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Zebrafish muscle development and evolution

A combination of genetic and embryological amenability has placed zebrafish at the forefront of attempts to understand how genes function to control vertebrate development.

The optical transparency of the zebrafish embryo provides the ability to visualise every cell in the forming embryo by simple optical inspection as well as enabling the use of a host of cell labeling and transgenic approaches to dissect embryonic development.

Furthermore, the large-scale mutagenesis of the zebrafish genome has also produced many different classes of mutations that disrupt gene function. We use the many advantages of zebrafish embryology to dissect molecular mechanisms that act to pattern the vertebrate embryo.

    In particular, we are interested in how specific muscle cell types are determined within the developing embryo.

    Funding acknowledgements

    • National Health and Medical Research Council
    • Muscular Dystrophy Association, USA
    • Australian Research Council
    • Human Frontiers Science Program

    Peter D. Currie received his PhD in Drosophila genetics from Syracuse University, New York, USA.

    He undertook postdoctoral training in zebrafish development at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) in London, UK. He has worked as an independent laboratory head at the UK Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, UK and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney, Australia where he headed a research programme focused on skeletal muscle development and regeneration.

    His work is centred on understanding how the small freshwater zebrafish is able to build and regenerate both skeletal and cardiac muscle.

    In 2016 he was appointed Director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He is a recipient of a European Molecular Biology Organization Young Investigators Award and a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship and currently is a Principal Research Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia and an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

    Highlight publications

    Published In

    Berger J, Berger S, Li M, Currie PD.

    Myo18b is essential for sarcomere assembly in fast skeletal muscle.

    Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Mar 15;26(6):1146-1156. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx025.

    Masselink W, Cole NJ, Fenyes F, Berger S, Sonntag C, Wood A, Nguyen PD, Cohen N, Knopf F, Weidinger G, Hall TE, Currie PD.

    A somitic contribution to the apical ectodermal ridge is essential for fin formation.

    Nature. 2016 Jul 28;535(7613):542-6.

    Gurevich DB, Nguyen PD, Siegel AL, Ehrlich OV, Sonntag C, Phan JM, Berger S, Ratnayake D, Hersey L, Berger J, Verkade H, Hall TE, Currie PD.

    Asymmetric division of clonal muscle stem cells coordinates muscle regeneration in vivo.

    Science. 2016 May 19. pii: aad9969. [Epub ahead of print]

    Johanson Z, Boisvert C, Maksimenko A, Currie P, Trinajstic K.

    Development of the Synarcual in the Elephant Sharks (Holocephali; Chondrichthyes): Implications for Vertebral Formation and Fusion.

    PLoS One; 2015 Sep 4;10(9):e0135138. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135138. eCollection 2015.

    Sztal TE, Zhao M, Williams C, Oorschot V, Parslow AC, Giousoh A, Yuen M, Hall TE, Costin A, Ramm G, Bird PI, Busch-Nentwich EM, Stemple DL, Currie PD, Cooper ST, Laing NG, Nowak KJ, Bryson-Richardson RJ.

    Zebrafish models for nemaline myopathy reveal a spectrum of nemaline bodies contributing to reduced muscle function.

    Acta Neuropathol; 2015 Sep;130(3):389-406. doi: 10.1007/s00401-015-1430-3. Epub 2015 May 1.

    Goldshmit Y, Kanner S, Zacs M, Frisca F, Pinto AR, Currie PD, Pinkas-Kramarski R.

    Rapamycin increases neuronal survival, reduces inflammation and astrocyte proliferation after spinal cord injury.

    Mol Cell Neurosci; 2015 Apr 30;68:82-91. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2015.04.006. [Epub ahead of print]

    Berger J, Hall TE, Currie PD.

    Novel transgenic lines to label sarcolemma and myofibrils of the musculature.

    Zebrafish; 2015 Feb;12(1):124-5. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2014.1065. Epub 2015 Jan 2.

    Gurevich D, Siegel A, Currie PD.

    Skeletal myogenesis in the zebrafish and its implications for muscle disease modelling.

    Results Probl Cell Differ. 2015;56:49-76. doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-44608-9_3.

    Goldshmit Y, Frisca F, Kaslin J, Pinto AR, Tang JK, Pébay A, Pinkas-Kramarski R, Currie PD.

    Decreased anti-regenerative effects after spinal cord injury in spry4-/- mice. .

    Neuroscience. 2015 Feb 26;287:104-12. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.12.020. Epub 2014 Dec 22

    Boisvert CA, Martins CL, Edmunds AG, Cocks J, Currie PD.

    Capture, transport, and husbandry of elephant sharks (Callorhinchus milii) adults, eggs, and hatchlings for research and display.

    Zoo Biol; 2015 Jan-Feb;34(1):94-8. doi: 10.1002/zoo.21183. Epub 2014 Nov 14.

    Berger J, Tarakci H, Berger S, Li M, Hall TE, Arner A, Currie PD.

    Loss of Tropomodulin4 in the zebrafish mutant träge causes cytoplasmic rod formation and muscle weakness reminiscent of nemaline myopathy.

    Dis Model Mech; 2014 Dec;7(12):1407-15. doi: 10.1242/dmm.017376. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

    Nguyen PD, Hollway GE, Sonntag C, Miles LB, Hall TE, Berger S, Fernandez KJ, Gurevich DB, Cole NJ, Alaei S, Ramialison M, Sutherland RL, Polo JM, Lieschke GJ, Currie PD.

    Haematopoietic stem cell induction by somite-derived endothelial cells controlled by meox1.

    Nature; 2014 Aug 21;512(7514):314-8. doi: 10.1038/nature13678. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

    Goldshmit, Y., F. Frisca, A.R. Pinto, A. Pebay, J.K. Tang, A.L. Siegel, J. Kaslin, P.D. Currie.

    Fgf2 improves functional recovery-decreasing gliosis and increasing radial glia and neural progenitor cells after spinal cord injury.

    Brain Behav. 2014 Mar;4(2):187-200. doi: 10.1002/brb3.172. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

    Masselink, W., J.C. Wong, B. Liu, J. Fu, P.D. Currie.

    Low-cost silicone imaging casts for zebrafish embryos and larvae.

    Zebrafish. 2014 Feb;11(1):26-31. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2013.0897. Epub 2013 Nov 15.

    Siegel AL, Gurevich DB, Currie PD.

    A myogenic precursor cell that could contribute to regeneration in zebrafish and its similarity to the satellite cell.

    FEBS J. 2013 Sep;280(17):4074-88. doi: 10.1111/febs.12300. Epub 2013 May 24.

    Cole NJ, Hall TE, Don EK, Berger S, Boisvert CA, Neyt C, Ericsson R, Joss J, Gurevich DB, Currie PD.

    Development and evolution of the muscles of the pelvic fin.

    PLoS Biol. 2011 Oct;9(10):e1001168. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001168. Epub 2011 Oct 4.

    Lieschke GJ, Currie PD.

    Animal models of human disease: zebrafish swim into view.

    Nat Rev Genet. 2007 May;8(5):353-67.

    Hollway GE, Bryson-Richardson RJ, Berger S, Cole NJ, Hall TE, Currie PD.

    Whole-somite rotation generates muscle progenitor cell compartments in the developing zebrafish embryo.

    Dev Cell. 2007 Feb;12(2):207-19.

    Daggett DF, Boyd CA, Gautier P, Bryson-Richardson RJ, Thisse C, Thisse B, Amacher SL, Currie PD.

    Developmentally restricted actin-regulatory molecules control morphogenetic cell movements in the zebrafish gastrula.

    Curr Biol. 2004 Sep 21;14(18):1632-8.

    Cortes F, Daggett D, Bryson-Richardson RJ, Neyt C, Maule M, Gautier P, Hollway GE, Keenan D, Currie PD.

    Cadherin-mediated differential cell adhesion controls slow muscle migration in the developing zebrafish myotome.

    Dev Cell. 2003 Dec;5(6):865-76.

    Neyt C, Jagla K, Thisse C, Thisse B, Haines L, Currie PD.

    Evolutionary origins of vertebrate appendicular muscle.

    Nature. 2000 Nov 2;408(6808):82-6.