Z-line formins promote contractile lattice growth and maintenance in striated muscles of C. elegans

J Cell Biol. 2012 Jul 9;198(1):87-102. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201202053. Epub 2012 Jul 2.


Muscle contraction depends on interactions between actin and myosin filaments organized into sarcomeres, but the mechanism by which actin filaments incorporate into sarcomeres remains unclear. We have found that, during larval development in Caenorhabditis elegans, two members of the actin-assembling formin family, CYK-1 and FHOD-1, are present in striated body wall muscles near or on sarcomere Z lines, where barbed ends of actin filaments are anchored. Depletion of either formin during this period stunted growth of the striated contractile lattice, whereas their simultaneous reduction profoundly diminished lattice size and number of striations per muscle cell. CYK-1 persisted at Z lines in adulthood, and its near complete depletion from adults triggered phenotypes ranging from partial loss of Z line-associated filamentous actin to collapse of the contractile lattice. These results are, to our knowledge, the first genetic evidence implicating sarcomere-associated formins in the in vivo organization of the muscle cytoskeleton.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Formins
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Striated / growth & development*
  • Muscle, Striated / metabolism*
  • Sarcomeres / metabolism*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Formins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • cyk-1 protein, C elegans
  • fhod-1 proteins, C elegans