Independent evolution of striated muscles in cnidarians and bilaterians

Steinmetz, Patrick R. H., Kraus, Johanna E. M., Larroux, Claire, Hammel, Jorg U., Amon-Hassenzahl, Annette, Houliston, Evelyn, Worheide, Gert, Nickel, Michael, Degnan, Bernard M. and Technau, Ulrich (2012) Independent evolution of striated muscles in cnidarians and bilaterians. Nature, 487 7406: 231-U1508. doi:10.1038/nature11180

Author Steinmetz, Patrick R. H.
Kraus, Johanna E. M.
Larroux, Claire
Hammel, Jorg U.
Amon-Hassenzahl, Annette
Houliston, Evelyn
Worheide, Gert
Nickel, Michael
Degnan, Bernard M.
Technau, Ulrich
Title Independent evolution of striated muscles in cnidarians and bilaterians
Journal name Nature   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-0836
Publication date 2012-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nature11180
Volume 487
Issue 7406
Start page 231
End page U1508
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Striated muscles are present in bilaterian animals (for example, vertebrates, insects and annelids) and some non-bilaterian eumetazoans (that is, cnidarians and ctenophores). The considerable ultrastructural similarity of striated muscles between these animal groups is thought to reflect a common evolutionary origin. Here we show that a muscle protein core set, including a type II myosin heavy chain (MyHC) motor protein characteristic of striated muscles in vertebrates, was already present in unicellular organisms before the origin of multicellular animals. Furthermore, 'striated muscle' and 'non-muscle' myhc orthologues are expressed differentially in two sponges, compatible with a functional diversification before the origin of true muscles and the subsequent use of striated muscle MyHC in fast-contracting smooth and striated muscle. Cnidarians and ctenophores possess striated muscle myhc orthologues but lack crucial components of bilaterian striated muscles, such as genes that code for titin and the troponin complex, suggesting the convergent evolution of striated muscles. Consistently, jellyfish orthologues of a shared set of bilaterian Z-disc proteins are not associated with striated muscles, but are instead expressed elsewhere or ubiquitously. The independent evolution of eumetazoan striated muscles through the addition of new proteins to a pre-existing, ancestral contractile apparatus may serve as a model for the evolution of complex animal cell types.
Keyword Striated muscles
Evolutionary origin
Myosin heavy chain
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 27 June 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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