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J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2003;24(8):561-70.

Cluster characterisation and temporal expression of porcine sarcomeric myosin heavy chain genes.

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School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.


Members of the myosin heavy chain (MyHC) gene family are subjected to temporal regulation of gene switching during development. One strategy to the identification of cis-acting regulatory elements that are involved in temporal or fibre-type specific regulation is to undertake a comparative analysis of the MyHC gene family between the pig, an important target species, and other mammals, like human whose entire genome has been recently sequenced. Towards this end, we report here on the isolation, and characterisation of the porcine cardiac (MyHC slow/beta and alpha) and skeletal MyHC (embryonic, 2a, 2x, 2b and perinatal) gene clusters, and their structural comparisons with mouse and human clusters. The genome organisation of both clusters in the pig, human and mouse is conserved as having the same gene order, similar intergenic distances, and in the same head-to-tail orientation. For a period of pre-natal muscle growth, relative expression of MyHC isoforms, as determined by TaqMan real-time RT-PCR, correlated with the gene order in the skeletal MyHC cluster (embryonic > 2a > 2x > 2b) suggesting the possible presence of DNA elements on the same side as the MyHC embryonic gene that direct temporal regulation.

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