A transcriptomics resource reveals a transcriptional transition during ordered sarcomere morphogenesis in flight muscle.
ABSTRACT: Muscles organise pseudo-crystalline arrays of actin, myosin and titin filaments to build force-producing sarcomeres. To study sarcomerogenesis, we have generated a transcriptomics resource of developing Drosophila flight muscles and identified 40 distinct expression profile clusters. Strikingly, most sarcomeric components group in two clusters, which are strongly induced after all myofibrils have been assembled, indicating a transcriptional transition during myofibrillogenesis. Following myofibril assembly, many short sarcomeres are added to each myofibril. Subsequently, all sarcomeres mature, reaching 1.5 µm diameter and 3.2 µm length and acquiring stretch-sensitivity. The efficient induction of the transcriptional transition during myofibrillogenesis, including the transcriptional boost of sarcomeric components, requires in part the transcriptional regulator Spalt major. As a consequence of Spalt knock-down, sarcomere maturation is defective and fibers fail to gain stretch-sensitivity. Together, this defines an ordered sarcomere morphogenesis process under precise transcriptional control - a concept that may also apply to vertebrate muscle or heart development.
Project description:Muscles organise a pseudo-crystalline array of actin, myosin and titin filaments to build force-producing sarcomeres. To study how sarcomeres are built, we performed mRNA-sequencing of developing Drosophila flight muscles and identified 40 distinct expression profile clusters. Strikingly, two clusters are strongly enriched for sarcomeric components. Temporal gene expression together with detailed morphological analysis enabled us to define two distinct phases of sarcomere development, both of which require the transcriptional regulator Spalt major. During the first sarcomere formation phase, 2.0 µm long immature sarcomeres assemble myofibrils that spontaneously contract. In the second sarcomere maturation phase, sarcomeres grow to their final 3.2 µm length and 1.5 µm diameter and acquire stretch-sensitivity. Interestingly, the final number of myofibrils per flight muscle fiber is determined at the onset of the first phase and remains constant. Together, this defines a biphasic mode of sarcomere and myofibril morphogenesis – a new concept which may also apply to vertebrate muscle or heart development. Overall design: Part I: An 8-point timecourse of wild-type flight muscle development in Drosophila melanogaster was analyzed with duplicates/triplicates for each timepoint Part II: A Mef2-Gal4 x salmIR timecourse in duplicate at 4 timepoints was compared to wild-type flight muscle
Project description:Muscle differentiation requires the assembly of high-order structures called myofibrils, composed of sarcomeres. Even though the molecular organization of sarcomeres is well known, the mechanisms underlying myofibrillogenesis are poorly understood. It has been proposed that integrin-dependent adhesion nucleates myofibrils at the periphery of the muscle cell to sustain sarcomere assembly. Here, we report a role for the gene perdido (perd, also known as kon-tiki, a transmembrane chondroitin proteoglycan) in myofibrillogenesis. Expression of perd RNAi in muscles, prior to adult myogenesis, can induce misorientation and detachment of Drosophila adult abdominal muscles. In comparison to controls, perd-depleted muscles contain fewer myofibrils, which are localized at the cell periphery. These myofibrils are detached from each other and display a defective sarcomeric structure. Our results demonstrate that the extracellular matrix receptor Perd has a specific role in the assembly of myofibrils and in sarcomeric organization. We suggest that Perd acts downstream or in parallel to integrins to enable the connection of nascent myofibrils to the Z-bands. Our work identifies the Drosophila adult abdominal muscles as a model to investigate in vivo the mechanisms behind myofibrillogenesis.
Project description:Sarcomeres are stereotyped force-producing mini-machines of striated muscles. Each sarcomere contains a pseudocrystalline order of bipolar actin and myosin filaments, which are linked by titin filaments. During muscle development, these three filament types need to assemble into long periodic chains of sarcomeres called myofibrils. Initially, myofibrils contain immature sarcomeres, which gradually mature into their pseudocrystalline order. Despite the general importance, our understanding of myofibril assembly and sarcomere maturation in vivo is limited, in large part because determining the molecular order of protein components during muscle development remains challenging. Here, we applied polarization-resolved microscopy to determine the molecular order of actin during myofibrillogenesis in vivo. This method revealed that, concomitantly with mechanical tension buildup in the myotube, molecular actin order increases, preceding the formation of immature sarcomeres. Mechanistically, both muscle and nonmuscle myosin contribute to this actin order gain during early stages of myofibril assembly. Actin order continues to increase while myofibrils and sarcomeres mature. Muscle myosin motor activity is required for the regular and coordinated assembly of long myofibrils but not for the high actin order buildup during sarcomere maturation. This suggests that, in muscle, other actin-binding proteins are sufficient to locally bundle or cross-link actin into highly regular arrays.
Project description:In Drosophila, fibrillar flight muscles (IFMs) enable flight, while tubular muscles mediate other body movements. Here, we use RNA-sequencing and isoform-specific reporters to show that spalt major (salm) determines fibrillar muscle physiology by regulating transcription and alternative splicing of a large set of sarcomeric proteins. We identify the RNA-binding protein Arrest (Aret, Bruno) as downstream of salm. Aret shuttles between the cytoplasm and nuclei and is essential for myofibril maturation and sarcomere growth of IFMs. Molecularly, Aret regulates IFM-specific splicing of various salm-dependent sarcomeric targets, including Stretchin and wupA (TnI), and thus maintains muscle fiber integrity. As Aret and its sarcomeric targets are evolutionarily conserved, similar principles may regulate mammalian muscle morphogenesis.
Project description:The sarcomere is the smallest functional unit of myofibrils in striated muscles. Sarcomeres are connected in series through a network of elastic and structural proteins. During myofibril activation, sarcomeres develop forces that are regulated through complex dynamics among their structures. The mechanisms that regulate intersarcomere dynamics are unclear, which limits our understanding of fundamental muscle features. Such dynamics are associated with the loss in forces caused by mechanical instability encountered in muscle diseases and cardiomyopathy and may underlie potential target treatments for such conditions. In this study, we developed a microfluidic perfusion system to control one sarcomere within a myofibril, while measuring the individual behavior of all sarcomeres. We found that the force from one sarcomere leads to adjustments of adjacent sarcomeres in a mechanism that is dependent on the sarcomere length and the myofibril stiffness. We concluded that the cooperative work of the contractile and the elastic elements within a myofibril rules the intersarcomere dynamics, with important consequences for muscle contraction.
Project description:The force generation and motion of muscle are produced by the collective work of thousands of sarcomeres, the basic structural units of striated muscle. Based on their series connection to form a myofibril, it is expected that sarcomeres are mechanically and/or structurally coupled to each other. However, the behavior of individual sarcomeres and the coupling dynamics between sarcomeres remain elusive, because muscle mechanics has so far been investigated mainly by analyzing the averaged behavior of thousands of sarcomeres in muscle fibers. In this study, we directly measured the length-responses of individual sarcomeres to quick stretch at partial activation, using micromanipulation of skeletal myofibrils under a phase-contrast microscope. The experiments were performed at ADP-activation (1 mM MgATP and 2 mM MgADP in the absence of Ca(2+)) and also at Ca(2+)-activation (1 mM MgATP at pCa 6.3) conditions. We show that under these activation conditions, sarcomeres exhibit 2 distinct types of responses, either "resisting" or "yielding," which are clearly distinguished by the lengthening distance of single sarcomeres in response to stretch. These 2 types of sarcomeres tended to coexist within the myofibril, and the sarcomere "yielding" occurred in clusters composed of several adjacent sarcomeres. The labeling of Z-line with anti-alpha-actinin antibody significantly suppressed the clustered sarcomere "yielding." These results strongly suggest that the contractile system of muscle possesses the mechanism of structure-based inter-sarcomere coordination.
Project description:In Drosophila, fibrillar flight muscles (IFMs) enable flight, while tubular muscles mediate other body movements. Here, we use RNA-sequencing and isoform-specific reporters to show that spalt major (salm) determines fibrillar muscle physiology by regulating transcription and alternative splicing of a large set of sarcomeric proteins. We identify the RNA binding protein Arrest (Aret, Bruno) as downstream of salm. Aret shuttles between cytoplasm and nuclei, and is essential for myofibril maturation and sarcomere growth of IFMs. Molecularly, Aret regulates IFM-specific transcription and splicing of various sarcomeric targets, including Stretchin and wupA (TnI), and thus maintains muscle fiber integrity. As Aret and its sarcomeric targets are evolutionarily conserved, similar principles may regulate mammalian muscle morphogenesis. 9 samples from Drosophila melanogaster were analyzed in duplicate: control dissected wildtype flight muscle at 30h APF, 72h APF and 0 day adult, jump muscle and whole leg from 1d adult and RNAi/mutant conditions for salm (1d flight muscle) and aret (30h, 72h and 1d flight muscle)
Project description:We ablated RBM24 from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) using CRISPR/Cas9 techniques. Although RBM24-/- hESCs still differentiated into sarcomere-hosting cardiomyocytes, they exhibited disrupted sarcomeric structures with punctate Z-lines due to impaired myosin replacement during early myofibrillogenesis. Transcriptomics revealed >4000 genes regulated by RBM24. Among them, core myofibrillogenesis proteins (e.g. ACTN2, TTN, and MYH10) were misspliced. Consequently, MYH6 cannot replace non-muscle myosin MYH10, leading to myofibrillogenesis arrest at the early premyofibril stage and causing disrupted sarcomeres. Intriguingly, we found that the actin-binding domain (ABD; encoded by exon 6) of the Z-line anchor protein ACTN2 is predominantly excluded from early cardiac differentiation, whereas it is consistently included in human adult heart. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of exon 6 from ACTN2 in hESCs, as well as forced expression of full-length ACTN2 in RBM24-/- hESCs, further corroborated that inclusion of exon 6 is critical for sarcomere assembly. Overall, we have demonstrated that RBM24-facilitated inclusion of exon 6 in ACTN2 at distinct stages of cardiac differentiation is evolutionarily conserved and crucial to sarcomere assembly and integrity. Overall design: To study the molecular mechanism by which RBM24 regulates cardiogenesis and sarcomere assembly in a temporal-dependent manner.
Project description:Cardiac and skeletal muscle function depends on the proper formation of myofibrils, which are tandem arrays of highly organized actomyosin contractile units called sarcomeres. How the architecture of these colossal molecular assemblages is established during development and maintained over the lifetime of an animal is poorly understood. We investigate the potential roles in myofibril formation and repair of formin proteins, which are encoded by 15 different genes in mammals. Using quantitative real-time PCR analysis, we find that 13 formins are differentially expressed in mouse hearts during postnatal development. Seven formins immunolocalize to sarcomeres in diverse patterns, suggesting that they have a variety of functional roles. Using RNA interference silencing, we find that the formins mDia2, DAAM1, FMNL1, and FMNL2 are required nonredundantly for myofibrillogenesis. Knockdown phenotypes include global loss of myofibril organization and defective sarcomeric ultrastructure. Finally, our analysis reveals an unanticipated requirement specifically for FMNL1 and FMNL2 in the repair of damaged myofibrils. Together our data reveal an unexpectedly large number of formins, with diverse localization patterns and nonredundant roles, functioning in myofibril development and maintenance, and provide the first evidence of actin assembly factors being required to repair myofibrils.
Project description:Smyd1b is a member of the Smyd family that is specifically expressed in skeletal and cardiac muscles. Smyd1b plays a key role in thick filament assembly during myofibrillogenesis in skeletal muscles of zebrafish embryos. To better characterize Smyd1b function and its mechanism of action in myofibrillogenesis, we analyzed the effects of smyd1b knockdown on myofibrillogenesis in skeletal and cardiac muscles of zebrafish embryos. The results show that knockdown of smyd1b causes significant disruption of myofibril organization in both skeletal and cardiac muscles of zebrafish embryos. Microarray and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analyses show that knockdown of smyd1b up-regulates heat shock protein 90 (hsp90) and unc45b gene expression. Biochemical analysis reveals that Smyd1b can be coimmunoprecipitated with heat shock protein 90 ?-1 and Unc45b, two myosin chaperones expressed in muscle cells. Consistent with its potential function in myosin folding and assembly, knockdown of smyd1b significantly reduces myosin protein accumulation without affecting mRNA expression. This likely results from increased myosin degradation involving unc45b overexpression. Together these data support the idea that Smyd1b may work together with myosin chaperones to control myosin folding, degradation, and assembly into sarcomeres during myofibrillogenesis.