ZFIN ID: ZDB-LAB-970807-3
Simon M. Hughes Lab
PI/Director: Hughes, Simon M.
Contact Person: Hughes, Simon M.
Email: simon.hughes@kcl.ac.uk
URL: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/research/hughes-group
Address: Randall Division for Cell and Molecular Biophysics New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus King’s College London London SE1 1UL, UK
Country: United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)20 78486445
Line Designation: kg

Show all 15 genomic features


To understand the formation, growth, maintenance and repair of sarcomeric muscle tissue in vertebrates. We want to understand the ball of 200 cells called a somite assembles itself into a force-generating and force-transmitting tissue. We are also interested to develop reciprocal interaction between studies of the human population and model organisms, and to apply our knowledge to cardiac myogenesis.


We work on zebrafish (mainly) and now want to relate our studies to human genetics and environment by studying datasets such as the UK Biobank. We have interest in training, nutrition, aging, and muscle diseases that impact on people.


A major aim is to develop improved imaging and tracking systems for understanding cell biological processes in vivo. Muscle cell culture, cell transplantation, high-throughput analyses, transgenesis and genome editing. Standard methods of tissue culture, histology and genetic manipulation and the use of genetically modified animals. We are now expanding into human genetics and epidemiology.


Hau, H.A., Kelu, J.J., Ochala, J., Hughes, S.M. (2023) Slow myosin heavy chain 1 is required for slow myofibril and muscle fibre growth but not for myofibril initiation. Developmental Biology. 499:47-58
Ganassi, M., Zammit, P.S., Hughes, S.M. (2023) Isolation, Culture, and Analysis of Zebrafish Myofibers and Associated Muscle Stem Cells to Explore Adult Skeletal Myogenesis. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2640:214321-43
Pipalia, T.G., Sultan, S.H.A., Koth, J., Knight, R.D., Hughes, S.M. (2023) Skeletal Muscle Regeneration in Zebrafish. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2640:227248227-248
Hughes, S.M., Escaleira, R.C., Wanders, K., Koth, J., Wilkinson, D.G., Xu, Q. (2022) Clonal behaviour of myogenic precursor cells throughout the vertebrate lifespan. Biology Open. 11(8):
Attwaters, M., Kelu, J.J., Pipalia, T.G., Hughes, S.M. (2022) Real Time and Repeated Measurement of Skeletal Muscle Growth in Individual Live Zebrafish Subjected to Altered Electrical Activity. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. (184)
Ganassi, M., Zammit, P.S., Hughes, S.M. (2021) Isolation of Myofibres and Culture of Muscle Stem Cells from Adult Zebrafish. Bio-protocol. 11:e4149
Kayman Kürekçi, G., Kural Mangit, E., Koyunlar, C., Unsal, S., Saglam, B., Ergin, B., Gizer, M., Uyanik, I., Boustanabadimaralan Düz, N., Korkusuz, P., Talim, B., Purali, N., Hughes, S.M., Dincer, P.R. (2021) Knockout of zebrafish desmin genes does not cause skeletal muscle degeneration but alters calcium flux. Scientific Reports. 11:7505
Kula-Alwar, D., Marber, M.S., Hughes, S.M., Hinits, Y. (2020) Mef2c factors are required for early but not late addition of cardiomyocytes to the ventricle. Developmental Biology. 470:95-107
Kelu, J.J., Pipalia, T.G., Hughes, S.M. (2020) Circadian regulation of muscle growth independent of locomotor activity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117(49):31208-31218
Ganassi, M., Badodi, S., Wanders, K., Zammit, P.S., Hughes, S.M. (2020) Myogenin is an essential regulator of adult myofibre growth and muscle stem cell homeostasis. eLIFE. 9:
Osborn, D.P.S., Li, K., Cutty, S.J., Nelson, A.C., Wardle, F.C., Hinits, Y., Hughes, S.M. (2020) Fgf-driven Tbx protein activities directly induce myf5 and myod to initiate zebrafish myogenesis. Development (Cambridge, England). 147(8):
Hau, H.T.A., Ogundele, O., Hibbert, A.H., Monfries, C.A.L., Exelby, K., Wood, N.J., Nevarez-Mejia, J., Carbajal, M.A., Fleck, R.A., Dermit, M., Mardakheh, F.K., Williams-Ward, V.C., Pipalia, T.G., Conte, M.R., Hughes, S.M. (2020) Maternal Larp6 controls oocyte development, chorion formation and elevation. Development (Cambridge, England). 147(4):
Ciano, M., Mantellato, G., Connolly, M., Paul-Clark, M., Willis-Owen, S., Moffatt, M.F., Cookson, W.O.C.M., Mitchell, J.A., Polkey, M.I., Hughes, S.M., Kemp, P.R., Natanek, S.A. (2019) EGF receptor (EGFR) inhibition promotes a slow-twitch oxidative, over a fast-twitch, muscle phenotype. Scientific Reports. 9:9218
Kague, E., Hughes, S.M., A Lawrence, E., Cross, S., Martin-Silverstone, E., Hammond, C.L., Hinits, Y. (2019) Scleraxis genes are required for normal musculoskeletal development and for rib growth and mineralization in zebrafish. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 33(8):9116-9130
Ganassi, M., Badodi, S., Ortuste Quiroga, H.P., Zammit, P.S., Hinits, Y., Hughes, S.M. (2018) Myogenin promotes myocyte fusion to balance fibre number and size. Nature communications. 9:4232
Roy, S.D., Williams, V.C., Pipalia, T.G., Li, K., Hammond, C.L., Knappe, S., Knight, R.D., Hughes, S.M. (2017) Myotome adaptability confers developmental robustness to somitic myogenesis in response to fibre number alteration. Developmental Biology. 431(2):321-335
Fin, L., Bergamin, G., Steiner, R.A., Hughes, S.M. (2017) The Cannabinoid Receptor Interacting Proteins 1 of zebrafish are not required for morphological development, viability or fertility. Scientific Reports. 7:4858
Pipalia, T.G., Koth, J., Roy, S.D., Hammond, C.L., Kawakami, K., Hughes, S.M. (2016) Cellular dynamics of regeneration reveals role of two distinct Pax7 stem cell populations in larval zebrafish muscle repair. Disease models & mechanisms. 9(6):671-84
Bajanca, F., Gonzalez-Perez, V., Gillespie, S.J., Beley, C., Garcia, L., Theveneau, E., Sear, R.P., Hughes, S.M. (2015) In vivo dynamics of skeletal muscle Dystrophin in zebrafish embryos revealed by improved FRAP analysis. eLIFE. 4
Attili, S., Hughes, S.M. (2014) Anaesthetic Tricaine Acts Preferentially on Neural Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels and Fails to Block Directly Evoked Muscle Contraction. PLoS One. 9:e103751
Ganassi, M., Badodi, S., Polacchini, A., Baruffaldi, F., Battini, R., Hughes, S.M., Hinits, Y., Molinari, S. (2014) Distinct functions of alternatively spliced isoforms encoded by zebrafish mef2ca and mef2cb. Biochimica et biophysica acta. Gene regulatory mechanisms. 1839(7):559-70
Kulaveerasingam, D., Hinits, Y., Hughes, S. (2014) Modelling cardiac hypertrophy/hyperplasia in the zebrafish. Cardiovascular research. 103 Suppl 1:S58
Yogev, O., Williams, V.C., Hinits, Y., and Hughes, S.M. (2013) eIF4EBP3L acts as a gatekeeper of TORC1 in activity-dependent muscle growth by specifically regulating Mef2ca translational initiation. PLoS Biology. 11(10):e1001679
Minchin, J.E., Williams, V.C., Hinits, Y., Low, S., Tandon, P., Fan, C.M., Rawls, J.F., and Hughes, S.M. (2013) Oesophageal and sternohyal muscle fibres are novel Pax3-dependent migratory somite derivatives essential for ingestion. Development (Cambridge, England). 140(14):2972-2984
Pascoal, S., Esteves de Lima, J., Leslie, J.D., Hughes, S.M., and Saúde, L. (2013) Notch signalling is required for the formation of structurally stable muscle fibres in zebrafish. PLoS One. 8(6):e68021
Hinits, Y., Pan, L., Walker, C., Dowd, J., Moens, C.B., and Hughes, S.M. (2012) Zebrafish Mef2ca and Mef2cb are essential for both first and second heart field cardiomyocyte differentiation. Developmental Biology. 369(2):199-210
Hinits, Y., Williams, V.C., Sweetman, D., Donn, T.M., Ma, T.P., Moens, C.B., and Hughes, S.M. (2011) Defective cranial skeletal development, larval lethality and haploinsufficiency in Myod mutant zebrafish. Developmental Biology. 358(1):102-12
Osborn, D.P., Li, K., Hinits, Y., and Hughes, S.M. (2011) Cdkn1c drives muscle differentiation through a positive feedback loop with Myod. Developmental Biology. 350(2):464-475
Hinits, Y., Osborn, D.P., and Hughes, S.M. (2009) Differential requirements for myogenic regulatory factors distinguish medial and lateral somitic, cranial and fin muscle fibre populations. Development (Cambridge, England). 136(3):403-414
Minchin, J.E., and Hughes, S.M. (2008) Sequential actions of Pax3 and Pax7 drive xanthophore development in zebrafish neural crest. Developmental Biology. 317(2):508-522
Diogo, R., Hinits, Y., and Hughes, S. (2008) Development of mandibular, hyoid and hypobranchial muscles in the zebrafish: homologies and evolution of these muscles within bony fishes and tetrapods. BMC Developmental Biology. 8:24
Böhm, S., Jin, H., Hughes, S.M., Roberts, R.G., and Hinits, Y. (2008) Dystrobrevin and dystrophin family gene expression in zebrafish. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 8(2):71-78
Sparrow, J., Hughes, S.M., and Segalat, L. (2008) Other model organisms for sarcomeric muscle diseases. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 642:192-206
Mann, C.J., Osborn, D.P., and Hughes, S.M. (2007) Vestigial-like-2b (VITO-1b) and Tead-3a (Tef-5a) expression in zebrafish skeletal muscle, brain and notochord. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 7(8):827-836
Hinits, Y., Osborn, D.P., Carvajal, J.J., Rigby, P.W., and Hughes, S.M. (2007) Mrf4 (myf6) is dynamically expressed in differentiated zebrafish skeletal muscle. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 7(7):738-745
Hinits, Y., and Hughes, S.M. (2007) Mef2s are required for thick filament formation in nascent muscle fibres. Development (Cambridge, England). 134(13):2511-2519
Hammond, C.L., Hinits, Y., Osborn, D.P., Minchin, J.E., Tettamanti, G., and Hughes, S.M. (2007) Signals and myogenic regulatory factors restrict pax3 and pax7 expression to dermomyotome-like tissue in zebrafish. Developmental Biology. 302(2):504-521
Jin, H., Tan, S., Hermanowski, J., Bohem, S., Pacheco, S., McCaule, J.M., Greener, M.J., Hinits, Y., Hughes, S.M., Sharpe, P.T., Roberts, R.G., (2007) The dystrotelin, dystrophin and dystrobrevin superfamily: new paralogues and old isoforms. BMC Genomics. 8(1):19
Mann, C.J., Hinits, Y., and Hughes, S.M. (2006) Comparison of neurolin (ALCAM) and neurolin-like cell adhesion molecule (NLCAM) expression in zebrafish. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 6(8):952-963
Devoto, S.H., Stoiber, W., Hammond, C.L., Steinbacher, P., Haslett, J.R., Barresi, M.J., Patterson, S.E., Adiarte, E.G., and Hughes, S.M. (2006) Generality of vertebrate developmental patterns: evidence for a dermomyotome in fish. Evolution & development. 8(1):101-110
Groves, J.A., Hammond, C.L., and Hughes, S.M. (2005) Fgf8 drives myogenic progression of a novel lateral fast muscle fibre population in zebrafish. Development (Cambridge, England). 132(19):4211-4222
Grimaldi, A., Tettamanti, G., Martin, B.L., Gaffield, W., Pownall, M.E., and Hughes, S.M. (2004) Hedgehog regulation of superficial slow muscle fibres in Xenopus and the evolution of tetrapod trunk myogenesis. Development (Cambridge, England). 131(14):3249-3262
Hughes, S.M. (2004) Muscle differentiation: a gene for slow muscle?. Current biology : CB. 14(4):156-157
Hampson, R. and Hughes, S.M. (2003) Acridine mutagenesis of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Mutation research. 525(1-2):1-9
Coutelle, O., Blagden, C.S., Hampson, R., Halai, C., Rigby, P.W.J., and Hughes, S.M. (2001) Hedgehog signalling is required for maintenance of myf5 and myoD expression and timely terminal differentiation in zebrafish adaxial myogenesis. Developmental Biology. 236(1):136-150
Blagden, C.S. and Hughes, S.M. (1999) Extrinsic influences on limb muscle organisation. Cell and tissue research. 296(1):141-150
Hughes, S.M., Blagden, C.S., Li, X., and Grimaldi, A. (1998) The role of hedgehog proteins in vertebrate slow and fast skeletal muscle patterning. Acta physiologica Scandinavica. 163(3):S7-10
Blagden, C.S., P.D. Currie, P.W. Ingham, and S.M. Hughes (1997) Notochord induction of zebrafish slow muscle mediated by Sonic hedgehog. Genes & Development. 11(17):2163-2175