Regen Med Res
Volume 1, 2013
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||04 December 2013|
Expression of tropomyosin in relation to myofibrillogenesis in axolotl hearts
Department of Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 East Adams, Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
2 Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, SUNY Upstate Medical, University, 750 East Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
* Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 9 August 2013
Accepted: 8 October 2013
The anatomy, function and embryonic development of the heart have been of interest to clinicians and researchers alike for centuries. A beating heart is one of the key criteria in defining life or death in humans. An understanding of the multitude of genetic and functional elements that interplay to form such a complex organ is slowly evolving with new genetic, molecular and experimental techniques. Despite the need for ever more complex molecular techniques some of our biggest leaps in knowledge come from nature itself through observations of mutations that create natural defects in function. Such a natural mutation is found in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. It is a facultative neotenous salamander well studied for its ability to regenerate severed limbs and tail. Interestingly it also well suited to studying segmental heart development and differential sarcomere protein expression due to a naturally occurring mendelian recessive mutation in cardiac mutant gene “c”. The resultant mutants are identified by their failure to beat and can be studied for extended periods before they finally die due to lack of circulation. Studies have shown a differential expression of tropomyosin between the conus and the ventricle indicating two different cardiac segments. Tropomyosin protein, but not its transcript have been found to be deficient in mutant ventricles and sarcomere formation can be rescued by the addition of TM protein or cDNA. Although once thought to be due to endoderm induction our findings indicate a translational regulatory mechanism that may ultimately control the level of tropomyosin protein in axolotl hearts.
Key words: Ambystoma mexicanum / Cardiac lethal mutation / Non-beating ventricle / Conus / Ectopic expression / Translational repression
© 2013 Zajdel et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
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