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Biochemistry Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 712315, 16 pages
Review Article

At the Start of the Sarcomere: A Previously Unrecognized Role for Myosin Chaperones and Associated Proteins during Early Myofibrillogenesis

Department of Biological Sciences, CW405, Biological Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E9

Received 5 August 2011; Accepted 10 October 2011

Academic Editor: Sanford I. Bernstein

Copyright © 2012 J. Layne Myhre and David B. Pilgrim. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The development of striated muscle in vertebrates requires the assembly of contractile myofibrils, consisting of highly ordered bundles of protein filaments. Myofibril formation occurs by the stepwise addition of complex proteins, a process that is mediated by a variety of molecular chaperones and quality control factors. Most notably, myosin of the thick filament requires specialized chaperone activity during late myofibrillogenesis, including that of Hsp90 and its cofactor, Unc45b. Unc45b has been proposed to act exclusively as an adaptor molecule, stabilizing interactions between Hsp90 and myosin; however, recent discoveries in zebrafish and C. elegans suggest the possibility of an earlier role for Unc45b during myofibrillogenesis. This role may involve functional control of nonmuscle myosins during the earliest stages of myogenesis, when premyofibril scaffolds are first formed from dynamic cytoskeletal actin. This paper will outline several lines of evidence that converge to build a model for Unc45b activity during early myofibrillogenesis.