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Keywords:

  • morpholino oligonucleotide;
  • myofibril assembly;
  • myofibrillogenesis;
  • myotube;
  • sarcomere

Abstract

Cofilin is an actin regulatory protein that plays a critical role in actin filament dynamics in a variety of cells. We have previously demonstrated that excess cofilin in skeletal muscle cells leads to disruption of actin filaments, followed by actin-cofilin rod formation in the cytoplasm. In this study, to further clarify the role of cofilin in actin assembly during myofibrillogenesis, cofilin expression was suppressed in cultured chicken skeletal muscle cells. First, we confirmed that turnover of cofilin in myotubes was much higher than that of actin, and that the cofilin level could be decreased drastically within 2 days when cofilin de novo synthesis was suppressed. Next, cofilin expression in individual myotubes was suppressed by introducing antisense morpholino oligonucleotides into the cells by microinjection. Cofilin depletion at the early phase of myofibrillogenesis caused abnormal actin aggregates in myotubes and impaired actin organization into cross-striated myofibril structures. However, when cofilin expression was suppressed in developed myotubes, actin localization in striated myofibrils was scarcely affected. These results indicate that cofilin plays a critical role in the regulation of actin assembly at the early process of myofibrillogenesis. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc