Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.413, No.2, 358-363, 2011
Characterization of zebrafish dysferlin by morpholino knockdown
Mutations in the gene encoding dysferlin cause two distinct muscular dystrophy phenotypes: limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B (LGMD-2B) and Miyoshi myopathy (MM). Dysferlin is a large transmembrane protein involved in myoblast fusion and membrane resealing. Zebrafish represent an ideal animal model to use for studying muscle disease including abnormalities of dysferlin. cDNAs of zebrafish dysferlin were cloned (6.3 kb) and the predicted amino acid sequences, showed 68% similarity to predicted amino acid sequences of mammalian dysferlin. The expression of dysferlin was mainly in skeletal muscle, heart and eye, and the expression could be detected as early as 11 h post fertilization (hpf). Three different antisense oligonucleotide morpholinos were targeted to inhibit translation of this dysferlin mRNA and the morpholino-injected fish showed marked muscle disorganization which could be detected by birefringence assay. Western blot analysis using dysferlin antibodies showed that the expression of dysferlin was reduced in each of the three morphants. Dysferlin expression was shown to be reduced at the myosepta of zebrafish muscle using immunohistochemistry, although the expression of other muscle membrane components, dystrophin, laminin, p-dystroglycan were detected normally. Our data suggest that zebrafish dysferlin expression is involved in stabilizing muscle structures and its downregulation causes muscle disorganization. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.