Medical College of Wisconsin
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Temporospatial expression of the small HSP/alpha B-crystallin in cardiac and skeletal muscle during mouse development. Dev Dyn 1997 Jan;208(1):75-84



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0031031926   72 Citations


Although the small (22 Kd) heat shock protein/alpha B-crystallin functions as a major structural protein and molecular chaperone in the vertebrate lens, little is known about the protein's role in nonlenticular tissues such as the heart and skeletal muscle. Recent studies have demonstrated that alpha B-crystallin expression is uniquely regulated during myogenesis in vitro. We report here for the first time that the temporal and spatial expression of alpha B-crystallin is similarly regulated in vivo during mouse embryogenesis. Expression of alpha B-crystallin mRNA was detected by in situ hybridization in the primitive heart at 8.5 days postconception (p.c.) and in the myotome of the somites at 10.5 days p.c. This tissue-restricted pattern was corroborated by immunohistochemical studies. alpha B-crystallin mRNA and protein expression were uniform in the developing atria and ventricles without regional differences or gradients. alpha B-crystallin expression was absent in the endocardial cushion, pulmonary trunk, aorta, and endothelium. Examination of muscle precursors revealed expression throughout the dorsoventral aspect of the myotomes and in developing skeletal muscle. Our findings suggest that alpha B-crystallin may serve pivotal roles as a structural protein and a molecular chaperone in myofiber stabilization of metabolically active tissues during early embryogenesis. Thus, early alpha B-crystallin expression in myogenic lineages supports the hypothesis that the putative functions of alpha B-crystallin are coupled to the activation of genetic programs responsible for myogenic differentiation and cardiac morphogenesis.

Author List

Benjamin IJ, Shelton J, Garry DJ, Richardson JA


Ivor J. Benjamin MD Center Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Embryonic and Fetal Development
Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
Heat-Shock Proteins
Molecular Chaperones
Muscle, Skeletal
Organ Specificity
RNA, Messenger
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a