Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trigger Gene For Muscle Development Discovered

Date:
February 1, 2008
Source:
University of Oregon
Summary:
Scientists say they have identified a gene that is the key switch that allows embryonic cells to form into muscles in zebrafish. Much like students in a kindergarten class lining up to go to lunch, the trigger gene, which is identified as Smarcd3, must align correctly with two other genes for muscle formation to begin, a process known as myogenesis.

Graphic depicts protein interaction in muscle formation: The bottom embryo is normal, not yet expressing the early muscle genes. In the top embryo, researchers forced early expression of Smarcd3, which switches on the muscle genes (dark blue) earlier than normal. This and other experiments showed that Smarcd3 is the limiting factor that regulates when a cell will turn into a muscle. The middle part shows the Smarcd3-protein complex (pink, orange, green) altering the shape of the chromosome.
Credit: Illustration courtesy of Monte Westerfield

University of Oregon scientists say they have identified a gene that is the key switch that allows embryonic cells to form into muscles in zebrafish.

Related Articles


Much like students in a kindergarten class lining up to go to lunch, the trigger gene, which is identified as Smarcd3, must align correctly with two other genes for muscle formation to begin, a process known as myogenesis, said principal investigator Monte Westerfield, a professor of biology and researcher in the UO Institute of Neuroscience.

The basic research was done using zebrafish embryos, which provide a model system for analyzing the genetic control of induction and specification of muscle cells in vertebrates, as well as for many other important health issues.

"Our muscles develop from a particular set of cells in the embryo," Westerfield said. "These muscle precursor cells need to be in the right place at the right time to develop into muscles. Previously it was unknown how the timing of this critical developmental switch is controlled. We discovered the missing factor, Smarcd3, which forms a protein complex that alters the shape of DNA in particular regions of the genome, thus turning on genes required for cells to develop into muscle."

Smarcd3 proteins are part of a chromatin-remodeling complex made up of DNA and proteins that make up chromosomes. It is a transcriptional protein, which means it is important for initiating, in this case, development.

The UO researchers found that muscle formation begins in an embryo's mesoderm when Smarcd3 interacts correctly with two other transcription-factors known as Fgf and Ntl. This specific time-sensitive alignment, the researchers noted, works to trigger the earliest gene expression involved in myogenesis.

Previous research had suggested the requirement of several additional transcription proteins, but the UO team was able to sort through many of the combinations and narrow the field to these three factors. The findings could eventually allow researchers to understand how various combinations of proteins in the chromatin act to regulate the development of different cell types, tissues and organs.

The findings were published online ahead of the regular publication by the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Co-authors with Westerfield of the JBC paper were two former research associates in Westerfield's lab: Haruki Ochia, who recently left the UO for the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, and Stefan Hans, who now is at the University of Technology in Dresden, Germany.

Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oregon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oregon. "Trigger Gene For Muscle Development Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131121756.htm>.
University of Oregon. (2008, February 1). Trigger Gene For Muscle Development Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131121756.htm
University of Oregon. "Trigger Gene For Muscle Development Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131121756.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods for a Longer Life

The Best Foods for a Longer Life

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) When it comes to maintaining health in our later years, eating right and fueling our bodies with nutritious food is key. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) highlights the best foods for a longer life. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins