Apr 16, 2020

Single-nucleus RNA-seq and FISH reveal coordinated transcriptional activity in mammalian myofibers

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
M. Dos SantosPascal Maire

Abstract

Skeletal muscle fibers are large syncytia but it is currently unknown whether gene expression is coordinately regulated in their numerous nuclei. By snRNA-seq and snATAC-seq, we showed that slow, fast, myotendinous and neuromuscular junction myonuclei each have different transcriptional programs, associated with distinct chromatin states and combinations of transcription factors. In adult mice, identified myofiber types predominantly express either a slow or one of the three fast isoforms of Myosin heavy chain (MYH) proteins, while a small number of hybrid fibers can express more than one MYH. By snRNA-seq and FISH, we showed that the majority of myonuclei within a myofiber are synchronized, coordinately expressing only one fast Myh isoform with a preferential pane of muscle-specific genes. Importantly, this coordination of expression occurs early during post-natal development and depends on innervation. These findings highlight a unique mechanism of coordination of gene expression in a syncytium.

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