Molecular cloning and mRNA expression analysis of carp embryonic, slow and cardiac myosin heavy chain isoforms

Yoshiaki Nihei, Atsushi Kobiyama, Daisuke Ikeda, Yosuke Ono, Satoshi Ohara, Nicholas J. Cole, Ian A. Johnston, Shugo Watabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Three embryonic class II myosin heavy chains (MYHs) were cloned from the common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.), MYHemb1, MYHemb2 and MYHemb3. MYH DNA clones were also isolated from the slow muscle of adult carp acclimated to 10°C (MYHS10) and 30°C (MYH S30). Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that MYHemb1 and MYHemb2 belonged to the fast skeletal muscle MYH clade. By contrast, the sequence of MYHemb3 was similar to the adult slow muscle isoforms, MYHS10 and MYHS30. MYHemb1 and MYHemb2 transcripts were first detected by northern blot analysis in embryos 61 h post-fertilization (h.p.f.) at the heartbeat stage, with peak expression occurring in 1-mont h-old juveniles. MYHemb1 continued to be expressed at low levels in 7-month-old juveniles when MYHemb2 was not detectable. MYHemb3 transcripts appeared at almost the same stage as MYHemb1 transcripts did (61 h.p.f.), and these genes showed a similar pattern of expression. Whole mount in situ hybridization analysis revealed that the transcripts of MYHemb1 and MYHemb2 were expressed in the inner part of myotome, whereas MYHemb3 was expressed in the superficial compartment. MYHS10 and MYHS30 mRNAs were first detected at hatching. In adult stages, the expression of slow muscle MYH mRNAs was dependent on acclimation temperature. MYHS10 mRNA was expressed at an acclimation temperature of 10 and 20°C, but not at 30°C. In contrast, MYHS30 mRNA was strongly expressed at all acclimation temperatures. The predominant MYH transcripts found in adult slow muscle and in embryos at hatching were expressed in adult fast muscle at some acclimation temperatures but not others. A MYH DNA clone was isolated from the cardiac muscle of 10°C-acclimated adult fish (MYHcard). MYH card mRNA was first detected at 61 h.p.f., but strong signals were only observed in the adult myocardium. The present study has therefore revealed a complex pattern of expression of MYH genes in relation to developmental stage, muscle type and acclimation temperature. None of the skeletal muscle MYHs identified so far was strongly expressed during the late juvenile stage, indicating further developmentally regulated members of the MYH II gene family remain to be discovered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-198
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Carp
  • Cyprinus carpio
  • Fast skeletal muscle
  • Myocardium
  • Myosin heavy chain
  • Slow skeletal muscle


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