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Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2010 Oct;157(2):116-22. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2010.05.014. Epub 2010 Jun 4.

Characterisation of myosin heavy chain gene variants in the fast and slow muscle fibres of gammarid amphipods.

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Bangor University, Gwynedd, UK.


Recent molecular work has revealed a large diversity of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) gene variants in the abdominal musculature of gammarid amphipods. An unusual truncated MyHC transcript from the loop 1 region (Variant A(3)) was consistently observed in multiple species and populations. The current study aimed to determine whether this MyHC variant is specific to a particular muscle fibre type, as a change in net charge to the loop 1 region of Variant A(3) could be functionally significant. The localisation of different fibre types within the abdominal musculature of several gammarid species revealed that the deep flexor and extensor muscles are fast-twitch muscle fibres. The dorsal superficial muscles were identified as slow fibres and the muscles extrinsic to the pleopods were identified as intermediate fibres. Amplification of loop 1 region mRNA from isolated superficial extensor and deep flexor muscles, and subsequent liquid chromatography and sequence analysis revealed that Variant A(3) was the primary MyHC variant in slow muscles, and the conserved A(1) sequence was the primary variant in fast muscles. The specific role of Variant A(3) in the slow muscles remains to be investigated.

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