Mrf4 (myf6) is dynamically expressed in differentiated zebrafish skeletal muscle.
ABSTRACT: Mrf4 (Myf6) is a member of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) myogenic regulatory transcription factor (MRF) family, which also contains Myod, Myf5 and myogenin. Mrf4 is implicated in commitment of amniote cells to skeletal myogenesis and is also abundantly expressed in many adult muscle fibres. The specific role of Mrf4 is unclear both because mrf4 null mice are viable, suggesting redundancy with other MRFs, and because of genetic interactions at the complex mrf4/myf5 locus. We report the cloning and expression of an mrf4 gene from zebrafish, Danio rerio, which shows conservation of linkage to myf5. Mrf4 mRNA accumulates in a subset of terminally differentiated muscle fibres in parallel with myosin protein in the trunk and fin. Although most, possibly all, trunk muscle expresses mrf4, the level of mRNA is dynamically regulated. No expression is detected in muscle precursor cell populations prior to myosin accumulation. Moreover, mrf4 expression is not detected in head muscles, at least at early stages. As fish mature, mrf4 expression is pronounced in the region of slow muscle fibres.
Project description:Skeletal myogenesis is associated with the activation of four muscle regulatory factors (MRFs): Myf5, MyoD, Myogenin and MRF4. Here we report that p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase represses the transcriptional activity of MRF4 (involved in late stages of myogenesis), resulting in downregulation of specific muscle genes. MRF4 is phosphorylated in vitro and in vivo by p38 on two serines (Ser31 and Ser42) located in the N-terminal transactivation domain, resulting in reduced MRF4-mediated transcriptional activity. In contrast, nonphosphorylatable MRF4 mutants display increased transcriptional activity and are able to advance both myoblast fusion and differentiation. We also show that expression of desmin and alpha-actin, but not muscle creatin kinase, decreased at late stages of muscle differentiation, correlating with the induction of MRF4 and p38 activation. Accordingly, inhibition of p38 during late myogenesis results in the upregulation of both desmin and alpha-actin. We propose that repression of MRF4 activity by p38 phosphorylation may represent a new mechanism for the silencing of specific muscle genes at the terminal stages of muscle differentiation.
Project description:The Myogenic Regulatory Factors (MRFs) Myf5, MyoD, myogenin and MRF4 are members of the basic helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors that control the determination and differentiation of skeletal muscle cells during embryogenesis and postnatal myogenesis. The dynamics of their temporal and spatial expression as well as their biochemical properties have allowed the identification of a precise and hierarchical relationship between the four MRFs. This relationship establishes the myogenic lineage as well as the maintenance of the terminal myogenic phenotype. The application of genome-wide technologies has provided important new information as to how the MRFs function to activate muscle gene expression. Application of combined functional genomics technologies along with single cell lineage tracing strategies will allow a deeper understanding of the mechanisms mediating myogenic determination, cell differentiation and muscle regeneration.
Project description:Specification and differentiation of skeletal muscle cells are driven by the activity of genes encoding members of the myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs). In vertebrates, the MRF family includes MyoD, Myf5, myogenin, and MRF4. The MRFs are capable of converting a variety of nonmuscle cells into myoblasts and myotubes. To better understand their roles in fish muscle development, we isolated the MyoD gene from flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) and analyzed its structure and patterns of expression. Sequence analysis showed that flounder MyoD shared a structure similar to that of vertebrate MRFs with three exons and two introns, and its protein contained a highly conserved basic helix-loop-helix domain (bHLH). Comparison of sequences revealed that flounder MyoD was highly conserved with other fish MyoD genes. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis indicated that flounder MyoD, seabream (Sparus aurata) MyoD1, takifugu (Takifugu rubripes) MyoD, and tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) MyoD were more likely to be homologous genes. Flounder MyoD expression was first detected as two rows of presomitic cells in the segmental plate. From somitogenesis, MyoD transcripts were present in the adaxial cells that give rise to slow muscles and the lateral somitic cells that give rise to fast muscles. After 30 somites formed, MyoD expression decreased in the somites except the caudal somites, coincident with somite maturation. In the hatching stage, MyoD was expressed in other muscle cells and caudal somites. It was detected only in muscle in the growing fish.
Project description:In most groups of electric fish, the current-producing cells of electric organs (EOs) derive from striated muscle fibers but retain some phenotypic characteristics of their precursor muscle cells. Given the role of the MyoD family of myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) in the transcriptional activation of the muscle program in vertebrates, we examined their expression in the electrocytes of the gymnotiform Sternopygus macrurus. We estimated the number of MRF genes in the S. macrurus genome and our Southern blot analyses revealed a single MyoD, myogenin, myf5 and MRF4 gene. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that muscle and EO transcribe all MRF genes. With the exception of MyoD, the endogenous levels of myogenin, myf5 and MRF4 transcripts in electrocytes were greater than those detected in muscle fibers. These data indicate that MRF expression levels are not sufficient to predict the level to which the muscle program is manifested. Qualitative expression analysis of MRF co-regulators MEF2C, Id1 and Id2 also revealed these genes not to be unique to either muscle or EO, and detected similar expression patterns in the two tissues. Therefore, the partial muscle program of the EO is not associated with a partial expression of MRFs or with apparent distinct levels of some MRF co-factors. In addition, electrical inactivation by spinal cord transection (ST) resulted in the up-regulation of some muscle proteins in electrocytes without an accompanying increase in MRF transcript levels or notable changes in the co-factors MEF2C, Id1 and Id2. These findings suggest that the neural regulation of the skeletal muscle program via MRFs in S. macrurus might differ from that of their mammalian counterparts. Together, these data further our understanding of the molecular processes involved in the plasticity of the vertebrate skeletal muscle program that brings about the muscle-like phenotype of the non-contractile electrogenic cells in S. macrurus.
Project description:Gene expression in skeletal muscle is controlled by a family of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors known as the myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs). The MRFs work in conjunction with E proteins to regulate gene expression during myogenesis. However, the precise mechanism by which the MRFs activate gene expression is unclear. In this work, we sought to define the binding profiles of MRFs and E proteins on muscle-specific genes throughout a time course of differentiation.We performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays for myogenin, MyoD, Myf5 and E proteins over a time course of C2C12 differentiation, resulting in several surprising findings. The pattern of recruitment is specific to each promoter tested. The recruitment of E proteins often coincides with the arrival of the MRFs, but the binding profile does not entirely overlap with the MRF binding profiles. We found that E12/E47 is bound to certain promoters during proliferation, but every gene tested is preferentially bound by HEB during differentiation. We also show that MyoD, myogenin and Myf5 have transient roles on each of these promoters during muscle differentiation. We also found that RNA polymerase II occupancy correlates with the transcription profile of these promoters. ChIP sequencing assays confirmed that MyoD, myogenin and Myf5 co-occupy promoters.Our data reveal the sequential association of MyoD, myogenin, Myf5 and HEB on muscle-specific promoters. These data suggest that each of the MRFs, including Myf5, contribute to gene expression at each of the geness analyzed here.. The dynamic binding profiles observed suggest that MRFs and E proteins are recruited independently to promoters.
Project description:Myogenic Regulatory Factors (MRFs), a family of basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors, play important roles in regulating skeletal muscle development and growth. Myf5, the primary factor of MRFs, initiates myogenesis. Its expression pattern during somitomyogenesis in some fish has been revealed. To further study its effect on fish muscle during postembryonic growth, characterization and function analysis of myf5 cDNA were carried out in largemouth bass. The 1,093 bp cDNA sequence was identified by RT-PCR and 3'RACE, then the ORF of Myf5 cDNA was cloned into the expression vector pcDNA3.1(-)/mycHisB. The recombinant plasmid pcDNA3.1(-)/mycHisB-Myf5 was injected into the dorsal muscle of tilapias. RT-PCR and histochemical results showed that the exogenous gene was transcribed and translated in vivo. Its effect on muscle growth focused on myofiber hypertrophy in white muscle 60 days post injection. This indicated that overexpression of Myf5 can promote myogenesis during the fish muscle postembryonic growth period.
Project description:Myogenic regulatory factors of the Myod family (MRFs) are transcription factors essential for mammalian skeletal myogenesis. However, the roles of each gene in myogenesis remain unclear, owing partly to genetic linkage at the Myf5/Mrf4 locus and to rapid morphogenetic movements in the amniote somite. In mice, Myf5 is essential for the earliest epaxial myogenesis, whereas Myod is required for timely differentiation of hypaxially derived muscle. A second major subdivision of the somite is between primaxial muscle of the somite proper and abaxial somite-derived migratory muscle precursors. Here, we use a combination of mutant and morphant analysis to ablate the function of each of the four conserved MRF genes in zebrafish, an organism that has retained a more ancestral bodyplan. We show that a fundamental distinction in somite myogenesis is into medial versus lateral compartments, which correspond to neither epaxial/hypaxial nor primaxial/abaxial subdivisions. In the medial compartment, Myf5 and/or Myod drive adaxial slow fibre and medial fast fibre differentiation. Myod-driven Myogenin activity alone is sufficient for lateral fast somitic and pectoral fin fibre formation from the lateral compartment, as well as for cranial myogenesis. Myogenin activity is a significant contributor to fast fibre differentiation. Mrf4 does not contribute to early myogenesis in zebrafish. We suggest that the differential use of duplicated MRF paralogues in this novel two-component myogenic system facilitated the diversification of vertebrates.
Project description:The current-producing cells of the electric organ, i.e., electrocytes, in Sternopygus macrurus derive from skeletal muscle fibers. Mature electrocytes are not contractile, but they do retain some muscle proteins, are multinucleated, and receive cholinergic innervation. Electrocytes express the myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) MyoD, myogenin, Myf5 and MRF4 despite their incomplete muscle phenotype. Although S. macrurus MRFs share functional domains which are highly conserved and their expression is confined to the myogenic lineage, their capability to induce the muscle phenotype has not been determined. To test the functional conservation of S. macrurus MRFs to transcriptionally activate skeletal muscle gene expression and induce the myogenic program, we transiently over-expressed S. macrurus MyoD (SmMyoD) and myogenin (SmMyoG) in mouse C3H/10T1/2 and NIH3T3 embryonic cells. RT-PCR and immunolabeling studies showed that SmMyoD and SmMyoG can efficiently convert these two cell lines into multinucleated myotubes which expressed differentiated muscle markers. The levels of myogenic induction by SmMyoD and SmMyoG were comparable to those obtained with mouse MRF homologs. Furthermore, SmMyoD and SmMyoG proteins were able to induce mouse MyoD and myogenin in C3H/10T1/2 cells. We conclude that S. macrurus MRFs are functionally conserved as they can transcriptionally activate skeletal muscle gene expression and induce the myogenic program in mammalian non-muscle cells. Hence, these data suggest that the partial muscle phenotype of electrocytes is not likely due to differences in the MRF-dependent transcriptional program between skeletal muscle and electric organ.
Project description:Hypothesizing that the Amazonian water system differences would affect the expression of muscle growth-related genes in juvenile tambaqui Colossoma macropomum (Cuvier 1818), this study aimed to analyze the morphometric data and expression of myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) in the white and red muscle from tambaqui obtained from clear and black Amazonian water systems. All of the MRF transcript levels (myod, myf5, myogenin, and mrf4) were significantly lower in the red muscle from black water fish in comparison to clear water fish. However, in white muscle, only the myod transcript level was significantly decreased in the black water tambaqui. The changes in MRFs gene expression in muscle fibers of tambaqui from black water system provide relevant information about the environmental influence as that of water systems on gene expression of muscle growth related genes in the C. macropomum. Our results showed that the physical and chemical water characteristics change the expression of genes that promote muscle growth, and these results may be also widely applicable to future projects that aim to enhance muscle growth in fish that are of substantial interest to the aquaculture.
Project description:The myogenic regulatory factor MRF4 is highly expressed in adult skeletal muscle but its function is unknown. Here we show that Mrf4 knockdown in adult muscle induces hypertrophy and prevents denervation-induced atrophy. This effect is accompanied by increased protein synthesis and widespread activation of muscle-specific genes, many of which are targets of MEF2 transcription factors. MEF2-dependent genes represent the top-ranking gene set enriched after Mrf4 RNAi and a MEF2 reporter is inhibited by co-transfected MRF4 and activated by Mrf4 RNAi. The Mrf4 RNAi-dependent increase in fibre size is prevented by dominant negative MEF2, while constitutively active MEF2 is able to induce myofibre hypertrophy. The nuclear localization of the MEF2 corepressor HDAC4 is impaired by Mrf4 knockdown, suggesting that MRF4 acts by stabilizing a repressor complex that controls MEF2 activity. These findings open new perspectives in the search for therapeutic targets to prevent muscle wasting, in particular sarcopenia and cachexia.