Developmental analysis of tropomyosin gene expression in embryonic stem cells and mouse embryos

Mariappan Muthuchamy, Laura Pajak, Philip Howles, Thomas Doetschman, David F. Wieczorek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Tropomyosins (TMs) comprise a family of actin-binding proteins which play an important role in the regulation of contractility in muscle (cardiac, skeletal, and smooth) and nonmuscle cells. Although they are present in all cells, different isoforms are characteristic of specific cell types. In vertebrates, there are four different TM genes (α-TM, β-TM, TM30, and TM4), three of which generate alternatively spliced isoforms. This study defines the expression patterns of these isoforms during murine embryogenesis, using both in vivo and in vitro conditions. The embryonic stem cell culture system, which has been shown to mimic different stages of mouse embryonic development, including the differentiation of primitive organ systems such as the myocardium, is used for our in vitro analysis. Our results demonstrate that several TM isoforms are expressed in specific developmental patterns, often correlated with the differentiation of particular tissues or organs. Surprisingly, other TMs, such as the striated muscle β-TM and smooth muscle α-TM, are expressed constitutively. This study also demonstrates that there is an excellent correlation between the expression patterns of the TM isoforms observed in developing embryonic stem cells and mouse embryos. In addition, a quantitative molecular analysis of TM isoforms was conducted in embryonic, neonatal, and adult cardiac tissue. Our results show for the first time that the α- and β-TM striated muscle transcripts are present in the earliest functional stages of the heart, and these TM isoforms are identical to those present throughout cardiac development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3311-3323
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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