Sarcomeric myosin heavy chain gene family: Organization and pattern of expression

Vijak Mahdavi, Emanuel E. Strehler, Muthu Periasamy, David F. Wieczorek, Seigo Izumo, Bernardo Nadal-Ginard

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46 Scopus citations


MAHDAVI, V., E. E. STREHLER, M. PERIASAMY, D. F. WIECZYOREK, S. IZUMO, and B. NADAL-GINARD. Sarcomeric myosin heavy chain gene family: Organization and pattern of expression. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 299-308, 1986. The sarcomeric myosin heavy chains (MHCs), which exhibit different levels of ATPase activity, are encoded by a closely related multigene family from which seven members have been identified and characterized in the rat. The MHC genes appear to map to a single chromosome, and at least two of them, α and β-cardiac, are closely linked in the genome. Each of these genes is ~25 kilobases long, and their coding sequences are interrupted by 40 introns. Each MHC gene displays a pattern of expression that is tissue-specific and developmentally regulated, with more than one MHC gene expressed in each muscle and developmental stage. Moreover, with the exception of the extra-ocular muscle MHC gene that has a very specific pattern of expression, the other genes are all expressed in more than one tissue. The expression of all MHC genes can be modulated by thyroid hormone. Surprisingly, however, the same myosin heavy chain gene can be regulated by thyroid hormone in highly different modes, even in opposite directions, depending on the tissue in which it is expressed. Furthermore, the skeletal embryonic and neonatal myosin heavy chain genes, so far considered specific to these two developmental stages, can be re-induced by hypothyroidism in specific adult muscles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-308
Number of pages10
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1986


  • Myosin heavy chain multi-gene family
  • S1 nuclease mapping analysis
  • Tissue-specific developmental and hormonal regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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