Transitions in cardiac isomyosin expression during differentiation of the embryonic chick heart.
The expression of different isoforms of the contractile protein myosin plays a major role in determining contractile characteristics in both cardiac and skeletal muscle in the adult. There is little evidence pertaining to putative changes in myosin phenotype during cardiac embryogenesis or if such changes could play a role in modulating the contractile characteristics of the developing heart. We examined isomyosin expression during cardiogenesis in the chick by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy with monoclonal antibodies to adult ventricular and atrial myosin heavy chains. Antibody specificity was characterized in the adult on the basis of immunofluorescence localization, ELISA, and protein blot immunoassay. Results show that the early embryonic chick heart has a different myosin phenotype than the later embryonic or adult heart. Both the embryonic ventricular and atrial myocardia initially expressed a myosin heavy chain that was recognized by antibody specific (in the adult) for ventricular myosin heavy chain. The ventricles remained reactive throughout life with the ventricular antibody, but reactivity of the atrial myocardium was confined to the initial 6 days of embryonic development. On the other hand, reactivity of the embryonic heart with multiple antibodies specific (in the adult) for atrial myosin was confined to the atrial myocardium throughout development. Thus, the distribution of myosin isoforms became similar to that of the adult myocardium by the time the embryonic heart achieved a 4-chambered configuration at 6 days in ovo.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association