Using the Xenopus Model to Elucidate the Functional Roles of Leiomodin3 and Tropomodulin4 (Tmod4) During Skeletal Muscle Development
AuthorNworu, Chinedu Uzoma
skeletal muscle development
thin filament regulation
Cell Biology & Anatomy
AdvisorGregorio, Carol C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHaving an in vivo model of development that develops quickly and efficiently is important for investigators to elucidate the critical steps, components and signaling pathways involved in building a myofibril; hence a compliant in vivo model would provide a pivotal foundation for deciphering muscle disease mechanisms as well as the development of myopathy-related therapeutics. Here, we take advantage of a relatively quick, cost effective, and molecularly pliable developmental model system in the Xenopus laevis (frog) embryo and establish it as an in vivo model to study the roles of sarcomeric proteins during de novo myofibrillogenesis.Using the Xenopus model, we elucidated the functional roles of Leiomodin3 (Lmod3) and Tropomodulin 4 (Tmod4) during de novo skeletal myofibrillogenesis. Tmods have been demonstrated to contribute to thin filament length uniformity by regulating both elongation and depolymerization of actin-thin filaments' pointed-ends. Lmods, which are structurally related to Tmod proteins also localize to actin filament pointed-ends. In situ hybridization studies demonstrated that of their respective families, only tmod4 and lmod3 transcripts were expressed at high levels in skeletal muscle from the earliest stages of development. When reducing their protein levels via morpholino (MO) treatment, thin filament regulation and sarcomere assembly were compromised. Surprisingly, alternate rescues (i.e., lmod3 mRNA co-injected with Tmod4 MO and vice versa) partially restored myofibril structure and actin-thin filament organization. Thus, our results not only indicate that both Tmod4 and Lmod3 are critical for myofibrillogenesis during Xenopus skeletal muscle development, but also revealed that they may share redundant functions during skeletal muscle thin filament assembly.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Cell Biology & Anatomy