Myosin isoform expression in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials: Functional differences between arboreal and terrestrial opossums

J. E. Rupert, E. Cordero Schmidt, A. Moreira-Soto, B. Rodríguez Herrera, J. L. Vandeberg, M. T. Butcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prehensile tails are defined as having the ability to grasp objects and are commonly used as a fifth appendage during arboreal locomotion. Despite the independent evolution of tail prehensility in numerous mammalian genera, data relating muscle structure, physiology, and function of prehensile tails are largely incomplete. Didelphid marsupials make an excellent model to relate myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform fiber type with structure/function of caudal muscles, as all opossums have a prehensile tail and tail use varies between arboreal and terrestrial forms. Expanding on our previous work in the Virginia opossum, this study tests the hypothesis that arboreal and terrestrial opossums differentially express faster versus slower MHC isoforms, respectively. MHC isoform expression and percent fiber type distribution were determined in the flexor caudae longus (FCL) muscle of Caluromys derbianus (arboreal) and Monodelphis domestica (terrestrial), using a combination of gel electrophoresis and immunohistochemistry analyses. C. derbianus expresses three MHC isoforms (1, 2A, 2X) that are distributed (mean percentage) as 8.2% MHC-1, 2.6% 1/2A, and 89.2% 2A/X hybrid fibers. M. domestica also expresses MHC-1, 2A, and 2X, in addition to the 2B isoform, distributed as 17.0% MHC-1, 1.3% 1/2A, 9.0% 2A, 75.2% 2A/X, and 0.3% 2X/B hybrid fibers. The distribution of similar isoform fiber types differed significantly between species (P<0.001). Although not statistically significant, C. derbianus was observed to have larger cross-sectional area (CSA) for each corresponding fiber type along with a greater amount of extra-cellular matrix. An overall faster fiber type composition (and larger fibers) in the tail of an arboreal specialist supports our hypothesis, and correlates with higher muscle force required for tail hanging and arboreal maneuvering on terminal substrates. Conversely, a broader distribution of highly oxidative fibers in the caudal musculature is well suited for tail nest building/remodeling behaviors of terrestrial opossums. Anat Rec, 297:1364-1376, 2014.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1364-1376
Number of pages13
JournalAnatomical Record
Volume297
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Opossums
Marsupialia
marsupial
opossums
Myosins
myosin
Metatheria
Myosin Heavy Chains
myosin heavy chains
Tail
Protein Isoforms
tail
Monodelphis
muscle
Monodelphis domestica
Muscles
muscles
Didelphis virginiana
fibre
Locomotion

Keywords

  • Caluromys
  • Fiber type
  • Monodelphis
  • Muscle
  • Prehensile
  • Tail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biotechnology

Cite this

Rupert, J. E., Schmidt, E. C., Moreira-Soto, A., Herrera, B. R., Vandeberg, J. L., & Butcher, M. T. (2014). Myosin isoform expression in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials: Functional differences between arboreal and terrestrial opossums. Anatomical Record, 297(8), 1364-1376. https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.22948

Myosin isoform expression in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials : Functional differences between arboreal and terrestrial opossums. / Rupert, J. E.; Schmidt, E. Cordero; Moreira-Soto, A.; Herrera, B. Rodríguez; Vandeberg, J. L.; Butcher, M. T.

In: Anatomical Record, Vol. 297, No. 8, 2014, p. 1364-1376.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rupert, JE, Schmidt, EC, Moreira-Soto, A, Herrera, BR, Vandeberg, JL & Butcher, MT 2014, 'Myosin isoform expression in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials: Functional differences between arboreal and terrestrial opossums', Anatomical Record, vol. 297, no. 8, pp. 1364-1376. https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.22948
Rupert, J. E. ; Schmidt, E. Cordero ; Moreira-Soto, A. ; Herrera, B. Rodríguez ; Vandeberg, J. L. ; Butcher, M. T. / Myosin isoform expression in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials : Functional differences between arboreal and terrestrial opossums. In: Anatomical Record. 2014 ; Vol. 297, No. 8. pp. 1364-1376.
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abstract = "Prehensile tails are defined as having the ability to grasp objects and are commonly used as a fifth appendage during arboreal locomotion. Despite the independent evolution of tail prehensility in numerous mammalian genera, data relating muscle structure, physiology, and function of prehensile tails are largely incomplete. Didelphid marsupials make an excellent model to relate myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform fiber type with structure/function of caudal muscles, as all opossums have a prehensile tail and tail use varies between arboreal and terrestrial forms. Expanding on our previous work in the Virginia opossum, this study tests the hypothesis that arboreal and terrestrial opossums differentially express faster versus slower MHC isoforms, respectively. MHC isoform expression and percent fiber type distribution were determined in the flexor caudae longus (FCL) muscle of Caluromys derbianus (arboreal) and Monodelphis domestica (terrestrial), using a combination of gel electrophoresis and immunohistochemistry analyses. C. derbianus expresses three MHC isoforms (1, 2A, 2X) that are distributed (mean percentage) as 8.2{\%} MHC-1, 2.6{\%} 1/2A, and 89.2{\%} 2A/X hybrid fibers. M. domestica also expresses MHC-1, 2A, and 2X, in addition to the 2B isoform, distributed as 17.0{\%} MHC-1, 1.3{\%} 1/2A, 9.0{\%} 2A, 75.2{\%} 2A/X, and 0.3{\%} 2X/B hybrid fibers. The distribution of similar isoform fiber types differed significantly between species (P<0.001). Although not statistically significant, C. derbianus was observed to have larger cross-sectional area (CSA) for each corresponding fiber type along with a greater amount of extra-cellular matrix. An overall faster fiber type composition (and larger fibers) in the tail of an arboreal specialist supports our hypothesis, and correlates with higher muscle force required for tail hanging and arboreal maneuvering on terminal substrates. Conversely, a broader distribution of highly oxidative fibers in the caudal musculature is well suited for tail nest building/remodeling behaviors of terrestrial opossums. Anat Rec, 297:1364-1376, 2014.",
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