Synemin isoforms during mouse development: Multiplicity of partners in vascular and neuronal systems

Araksya Izmiryan, Claudio Areias Franco, Denise Paulin*, Zhenlin Li, Zhigang Xue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The intermediate filament (IF) synemin gene encodes three IF proteins (H 180, M 150, L 41 kDa isoforms) with overlapping distributions. In the present study we analysed the mRNA and protein expression of each isoform in developing mouse embryos. Synemin M mRNA was present as early as E5 with vimentin and nestin. Synemin H was found later at E9 in the nervous system and mesodermic derivatives concomitantly with angiogenesis, somitogenesis and the migration of neural crest cells. Synemin L appeared later in neurons at E15. Furthermore, the synemin isoforms required different IF partners depending on the cell type to form filamentous structures. In endothelial cells, synemin H/M were found associated with vimentin and were absent in vimentin-null mice. In neurons of the peripheral nervous system of E15 embryos, synemin H/M or L were co-expressed with neurofilament, peripherin and internexin. In adult mice, our data support the existence of different subpopulations of neurons within the dorsal root ganglia: one composed of small neurons containing synemin H/M and peripherin, and another composed of large neurons containing synemin L and neurofilaments. Axons devoid of neurofilaments from mutant mice (NFHLacZ) showed an absence of the L isoform but contained H/M isoforms with peripherin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-783
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Desmuslin
  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Endothelium
  • Nestin
  • Neurofilaments
  • NFHLacZ mice
  • Peripherin
  • Vimentin
  • Vimentin null mice


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