ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-180129-1
Zebrafish Embryonic Slow Muscle Is a Rapid System for Genetic Analysis of Sarcomere Organization by CRISPR/Cas9, but Not NgAgo
Cai, M., Si, Y., Zhang, J., Tian, Z., Du, S.
Date: 2018
Source: Marine biotechnology (New York, N.Y.)   20(2): 168-181 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Du, Shao Jun (Jim)
Keywords: CRISPR/Cas9, Hsp90α1, Myomesin-3-RFP, NgAgo, Slow myofibers
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Argonaute Proteins/genetics
  • Argonaute Proteins/metabolism
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Gene Editing/methods
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins/genetics
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism
  • Luminescent Proteins/metabolism
  • Muscles/embryology*
  • Myosin Heavy Chains/genetics
  • Myosin Heavy Chains/metabolism
  • Natronobacterium/genetics
  • Sarcomeres/genetics*
  • Zebrafish/embryology
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
PubMed: 29374849 Full text @ Mar. Biotechnol.
Zebrafish embryonic slow muscle cells, with their superficial localization and clear sarcomere organization, provide a useful model system for genetic analysis of muscle cell differentiation and sarcomere assembly. To develop a quick assay for testing CRISPR-mediated gene editing in slow muscles of zebrafish embryos, we targeted a red fluorescence protein (RFP) reporter gene specifically expressed in slow muscles of myomesin-3-RFP (Myom3-RFP) zebrafish embryos. We demonstrated that microinjection of RFP-sgRNA with Cas9 protein or Cas9 mRNA resulted in a mosaic pattern in loss of RFP expression in slow muscle fibers of the injected zebrafish embryos. To uncover gene functions in sarcomere organization, we targeted two endogenous genes, slow myosin heavy chain-1 (smyhc1) and heat shock protein 90 α1 (hsp90α1), which are specifically expressed in zebrafish muscle cells. We demonstrated that injection of Cas9 protein or mRNA with respective sgRNAs targeted to smyhc1 or hsp90a1 resulted in a mosaic pattern of myosin thick filament disruption in slow myofibers of the injected zebrafish embryos. Moreover, Myom3-RFP expression and M-line localization were also abolished in these defective myofibers. Given that zebrafish embryonic slow muscles are a rapid in vivo system for testing genome editing and uncovering gene functions in muscle cell differentiation, we investigated whether microinjection of Natronobacterium gregoryi Argonaute (NgAgo) system could induce genetic mutations and muscle defects in zebrafish embryos. Single-strand guide DNAs targeted to RFP, Smyhc1, or Hsp90α1 were injected with NgAgo mRNA into Myom3-RFP zebrafish embryos. Myom3-RFP expression was analyzed in the injected embryos. The results showed that, in contrast to the CRISPR/Cas9 system, injection of the NgAgo-gDNA system did not affect Myom3-RFP expression and sarcomere organization in myofibers of the injected embryos. Sequence analysis failed to detect genetic mutations at the target genes. Together, our studies demonstrate that zebrafish embryonic slow muscle is a rapid model for testing gene editing technologies in vivo and uncovering gene functions in muscle cell differentiation.