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Exp Cell Res. 2005 Mar 10;304(1):105-15. Epub 2004 Dec 8.

Delta-sarcoglycan is required for early zebrafish muscle organization.

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Division of Genetics and Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital Boston, USA.


Mutations in sarcoglycans (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-) have been linked with limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) types 2C-F in humans. We have cloned the zebrafish orthologue encoding delta-sarcoglycan and mapped the gene to linkage group 21. The predicted zebrafish delta-sarcoglycan protein is highly homologous with its human orthologue including conservation of two of the three predicted glycosylation sites. Like other members of the dystrophin-associated protein complex (DAPC), delta-sarcoglycan localizes to the sarcolemmal membrane of the myofiber in adult zebrafish, but is more apparent at the myosepta in developing embryos. Zebrafish embryos injected with morpholinos against delta-sarcoglycan were relatively inactive at 5 dpf, their myofibers were disorganized, and swim bladders uninflated. Immunohistochemical and immunoblotting experiments show that delta-, beta-, and gamma-sarcoglycans were all downregulated in the morphants, whereas dystrophin expression was unaffected. Whereas humans lacking delta-sarcoglycan primarily show adult phenotypes, our results suggest that delta-sarcoglycan plays a role in early zebrafish muscle development.

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