Sallimus and the dynamics of sarcomere assembly in Drosophila flight muscles

Zacharias Orfanos, Kevin Leonard, Chris Elliott, Anja Katzemich, Belinda Bullard, John Sparrow

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The Drosophila indirect flight muscles (IFM) can be used as a model for the study of sarcomere assembly. Here we use a transgenic line with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) exon inserted into the Z-disc-proximal portion of sallimus (Sls), also known as Drosophila titin, to observe sarcomere assembly during IFM development. Firstly, we confirm that Sls-GFP can be used in the heterozygote state without an obvious phenotype in IFM and other muscles. We then use Sls-GFP in the IFM to show that sarcomeres grow individually and uniformly throughout the fibre, growing linearly in length and in diameter. Finally, we show that limiting the amounts of Sls in the IFM using RNAi leads to sarcomeres with smaller Z-discs in their core, whilst the thick/thin filament lattice can form peripherally without a Z-disc. Thick filament preparations from those muscles show that although the Z-disc-containing core has thick filaments of a regular length, filaments from the peripheral lattice are longer and asymmetrical around the bare zone. Therefore, the Z-disc and Sls are required for thick filament length specification but not for the assembly of the thin/thick filament lattice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2151-2158
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2015

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