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Title: Myostatin-like proteins regulate synaptic function and neuronal morphology.
Authors: Augustin, H
McGourty, K
Steinert, JR
Cochemé, HM
Adcott, J
Cabecinha, M
Vincent, A
Halff, EF
Kittler, JT
Boucrot, E
Partridge, L
First Published: 4-Jul-2017
Publisher: The Company of Biologists Ltd
Citation: Development, 144 (13), pp. 2445-2455
Abstract: Growth factors of the TGFβ superfamily play key roles in regulating neuronal and muscle function. Myostatin (or GDF8) and GDF11 are potent negative regulators of skeletal muscle mass. However, expression of myostatin and its cognate receptors in other tissues, including brain and peripheral nerves, suggests a potential wider biological role. Here, we show that Myoglianin (MYO), the Drosophila homolog of myostatin and GDF11, regulates not only body weight and muscle size, but also inhibits neuromuscular synapse strength and composition in a Smad2-dependent manner. Both myostatin and GDF11 affected synapse formation in isolated rat cortical neuron cultures, suggesting an effect on synaptogenesis beyond neuromuscular junctions. We also show that MYO acts in vivo to inhibit synaptic transmission between neurons in the escape response neural circuit of adult flies. Thus, these anti-myogenic proteins act as important inhibitors of synapse function and neuronal growth.
DOI Link: 10.1242/dev.152975
eISSN: 1477-9129
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2017. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Description: Supplementary information available online at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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