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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2005 Sep;62(1):35-47.

Differential effects of Latrunculin-A on myofibrils in cultures of skeletal muscle cells: insights into mechanisms of myofibrillogenesis.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6058, USA.


To test different models of myofibrillogenesis, we followed live cells expressing Green Fluorescent Proteins ligated to either actin or alpha-actinin and analyzed stress fibers, premyofibrils, and myofibrils in quail myotube cultures. Actin filaments in the three types of fibers were compared by analyzing the effects of Latrunculin-A (Lat-A), a monomeric actin binding macrolide drug (M.W. = 422 Daltons), on stress fibers in fibroblasts and on myofibrils in skeletal myotubes in the same culture. Lat-A, at low concentrations (0.2 microM), induced the loss of stress fibers in fibroblasts within a few hours and within 10 min when Lat-A was increased to 1.0 microM. The effect was reversible with reformation of the stress fibers when the drug was removed. In contrast to the Lat-A induced disassembly of stress fibers in fibroblasts, assembling myofibrils in the skeletal muscle cells were not affected by 1.0-microM concentrations of Lat-A. With increasing concentrations of Lat-A (up to 5 microM), and increasing incubation times, however, the drug induced premyofibrils, the precursors of mature myofibrils, to disassemble and the accumulation of mature myofibrils to be halted. Removal of the drug led to the reformation of premyofibrils and the resumption of myofibrillogenesis in the spreading edges of the myotubes. In contrast, the mature myofibrils in the central shaft of the myotubes were stable in doses of Lat-A as high as 50 microM. The newly assembled mature myofibrils located adjacent to the premyofibrils at the ends and sides of the myotube were intermediate in sensitivity to Lat-A, disassembling when exposed to 10 microM Lat-A for one hour. To determine how a change in the actin filaments during myofibrillogenesis might confer greater resistance to depolymerization by Lat-A, we stained the myotubes with an antibody directed against CapZ, a protein that blocks the release of monomer actin from the barbed ends of actin filaments. CapZ was absent from premyofibrils. It was distributed uniformly along nascent myofibrils where F-actin was unstriated, and was localized in a clearly striated Z-band pattern in the mature myofibrils where F-actin patterns were fully striated. These Lat-A and CapZ results are discussed in the context of various models of myofibrillogenesis.

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