Transitions from fetal to fast troponin T isoforms are coordinated with changes in tropomyosin and alpha-actinin isoforms in developing rabbit skeletal muscle.
In adult fast skeletal muscle, specific combinations of thin filament and Z-line protein isoforms are coexpressed. To determine whether the expression of these sets of proteins, designated the TnT1f, TnT2f, and TnT3f programs, is coordinated during development, we characterized the transitions in troponin T (TnT), tropomyosin (Tm), and alpha-actinin isoforms that occur in developing fetal and neonatal rabbit skeletal muscle. Two coordinated developmental transitions were identified, and a novel pattern of thin filament expression was found in fetal muscle. In fetal muscle, new TnT species--whose protein and immunochemical properties suggest that they are the products of a new TnT gene--are expressed in combination with beta 2 Tm and alpha-actinin1f/s. This pattern, which is found in both back and hindlimb muscles, is specific to fetal and early neonatal muscle. Just prior to birth, there is a transition from the fetal program to the isoforms that define the TnT3f program, TnT3f, and alpha beta Tm. Like the fetal program, expression of the TnT3f program appears to be a general feature of muscle development, because it occurs in a variety of fast muscles as well as in the slow muscle soleus. The transition to adult patterns of thin filament expression begins at the end of the first postnatal week. Based on studies of erector spinae, the isoforms comprising the TnT2f program, TnT2f, alpha 2 Tm, and alpha-actinin2f, appear and increase coordinately at this time. The transitions, first to the TnT3f program, and then to adult patterns of expression indicate that synthesis of the isoforms comprising each program is coordinated during muscle specialization and throughout muscle development. In addition, these observations point to a dual role for the TnT3f program, which is the major thin filament program in some adult muscles, but appears to bridge the transition from developmentally to physiologically regulated patterns of thin filament expression during the late fetal and early neonatal development.
Briggs, MM; McGinnis, HD; Schachat, F
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