Mechanisms underlying myosin heavy chain expression during development of the rat diaphragm muscle

Paige C. Geiger, Jeffrey P. Bailey, Carlos B. Mantilla, Wen Zhi Zhan, Gary C. Sieck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


During early post-natal development in rat diaphragm muscle (Dia m), significant transitions in myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform expression occur that are associated with fiber growth and increased MHC protein. At present, there is no direct information regarding the transcriptional regulation of MHC isoform expression during postnatal Dia m development. We hypothesized postnatal changes in MHC isoform mRNA expression are followed by concomitant changes in MHC protein expression. The Diam was removed at postnatal days 0, 14, 28, and 84 (adult). MHC mRNA expression was determined by real-time RT-PCR. MHC protein expression was determined by SDS-PAGE. There was a significant effect of postnatal age on MHC isoform mRNA and protein expression. At birth, the MHCNeo isoform accounted for 28% of MHC mRNA and 54% of total MHC protein. By postnatal day 14, MHCNeo mRNA and protein increased significantly, and both decreased significantly by day 28, consistent with transcriptional control of the expression of this developmental isoform. By postnatal day 28, there were minimal changes in mRNA expression for MHCSlow and MHC2X, yet protein expression increased significantly. MHC2A mRNA and protein expression did not change during this time. Thus changes in MHC protein expression did not follow (or parallel) changes in MHC mRNA for the adult MHC isoforms. The present findings indicate that changes in MHC expression in the developing rat Diam are not driven solely by changes in mRNA expression. Knowledge of isoform-specific MHC mRNA expression only yields predictive information on MHC protein expression for the MHCNeo isoform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1546-1555
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Electrophoresis
  • Muscle plasticity
  • Myosin heavy chain gene regulation
  • Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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