Muscle Development: Developmental events leading to the formation of adult muscular system, which includes differentiation of the various types of muscle cell precursors, migration of myoblasts, activation of myogenesis and development of muscle anchorage.Muscles: Contractile tissue that produces movement in animals.Muscle, Skeletal: A subtype of striated muscle, attached by TENDONS to the SKELETON. Skeletal muscles are innervated and their movement can be consciously controlled. They are also called voluntary muscles.Muscle Proteins: The protein constituents of muscle, the major ones being ACTINS and MYOSINS. More than a dozen accessory proteins exist including TROPONIN; TROPOMYOSIN; and DYSTROPHIN.Muscle Fibers, Skeletal: Large, multinucleate single cells, either cylindrical or prismatic in shape, that form the basic unit of SKELETAL MUSCLE. They consist of MYOFIBRILS enclosed within and attached to the SARCOLEMMA. They are derived from the fusion of skeletal myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, SKELETAL) into a syncytium, followed by differentiation.Muscle, Smooth: Unstriated and unstriped muscle, one of the muscles of the internal organs, blood vessels, hair follicles, etc. Contractile elements are elongated, usually spindle-shaped cells with centrally located nuclei. Smooth muscle fibers are bound together into sheets or bundles by reticular fibers and frequently elastic nets are also abundant. (From Stedman, 25th ed)MyoD Protein: A myogenic regulatory factor that controls myogenesis. Though it is not clear how its function differs from the other myogenic regulatory factors, MyoD appears to be related to fusion and terminal differentiation of the muscle cell.Muscle, Smooth, Vascular: The nonstriated involuntary muscle tissue of blood vessels.Myoblasts: Embryonic (precursor) cells of the myogenic lineage that develop from the MESODERM. They undergo proliferation, migrate to their various sites, and then differentiate into the appropriate form of myocytes (MYOCYTES, SKELETAL; MYOCYTES, CARDIAC; MYOCYTES, SMOOTH MUSCLE).Myoblasts, Skeletal: Precursor cells destined to differentiate into skeletal myocytes (MYOCYTES, SKELETAL).Muscle Contraction: A process leading to shortening and/or development of tension in muscle tissue. Muscle contraction occurs by a sliding filament mechanism whereby actin filaments slide inward among the myosin filaments.Myogenic Regulatory Factors: A family of muscle-specific transcription factors which bind to DNA in control regions and thus regulate myogenesis. All members of this family contain a conserved helix-loop-helix motif which is homologous to the myc family proteins. These factors are only found in skeletal muscle. Members include the myoD protein (MYOD PROTEIN); MYOGENIN; myf-5, and myf-6 (also called MRF4 or herculin).Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch: Skeletal muscle fibers characterized by their expression of the Type II MYOSIN HEAVY CHAIN isoforms which have high ATPase activity and effect several other functional properties - shortening velocity, power output, rate of tension redevelopment. Several fast types have been identified.Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch: Skeletal muscle fibers characterized by their expression of the Type I MYOSIN HEAVY CHAIN isoforms which have low ATPase activity and effect several other functional properties - shortening velocity, power output, rate of tension redevelopment.Myogenin: A myogenic regulatory factor that controls myogenesis. Myogenin is induced during differentiation of every skeletal muscle cell line that has been investigated, in contrast to the other myogenic regulatory factors that only appear in certain cell types.Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5: A SKELETAL MUSCLE-specific transcription factor that contains a basic HELIX-LOOP-HELIX MOTIF. It plays an essential role in MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT.Muscle Denervation: The resection or removal of the innervation of a muscle or muscle tissue.Muscle, Striated: One of two types of muscle in the body, characterized by the array of bands observed under microscope. Striated muscles can be divided into two subtypes: the CARDIAC MUSCLE and the SKELETAL MUSCLE.Muscle Cells: Mature contractile cells, commonly known as myocytes, that form one of three kinds of muscle. The three types of muscle cells are skeletal (MUSCLE FIBERS, SKELETAL), cardiac (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC), and smooth (MYOCYTES, SMOOTH MUSCLE). They are derived from embryonic (precursor) muscle cells called MYOBLASTS.Muscle Fatigue: A state arrived at through prolonged and strong contraction of a muscle. Studies in athletes during prolonged submaximal exercise have shown that muscle fatigue increases in almost direct proportion to the rate of muscle glycogen depletion. Muscle fatigue in short-term maximal exercise is associated with oxygen lack and an increased level of blood and muscle lactic acid, and an accompanying increase in hydrogen-ion concentration in the exercised muscle.Pectoralis Muscles: The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles that make up the upper and fore part of the chest in front of the AXILLA.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Myostatin: A growth differentiation factor that is a potent inhibitor of SKELETAL MUSCLE growth. It may play a role in the regulation of MYOGENESIS and in muscle maintenance during adulthood.Facial Muscles: Muscles of facial expression or mimetic muscles that include the numerous muscles supplied by the facial nerve that are attached to and move the skin of the face. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Embryo, Nonmammalian: The developmental entity of a fertilized egg (ZYGOTE) in animal species other than MAMMALS. For chickens, use CHICK EMBRYO.Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle: Elongated, spindle-shaped, quiescent myoblasts lying in close contact with adult skeletal muscle. They are thought to play a role in muscle repair and regeneration.Myofibrils: The long cylindrical contractile organelles of STRIATED MUSCLE cells composed of ACTIN FILAMENTS; MYOSIN filaments; and other proteins organized in arrays of repeating units called SARCOMERES .Myocytes, Smooth Muscle: Non-striated, elongated, spindle-shaped cells found lining the digestive tract, uterus, and blood vessels. They are derived from specialized myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, SMOOTH MUSCLE).Muscular Diseases: Acquired, familial, and congenital disorders of SKELETAL MUSCLE and SMOOTH MUSCLE.Myosin Heavy Chains: The larger subunits of MYOSINS. The heavy chains have a molecular weight of about 230 kDa and each heavy chain is usually associated with a dissimilar pair of MYOSIN LIGHT CHAINS. The heavy chains possess actin-binding and ATPase activity.Mitochondria, Muscle: Mitochondria of skeletal and smooth muscle. It does not include myocardial mitochondria for which MITOCHONDRIA, HEART is available.Somites: Paired, segmented masses of MESENCHYME located on either side of the developing spinal cord (neural tube). Somites derive from PARAXIAL MESODERM and continue to increase in number during ORGANOGENESIS. Somites give rise to SKELETON (sclerotome); MUSCLES (myotome); and DERMIS (dermatome).PAX7 Transcription Factor: A paired box transcription factor that is involved in EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM and SKELETAL MUSCLE.Neck Muscles: The neck muscles consist of the platysma, splenius cervicis, sternocleidomastoid(eus), longus colli, the anterior, medius, and posterior scalenes, digastric(us), stylohyoid(eus), mylohyoid(eus), geniohyoid(eus), sternohyoid(eus), omohyoid(eus), sternothyroid(eus), and thyrohyoid(eus).Oculomotor Muscles: The muscles that move the eye. Included in this group are the medial rectus, lateral rectus, superior rectus, inferior rectus, inferior oblique, superior oblique, musculus orbitalis, and levator palpebrae superioris.MEF2 Transcription Factors: Activating transcription factors of the MADS family which bind a specific sequence element (MEF2 element) in many muscle-specific genes and are involved in skeletal and cardiac myogenesis, neuronal differentiation and survival/apoptosis.Zebrafish: An exotic species of the family CYPRINIDAE, originally from Asia, that has been introduced in North America. They are used in embryological studies and to study the effects of certain chemicals on development.Chick Embryo: The developmental entity of a fertilized chicken egg (ZYGOTE). The developmental process begins about 24 h before the egg is laid at the BLASTODISC, a small whitish spot on the surface of the EGG YOLK. After 21 days of incubation, the embryo is fully developed before hatching.Muscle Spindles: Skeletal muscle structures that function as the MECHANORECEPTORS responsible for the stretch or myotactic reflex (REFLEX, STRETCH). They are composed of a bundle of encapsulated SKELETAL MUSCLE FIBERS, i.e., the intrafusal fibers (nuclear bag 1 fibers, nuclear bag 2 fibers, and nuclear chain fibers) innervated by SENSORY NEURONS.Extremities: The farthest or outermost projections of the body, such as the HAND and FOOT.Muscle Relaxation: That phase of a muscle twitch during which a muscle returns to a resting position.Respiratory Muscles: These include the muscles of the DIAPHRAGM and the INTERCOSTAL MUSCLES.Muscle Weakness: A vague complaint of debility, fatigue, or exhaustion attributable to weakness of various muscles. The weakness can be characterized as subacute or chronic, often progressive, and is a manifestation of many muscle and neuromuscular diseases. (From Wyngaarden et al., Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p2251)Muscular Atrophy: Derangement in size and number of muscle fibers occurring with aging, reduction in blood supply, or following immobilization, prolonged weightlessness, malnutrition, and particularly in denervation.Papillary Muscles: Conical muscular projections from the walls of the cardiac ventricles, attached to the cusps of the atrioventricular valves by the chordae tendineae.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Sarcomeres: The repeating contractile units of the MYOFIBRIL, delimited by Z bands along its length.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Paired Box Transcription Factors: A family of transcription factors that control EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT within a variety of cell lineages. They are characterized by a highly conserved paired DNA-binding domain that was first identified in DROSOPHILA segmentation genes.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Abdominal Muscles: Muscles forming the ABDOMINAL WALL including RECTUS ABDOMINIS, external and internal oblique muscles, transversus abdominis, and quadratus abdominis. (from Stedman, 25th ed)Mesoderm: The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube.Regeneration: The physiological renewal, repair, or replacement of tissue.Quadriceps Muscle: The quadriceps femoris. A collective name of the four-headed skeletal muscle of the thigh, comprised of the rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis.Zebrafish Proteins: Proteins obtained from the ZEBRAFISH. Many of the proteins in this species have been the subject of studies involving basic embryological development (EMBRYOLOGY).Larva: Wormlike or grublike stage, following the egg in the life cycle of insects, worms, and other metamorphosing animals.Flight, Animal: The use of wings or wing-like appendages to remain aloft and move through the air.Masseter Muscle: A masticatory muscle whose action is closing the jaws.Drosophila Proteins: Proteins that originate from insect species belonging to the genus DROSOPHILA. The proteins from the most intensely studied species of Drosophila, DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER, are the subject of much interest in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Actins: Filamentous proteins that are the main constituent of the thin filaments of muscle fibers. The filaments (known also as filamentous or F-actin) can be dissociated into their globular subunits; each subunit is composed of a single polypeptide 375 amino acids long. This is known as globular or G-actin. In conjunction with MYOSINS, actin is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscle.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Masticatory Muscles: Muscles arising in the zygomatic arch that close the jaw. Their nerve supply is masseteric from the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Cell Fusion: Fusion of somatic cells in vitro or in vivo, which results in somatic cell hybridization.Intercostal Muscles: Respiratory muscles that arise from the lower border of one rib and insert into the upper border of the adjoining rib, and contract during inspiration or respiration. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Desmin: An intermediate filament protein found predominantly in smooth, skeletal, and cardiac muscle cells. Localized at the Z line. MW 50,000 to 55,000 is species dependent.Electromyography: Recording of the changes in electric potential of muscle by means of surface or needle electrodes.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Hindlimb: Either of two extremities of four-footed non-primate land animals. It usually consists of a FEMUR; TIBIA; and FIBULA; tarsals; METATARSALS; and TOES. (From Storer et al., General Zoology, 6th ed, p73)Drosophila: A genus of small, two-winged flies containing approximately 900 described species. These organisms are the most extensively studied of all genera from the standpoint of genetics and cytology.Myosins: A diverse superfamily of proteins that function as translocating proteins. They share the common characteristics of being able to bind ACTINS and hydrolyze MgATP. Myosins generally consist of heavy chains which are involved in locomotion, and light chains which are involved in regulation. Within the structure of myosin heavy chain are three domains: the head, the neck and the tail. The head region of the heavy chain contains the actin binding domain and MgATPase domain which provides energy for locomotion. The neck region is involved in binding the light-chains. The tail region provides the anchoring point that maintains the position of the heavy chain. The superfamily of myosins is organized into structural classes based upon the type and arrangement of the subunits they contain.Animals, Genetically Modified: ANIMALS whose GENOME has been altered by GENETIC ENGINEERING, or their offspring.Isometric Contraction: Muscular contractions characterized by increase in tension without change in length.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Muscular Dystrophies: A heterogeneous group of inherited MYOPATHIES, characterized by wasting and weakness of the SKELETAL MUSCLE. They are categorized by the sites of MUSCLE WEAKNESS; AGE OF ONSET; and INHERITANCE PATTERNS.Neuromuscular Junction: The synapse between a neuron and a muscle.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Diaphragm: The musculofibrous partition that separates the THORACIC CAVITY from the ABDOMINAL CAVITY. Contraction of the diaphragm increases the volume of the thoracic cavity aiding INHALATION.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Body Patterning: The processes occurring in early development that direct morphogenesis. They specify the body plan ensuring that cells will proceed to differentiate, grow, and diversify in size and shape at the correct relative positions. Included are axial patterning, segmentation, compartment specification, limb position, organ boundary patterning, blood vessel patterning, etc.Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Hypertrophy: General increase in bulk of a part or organ due to CELL ENLARGEMENT and accumulation of FLUIDS AND SECRETIONS, not due to tumor formation, nor to an increase in the number of cells (HYPERPLASIA).DNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind to DNA. The family includes proteins which bind to both double- and single-stranded DNA and also includes specific DNA binding proteins in serum which can be used as markers for malignant diseases.Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.Protein Isoforms: Different forms of a protein that may be produced from different GENES, or from the same gene by ALTERNATIVE SPLICING.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Fibroblast Growth Factor 6: A fibroblast growth factor that was initially identified based on its sequence similarity to FIBROBLAST GROWTH FACTOR 4. It is found in MYOBLASTS and plays an important role in MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Limb Buds: Distinct regions of mesenchymal outgrowth at both flanks of an embryo during the SOMITE period. Limb buds, covered by ECTODERM, give rise to forelimb, hindlimb, and eventual functional limb structures. Limb bud cultures are used to study CELL DIFFERENTIATION; ORGANOGENESIS; and MORPHOGENESIS.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Cobra Cardiotoxin Proteins: Most abundant proteins in COBRA venom; basic polypeptides of 57 to 62 amino acids with four disulfide bonds and a molecular weight of less than 7000; causes skeletal and cardiac muscle contraction, interferes with neuromuscular and ganglionic transmission, depolarizes nerve, muscle and blood cell membranes, thus causing hemolysis.Genes, Insect: The functional hereditary units of INSECTS.Morphogenesis: The development of anatomical structures to create the form of a single- or multi-cell organism. Morphogenesis provides form changes of a part, parts, or the whole organism.Chickens: Common name for the species Gallus gallus, the domestic fowl, in the family Phasianidae, order GALLIFORMES. It is descended from the red jungle fowl of SOUTHEAST ASIA.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Psoas Muscles: A powerful flexor of the thigh at the hip joint (psoas major) and a weak flexor of the trunk and lumbar spinal column (psoas minor). Psoas is derived from the Greek "psoa", the plural meaning "muscles of the loin". It is a common site of infection manifesting as abscess (PSOAS ABSCESS). The psoas muscles and their fibers are also used frequently in experiments in muscle physiology.Mice, Inbred C57BLMuscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral: An autosomal dominant degenerative muscle disease characterized by slowly progressive weakness of the muscles of the face, upper-arm, and shoulder girdle. The onset of symptoms usually occurs in the first or second decade of life. Affected individuals usually present with impairment of upper extremity elevation. This tends to be followed by facial weakness, primarily involving the orbicularis oris and orbicularis oculi muscles. (Neuromuscul Disord 1997;7(1):55-62; Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1420)Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Gadiformes: An order of fish including the families Gadidae (cods), Macrouridae (grenadiers), and hakes. The large Gadidae family includes cod, haddock, whiting, and pollock.Tropomyosin: A protein found in the thin filaments of muscle fibers. It inhibits contraction of the muscle unless its position is modified by TROPONIN.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Pupa: An inactive stage between the larval and adult stages in the life cycle of insects.Temporal Muscle: A masticatory muscle whose action is closing the jaws; its posterior portion retracts the mandible.Fetus: The unborn young of a viviparous mammal, in the postembryonic period, after the major structures have been outlined. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after CONCEPTION until BIRTH, as distinguished from the earlier EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Nuclear Proteins: Proteins found in the nucleus of a cell. Do not confuse with NUCLEOPROTEINS which are proteins conjugated with nucleic acids, that are not necessarily present in the nucleus.Twist Transcription Factor: A basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that was originally identified in DROSOPHILA as essential for proper gastrulation and MESODERM formation. It plays an important role in EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT and CELL DIFFERENTIATION of MUSCLE CELLS, and is found in a wide variety of organisms.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Receptors, Cholinergic: Cell surface proteins that bind acetylcholine with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Cholinergic receptors are divided into two major classes, muscarinic and nicotinic, based originally on their affinity for nicotine and muscarine. Each group is further subdivided based on pharmacology, location, mode of action, and/or molecular biology.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Organ Specificity: Characteristic restricted to a particular organ of the body, such as a cell type, metabolic response or expression of a particular protein or antigen.Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.Genes, Lethal: Genes whose loss of function or gain of function MUTATION leads to the death of the carrier prior to maturity. They may be essential genes (GENES, ESSENTIAL) required for viability, or genes which cause a block of function of an essential gene at a time when the essential gene function is required for viability.Ciona intestinalis: The only species of a cosmopolitan ascidian.Metamorphosis, Biological: Profound physical changes during maturation of living organisms from the immature forms to the adult forms, such as from TADPOLES to frogs; caterpillars to BUTTERFLIES.Integrin alpha Chains: The alpha subunits of integrin heterodimers (INTEGRINS), which mediate ligand specificity. There are approximately 18 different alpha chains, exhibiting great sequence diversity; several chains are also spliced into alternative isoforms. They possess a long extracellular portion (1200 amino acids) containing a MIDAS (metal ion-dependent adhesion site) motif, and seven 60-amino acid tandem repeats, the last 4 of which form EF HAND MOTIFS. The intracellular portion is short with the exception of INTEGRIN ALPHA4.Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of FETUSES.Head: The upper part of the human body, or the front or upper part of the body of an animal, typically separated from the rest of the body by a neck, and containing the brain, mouth, and sense organs.Drosophila melanogaster: A species of fruit fly much used in genetics because of the large size of its chromosomes.Trans-Activators: Diffusible gene products that act on homologous or heterologous molecules of viral or cellular DNA to regulate the expression of proteins.SOXD Transcription Factors: A subclass of closely-related SOX transcription factors. In addition to a conserved HMG-BOX DOMAIN, members of this group contain a leucine zipper motif which mediates protein DIMERIZATION.Embryo, Mammalian: The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.Embryonic and Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS or FETUSES.Gene Expression Profiling: The determination of the pattern of genes expressed at the level of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION, under specific circumstances or in a specific cell.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Connectin: A giant elastic protein of molecular mass ranging from 2,993 kDa (cardiac), 3,300 kDa (psoas), to 3,700 kDa (soleus) having a kinase domain. The amino- terminal is involved in a Z line binding, and the carboxy-terminal region is bound to the myosin filament with an overlap between the counter-connectin filaments at the M line.MicroRNAs: Small double-stranded, non-protein coding RNAs, 21-25 nucleotides in length generated from single-stranded microRNA gene transcripts by the same RIBONUCLEASE III, Dicer, that produces small interfering RNAs (RNA, SMALL INTERFERING). They become part of the RNA-INDUCED SILENCING COMPLEX and repress the translation (TRANSLATION, GENETIC) of target RNA by binding to homologous 3'UTR region as an imperfect match. The small temporal RNAs (stRNAs), let-7 and lin-4, from C. elegans, are the first 2 miRNAs discovered, and are from a class of miRNAs involved in developmental timing.WingPharyngeal Muscles: The muscles of the PHARYNX are voluntary muscles arranged in two layers. The external circular layer consists of three constrictors (superior, middle, and inferior). The internal longitudinal layer consists of the palatopharyngeus, the salpingopharyngeus, and the stylopharyngeus. During swallowing, the outer layer constricts the pharyngeal wall and the inner layer elevates pharynx and LARYNX.Homeodomain Proteins: Proteins encoded by homeobox genes (GENES, HOMEOBOX) that exhibit structural similarity to certain prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA-binding proteins. Homeodomain proteins are involved in the control of gene expression during morphogenesis and development (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION, DEVELOPMENTAL).Myotonic Dystrophy: Neuromuscular disorder characterized by PROGRESSIVE MUSCULAR ATROPHY; MYOTONIA, and various multisystem atrophies. Mild INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY may also occur. Abnormal TRINUCLEOTIDE REPEAT EXPANSION in the 3' UNTRANSLATED REGIONS of DMPK PROTEIN gene is associated with Myotonic Dystrophy 1. DNA REPEAT EXPANSION of zinc finger protein-9 gene intron is associated with Myotonic Dystrophy 2.Notochord: A cartilaginous rod of mesodermal cells at the dorsal midline of all CHORDATE embryos. In lower vertebrates, notochord is the backbone of support. In the higher vertebrates, notochord is a transient structure, and segments of the vertebral column will develop around it. Notochord is also a source of midline signals that pattern surrounding tissues including the NEURAL TUBE development.Mice, Mutant Strains: Mice bearing mutant genes which are phenotypically expressed in the animals.Quail: Common name for two distinct groups of BIRDS in the order GALLIFORMES: the New World or American quails of the family Odontophoridae and the Old World quails in the genus COTURNIX, family Phasianidae.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Hedgehog Proteins: A family of intercellular signaling proteins that play and important role in regulating the development of many TISSUES and organs. Their name derives from the observation of a hedgehog-like appearance in DROSOPHILA embryos with genetic mutations that block their action.Caenorhabditis elegans: A species of nematode that is widely used in biological, biochemical, and genetic studies.Biomechanical Phenomena: The properties, processes, and behavior of biological systems under the action of mechanical forces.Sus scrofa: A species of SWINE, in the family Suidae, comprising a number of subspecies including the domestic pig Sus scrofa domestica.Embryonic Induction: The complex processes of initiating CELL DIFFERENTIATION in the embryo. The precise regulation by cell interactions leads to diversity of cell types and specific pattern of organization (EMBRYOGENESIS).GlycogenGene Targeting: The integration of exogenous DNA into the genome of an organism at sites where its expression can be suitably controlled. This integration occurs as a result of homologous recombination.Organogenesis: Formation of differentiated cells and complicated tissue organization to provide specialized functions.Xenopus Proteins: Proteins obtained from various species of Xenopus. Included here are proteins from the African clawed frog (XENOPUS LAEVIS). Many of these proteins have been the subject of scientific investigations in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Enhancer Elements, Genetic: Cis-acting DNA sequences which can increase transcription of genes. Enhancers can usually function in either orientation and at various distances from a promoter.Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins: Proteins from the nematode species CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS. The proteins from this species are the subject of scientific interest in the area of multicellular organism MORPHOGENESIS.Muscular Dystrophy, AnimalNervous System: The entire nerve apparatus, composed of a central part, the brain and spinal cord, and a peripheral part, the cranial and spinal nerves, autonomic ganglia, and plexuses. (Stedman, 26th ed)Tissue Distribution: Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Promoter Regions, Genetic: DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs: Recurring supersecondary structures characterized by 20 amino acids folding into two alpha helices connected by a non-helical "loop" segment. They are found in many sequence-specific DNA-BINDING PROTEINS and in CALCIUM-BINDING PROTEINS.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Muscle Cramp: A sustained and usually painful contraction of muscle fibers. This may occur as an isolated phenomenon or as a manifestation of an underlying disease process (e.g., UREMIA; HYPOTHYROIDISM; MOTOR NEURON DISEASE; etc.). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1398)Crosses, Genetic: Deliberate breeding of two different individuals that results in offspring that carry part of the genetic material of each parent. The parent organisms must be genetically compatible and may be from different varieties or closely related species.Stem Cells: Relatively undifferentiated cells that retain the ability to divide and proliferate throughout postnatal life to provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.Branchial Region: A region, of SOMITE development period, that contains a number of paired arches, each with a mesodermal core lined by ectoderm and endoderm on the two sides. In lower aquatic vertebrates, branchial arches develop into GILLS. In higher vertebrates, the arches forms outpouchings and develop into structures of the head and neck. Separating the arches are the branchial clefts or grooves.Alternative Splicing: A process whereby multiple RNA transcripts are generated from a single gene. Alternative splicing involves the splicing together of other possible sets of EXONS during the processing of some, but not all, transcripts of the gene. Thus a particular exon may be connected to any one of several alternative exons to form a mature RNA. The alternative forms of mature MESSENGER RNA produce PROTEIN ISOFORMS in which one part of the isoforms is common while the other parts are different.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.Microfilament Proteins: Monomeric subunits of primarily globular ACTIN and found in the cytoplasmic matrix of almost all cells. They are often associated with microtubules and may play a role in cytoskeletal function and/or mediate movement of the cell or the organelles within the cell.Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis: Hybridization of a nucleic acid sample to a very large set of OLIGONUCLEOTIDE PROBES, which have been attached individually in columns and rows to a solid support, to determine a BASE SEQUENCE, or to detect variations in a gene sequence, GENE EXPRESSION, or for GENE MAPPING.Insulin-Like Growth Factor I: A well-characterized basic peptide believed to be secreted by the liver and to circulate in the blood. It has growth-regulating, insulin-like, and mitogenic activities. This growth factor has a major, but not absolute, dependence on GROWTH HORMONE. It is believed to be mainly active in adults in contrast to INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR II, which is a major fetal growth factor.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Blotting, Northern: Detection of RNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.Serum Response Factor: A MADS domain-containing transcription factor that binds to the SERUM RESPONSE ELEMENT in the promoter-enhancer region of many genes. It is one of the four founder proteins that structurally define the superfamily of MADS DOMAIN PROTEINS.Adipogenesis: The differentiation of pre-adipocytes into mature ADIPOCYTES.Insect Proteins: Proteins found in any species of insect.DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).RNA: A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. (Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)Mice, Inbred mdx: A strain of mice arising from a spontaneous MUTATION (mdx) in inbred C57BL mice. This mutation is X chromosome-linked and produces viable homozygous animals that lack the muscle protein DYSTROPHIN, have high serum levels of muscle ENZYMES, and possess histological lesions similar to human MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY. The histological features, linkage, and map position of mdx make these mice a worthy animal model of DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY.DNA Primers: Short sequences (generally about 10 base pairs) of DNA that are complementary to sequences of messenger RNA and allow reverse transcriptases to start copying the adjacent sequences of mRNA. Primers are used extensively in genetic and molecular biology techniques.Cell Lineage: The developmental history of specific differentiated cell types as traced back to the original STEM CELLS in the embryo.Cell Division: The fission of a CELL. It includes CYTOKINESIS, when the CYTOPLASM of a cell is divided, and CELL NUCLEUS DIVISION.Leg: The inferior part of the lower extremity between the KNEE and the ANKLE.Physical Exertion: Expenditure of energy during PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Intensity of exertion may be measured by rate of OXYGEN CONSUMPTION; HEAT produced, or HEART RATE. Perceived exertion, a psychological measure of exertion, is included.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Cell Proliferation: All of the processes involved in increasing CELL NUMBER including CELL DIVISION.Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors: A family of DNA-binding transcription factors that contain a basic HELIX-LOOP-HELIX MOTIF.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Muscle Stretching Exercises: Exercises that stretch the muscle fibers with the aim to increase muscle-tendon FLEXIBILITY, improve RANGE OF MOTION or musculoskeletal function, and prevent injuries. There are various types of stretching techniques including active, passive (relaxed), static, dynamic (gentle), ballistic (forced), isometric, and others.Actin Cytoskeleton: Fibers composed of MICROFILAMENT PROTEINS, which are predominately ACTIN. They are the smallest of the cytoskeletal filaments.Muscle Rigidity: Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction which is often a manifestation of BASAL GANGLIA DISEASES. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from MUSCLE SPASTICITY. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p73)Exercise: Physical activity which is usually regular and done with the intention of improving or maintaining PHYSICAL FITNESS or HEALTH. Contrast with PHYSICAL EXERTION which is concerned largely with the physiologic and metabolic response to energy expenditure.3' Untranslated Regions: The sequence at the 3' end of messenger RNA that does not code for product. This region contains transcription and translation regulating sequences.Neural Crest: The two longitudinal ridges along the PRIMITIVE STREAK appearing near the end of GASTRULATION during development of nervous system (NEURULATION). The ridges are formed by folding of NEURAL PLATE. Between the ridges is a neural groove which deepens as the fold become elevated. When the folds meet at midline, the groove becomes a closed tube, the NEURAL TUBE.Transgenes: Genes that are introduced into an organism using GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.NFATC Transcription Factors: A family of transcription factors characterized by the presence of highly conserved calcineurin- and DNA-binding domains. NFAT proteins are activated in the CYTOPLASM by the calcium-dependent phosphatase CALCINEURIN. They transduce calcium signals to the nucleus where they can interact with TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR AP-1 or NF-KAPPA B and initiate GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION of GENES involved in CELL DIFFERENTIATION and development. NFAT proteins stimulate T-CELL activation through the induction of IMMEDIATE-EARLY GENES such as INTERLEUKIN-2.Cell Movement: The movement of cells from one location to another. Distinguish from CYTOKINESIS which is the process of dividing the CYTOPLASM of a cell.Ectoderm: The outer of the three germ layers of an embryo.