Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR) is essential for tropomyosin expression and myofibrillogenesis in axolotl hearts

Chi Zhang, Pingping Jia, Xupei Huang, Gian Franco Sferrazza, Gagani Athauda, Mohan P. Achary, Jikui Wang, Sharon L. Lemanski, Dipak K. Dube, Larry F. Lemanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, carries the naturally-occurring recessive mutant gene 'c' that results in a failure of homozygous (c/c) embryos to form hearts that beat because of an absence of organized myofibrils. Our previous studies have shown that a noncoding RNA, Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR), is capable of promoting myofibrillogenesis and heart beating in the mutant (c/c) axolotls. The present study demonstrates that the MIR gene is essential for tropomyosin (TM) expression in axolotl hearts during development. Gene expression studies show that mRNA expression of various tropomyosin isoforms in untreated mutant hearts and in normal hearts knocked down with double-stranded MIR (dsMIR) are similar to untreated normal. However, at the protein level, selected tropomyosin isoforms are significantly reduced in mutant and dsMIR treated normal hearts. These results suggest that MIR is involved in controlling the translation or post-translation of various TM isoforms and subsequently of regulating cardiac contractility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number81
JournalJournal of Biomedical Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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