The purpose of this study was to investigate whether MURC/cavin-4, a plasma membrane and Z-line associated protein exhibiting an overlapping distribution with Caveolin-3 (Cav-3) in heart and muscle tissues, may be expressed and play a role in rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), an aggressive myogenic tumor affecting childhood. We found MURC/cavin-4 to be expressed, often concurrently with Cav-3, in mouse and human RMS, as demonstrated through in silico analysis of gene datasets and immunohistochemical analysis of tumor samples. In vitro expression studies carried out using human cell lines and primary mouse tumor cultures showed that expression levels of both MURC/cavin-4 and Cav-3, while being low or undetectable during cell proliferation, became robustly increased during myogenic differentiation, as detected via semi-quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblotting analysis. Furthermore, confocal microscopy analysis performed on human RD and RH30 cell lines confirmed that MURC/cavin-4 mostly marks differentiated cell elements, colocalizing at the cell surface with Cav-3 and labeling myosin heavy chain (MHC) expressing cells. Finally, MURC/cavin-4 silencing prevented the differentiation in the RD cell line, leading to morphological cell impairment characterized by depletion of myogenin, Cav-3 and MHC protein levels. Overall, our data suggest that MURC/cavin-4, especially in combination with Cav-3, may play a consistent role in the differentiation process of RMS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)