Xtn3 is a developmentally expressed cardiac and skeletal muscle-specific novex-3 titin isoform

Gene Expr Patterns. 2006 Oct;6(8):913-8. doi: 10.1016/j.modgep.2006.03.003. Epub 2006 Apr 21.


Titin proteins play an essential role in maintaining muscle function and structure. Recent work has implicated the involvement of the novex-3 titin isoform in sarcomere restructuring and disease. Unlike avian and mammalian systems, Xenopus laevis myogenesis is characterized by a wave of primary myogenesis followed by apoptosis of the primary muscles and formation of new muscles by secondary myogenesis. We show here that the Xenopus laevis novex-3 titin isoform (Xtn3) is developmentally expressed throughout the somites, heart, and primary muscles of the developing embryo. Downregulation of Xtn3 expression at tadpole stages appears to coincide with the change in myofiber composition from solely embryonic "fast" fiber types to myofibers containing both "fast" and "slow" fiber types. We demonstrate that Xtn3 is expressed early in the presomitic mesoderm and remains expressed in the somites, ventral myoblasts, and developing jaw muscles through late tailbud stage. Furthermore, we show that Xtn3 is expressed in the cardiac primordia prior to linear heart tube formation and remains expressed in the heart until tadpole stage, at which point it is downregulated in the heart except in discrete patches of cardiac cells. Finally, we demonstrate that Xtn3 transcripts are detectable in adult heart and muscle tissues.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Connectin
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Development / physiology
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Organ Specificity
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology*
  • Xenopus laevis / metabolism*


  • Connectin
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Protein Kinases