myogenin protein in denervated muscles correlates with the upregulation of its mRNA.