Publication date: 15 June 2018
Source:Developmental Biology, Volume 438, Issue 2
Author(s): Hernando Martínez Vergara, Julio Ramirez, Trista Rosing, Ceazar Nave, Rebecca Blandino, Daniel Saw, Parag Saraf, Gabriel Piexoto, Coohleen Coombes, Melissa Adams, Carmen R. Domingo
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are highly conserved small non-coding RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression in multicellular organisms. Within the set of muscle-specific miRNAs, miR-206 expression is largely restricted to skeletal muscle and is found exclusively within the bony fish lineage. Although many studies have implicated miR-206 in muscle maintenance and disease, its role in skeletal muscle development remains largely unknown. Here, we examine the role of miR-206 during Xenopus laevis somitogenesis. In Xenopus laevis, miR-206 expression coincides with the onset of somitogenesis. We show that both knockdown and over-expression of miR-206 result in abnormal somite formation affecting muscle cell rotation, attachment, and elongation. In particular, our data suggests that miR-206 regulates changes in cell adhesion that affect the ability of newly formed somites to adhere to the notochord as well as to the intersomitic boundaries. Additionally, we show that β-dystroglycan and F-actin expression levels are significantly reduced, suggesting that knockdown of miR-206 levels affects cellular mechanics necessary for cell shape changes and attachments that are required for proper muscle formation.