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J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2012 Mar;32(6):383-90. doi: 10.1007/s10974-011-9267-4. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Myosin heavy chain mRNA isoforms are expressed in two distinct cohorts during C2C12 myogenesis.

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Division of Nutritional Sciences, School of Biosciences, Sutton Bonington Campus, The University of Nottingham, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK.


The regulation of muscle fibre transitions has mainly been studied in vivo using conventional histological or immunohistochemical techniques. In order to investigate the molecular regulation of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform expression in cell culture studies, we first characterised the normal transitions in endogenous expression of the MyHC isoforms and the myogenic regulatory factors during differentiation of C2C12 muscle cells. Interestingly, across the time course of differentiation, MyHC mRNA isoforms were expressed in a distinct temporal pattern as two distinct cohorts, one including MyHC I, embryonic and neonatal, the other including MyHC IIa, IIx and IIb. The pattern of expression suggests a transition in MyHC isoforms, from one cohort to another, occurs during muscle cell differentiation and that these transitions occur independent of nerve innervation. To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive analysis of in vitro MyHC mRNA isoform transitions and provides important information for studying the regulation of transitions in MyHC isoforms in cell culture systems.

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