Differential regulation of myosin heavy chains defines new muscle domains in zebrafish

Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Apr;25(8):1384-95. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E13-08-0486. Epub 2014 Feb 12.


Numerous muscle lineages are formed during myogenesis within both slow- and fast-specific cell groups. In this study, we show that six fast muscle-specific myosin heavy chain genes have unique expression patterns in the zebrafish embryo. The expression of tail-specific myosin heavy chain (fmyhc2.1) requires wnt signaling and is essential for fast muscle organization within the tail. Retinoic acid treatment results in reduced wnt signaling, which leads to loss of the fmyhc2.1 domain. Retinoic acid treatment also results in a shift of muscle identity within two trunk domains defined by expression of fmyhc1.2 and fmyhc1.3 in favor of the anteriormost myosin isoform, fmyhc1.2. In summary, we identify new muscle domains along the anteroposterior axis in the zebrafish that are defined by individual nonoverlapping, differentially regulated expression of myosin heavy chain isoforms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Morpholinos
  • Muscle Development / genetics
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / cytology
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / biosynthesis*
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / biosynthesis
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Tail / embryology
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / drug effects*
  • Zebrafish


  • Morpholinos
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Tretinoin
  • Myosin Heavy Chains