The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 649 - 655 (2011)

Vol 55, Issue 6

Cytoskeletal heart-enriched actin-associated protein (CHAP) is expressed in striated and smooth muscle cells in chick and mouse during embryonic and adult stages

Developmental Expression Pattern | Published: 2 September 2011

Willemijn van Eldik1,2, Abdelaziz Beqqali1, Jantine Monshouwer-Kloots1, Christine Mummery1 and Robert Passier*,1

1Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Leiden and 2Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands (ICIN), Utrecht, The Netherlands


We recently identified a new Z-disc protein, CHAP (Cytoskeletal Heart-enriched Actin-associated Protein), which is expressed in striated muscle and plays an important role during embryonic muscle development in mouse and zebrafish. Here, we confirm and further extend these findings by (i) the identification and characterization of the CHAP orthologue in chick and (ii) providing a detailed analysis of CHAP expression in mouse during embryonic and adult stages. Chick CHAP contains a PDZ domain and a nuclear localization signal, resembling the human and mouse CHAPa. CHAP is expressed in the developing heart and somites, as well as muscle precursors of the limb buds in mouse and chick embryos. CHAP expression in heart and skeletal muscle is maintained in adult mice, both in slow and fast muscle fibers. Moreover, besides expression in striated muscle, we demonstrate that CHAP is expressed in smooth muscle cells of aorta, carotid and coronary arteries in adult mice, but not during embryonic development.


smooth muscle, skeletal muscle, heart, z-disc, adult, vascular

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