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J Cell Physiol. 1999 Jul;180(1):1-9.

Myostatin, a transforming growth factor-beta superfamily member, is expressed in heart muscle and is upregulated in cardiomyocytes after infarct.

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Growth Physiology, AgResearch, Ruakura, Hamilton, New Zealand.


Myostatin is a secreted growth and differentiating factor (GDF-8) that belongs to the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily. Targeted disruption of the myostatin gene in mice and a mutation in the third exon of the myostatin gene in double-muscled Belgian Blue cattle breed result in skeletal muscle hyperplasia. Hence, myostatin has been shown to be involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass in both mice and cattle. Previous published reports utilizing Northern hybridization had shown that myostatin expression was seen exclusively in skeletal muscle. A significantly lower level of myostatin mRNA was also reported in adipose tissue. Using a sensitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique and Western blotting with anti-myostatin antibodies, we show that myostatin mRNA and protein are not restricted to skeletal muscle. We also show that myostatin expression is detected in the muscle of both fetal and adult hearts. Sequence analysis reveals that the Belgian Blue heart myostatin cDNA sequence contains an 11 nucleotide deletion in the third exon that causes a frameshift that eliminates virtually all of the mature, active region of the protein. Anti-myostatin immunostaining on heart sections also demonstrates that myostatin protein is localized in Purkinje fibers and cardiomyocytes in heart tissue. Furthermore, following myocardial infarction, myostatin expression is upregulated in the cardiomyocytes surrounding the infarct area. Given that myostatin is expressed in fetal and adult hearts and that myostatin expression is upregulated in cardiomyocytes after the infarction, myostatin could play an important role in cardiac development and physiology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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