Localization of the novel Xin protein to the adherens junction complex in cardiac and skeletal muscle during development

Dev Dyn. 2002 Sep;225(1):1-13. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.10131.


Previously, we demonstrated that chick embryos treated with antisense oligonucleotides against a striated muscle-specific Xin exhibit abnormal cardiac morphogenesis (Wang et al. [1999] Development 126:1281-1294); therefore, we surmised a role for Xin in cardiac development. Herein, we examine the developmental expression of Xin through immunofluorescent staining of whole-mount mouse embryos and frozen heart sections. Xin expression is first observed within the heart tube of embryonic day 8.0 (E8.0) mice, exhibiting a peripheral localization within the cardiomyocytes. Colocalization of Xin with both beta-catenin and N-cadherin is observed throughout embryogenesis and into adulthood. Additionally, Xin is found associated with beta-catenin within the N-cadherin complex in embryonic chick hearts by coimmunoprecipitation. Xin is detected earlier than vinculin in the developing heart and colocalizes with vinculin at the intercalated disc but not at the sarcolemma within embryonic and postnatal hearts. At E10.0, Xin is also detected in the developing somites and later in the myotendon junction of skeletal muscle but not within the costameric regions of muscle. In cultured C2C12 myotubes, the Xin protein is found in many speckled and filamentous structures, coincident with tropomyosin in the stress fibers. Additionally, Xin is enriched in the regions of cell-cell contacts. These data demonstrate that Xin is one of the components at the adherens junction of cardiac muscle, and its counterpart in skeletal muscle, the myotendon junction. Furthermore, temporal and spatial expressions of Xin in relation to intercalated disc proteins and thin filament proteins suggest roles for Xin in the formation of cell-cell contacts and possibly in myofibrillogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Protein Binding
  • Time Factors
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transfection
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNB1 protein, mouse
  • Cadherins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Xin protein, mouse
  • beta Catenin