Heavy and light roles: myosin in the morphogenesis of the heart

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013 Apr;70(7):1221-39. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-1131-1. Epub 2012 Sep 6.


Myosin is an essential component of cardiac muscle, from the onset of cardiogenesis through to the adult heart. Although traditionally known for its role in energy transduction and force development, recent studies suggest that both myosin heavy-chain and myosin light-chain proteins are required for a correctly formed heart. Myosins are structural proteins that are not only expressed from early stages of heart development, but when mutated in humans they may give rise to congenital heart defects. This review will discuss the roles of myosin, specifically with regards to the developing heart. The expression of each myosin protein will be described, and the effects that altering expression has on the heart in embryogenesis in different animal models will be discussed. The human molecular genetics of the myosins will also be reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / embryology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / genetics
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis / genetics*
  • Morphogenesis / physiology
  • Muscle Development / genetics
  • Muscle Development / physiology
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / metabolism
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / physiology*
  • Myosin Light Chains / genetics
  • Myosin Light Chains / metabolism
  • Myosin Light Chains / physiology*


  • Myosin Light Chains
  • Myosin Heavy Chains