Sass, J.B., Martin, C.C., and Krone, P.H. (1999) Restricted expression of the zebrafish hsp90alpha gene in slow and fast muscle fiber lineages. The International journal of developmental biology. 43(8):835-838.
Members of the heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) family of molecular chaperones play important roles in allowing a select group of intracellular signaling molecules reach and maintain functionally active conformations. We have previously shown that hsp90alpha gene expression in early zebrafish embryos is restricted to a subgroup of paraxial-mesoderm derived somitic cells prior to muscle formation and that the gene is downregulated in mature trunk and tail muscle fibers. Here we have compared the expression of the hsp90alpha gene to muscle regulatory genes during development of slow and fast muscle fibers in normal embryos and in embryos carrying mutations which affect somitic muscle formation. We show that hsp90alpha is first expressed early during the development of slow somitic muscle progenitors shortly following myoD activation and at a point prior to or co-incident with the expression of other known muscle regulatory genes. Expression of hsp90alpha is also activated in the midline of flh mutants when these cells switch from a notochord to a muscle fate. Conversely, expression is not detectable in cells of the paraxial mesoderm lineage which fail to converge in spt mutants and which do not activate expression of other muscle specific marker genes. Finally, expression of hsp90alpha is downregulated in slow muscle fibers by 24 h of age but becomes detectable in the later developing fast fibers at this time. Thus, hsp90alpha is expressed in developing muscle progenitors during short temporal and spatial windows of both slow and fast fiber lineages in the zebrafish somite.