College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Biology

Faculty - Jim O. Vigoreaux, Chair


Jim O. Vigoreaux, Professor, Department Chair

  • Ph.D., University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, 1987
  • Research Associate (1987-1991) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Assistant Professor (1991-1996), Associate Professor (1997-2004), Professor and Chair (2005-present) University of Vermont
Area of expertise

muscle biology

Contact Information
Email: Jim Vigoreaux

Office Hours: Mon. 3:00-4:30 and Tues. 1:30-3:00.

Marsh Life Science Building, Rm 120B
Phone: (802) 656-4627

Visit Dr. Vigoreaux's Lab


The Vigoreaux lab is interested in the structural and functional properties of muscles that power oscillatory systems, namely the insect flight muscle and the vertebrate cardiac muscle. We use classical and molecular genetic approaches to study the function of various contractile proteins of the indirect flight muscles (IFM) of Drosophila melanogaster. Our goal is to understand how individual proteins contribute to the structural stability and mechanical properties of the muscle fiber, and to the function of the flight system. This research combines biochemical techniques to analyze protein function, cell imaging techniques to analyze muscle ultrastructure, bioengineering techniques to analyze muscle mechanical properties, and entire flight system measurements. The second area of interest is thin filament regulation of cardiac muscle contraction. A major goal of this research is to understand how changes in phosphorylation of troponin I affect the contractile properties of the heart.

Selected Publications

  • Chakravorty, S. Wadja, M. and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2012) Analysis of mating song in Drosophila muscle mutants. (Invited chapter) In Methods, 56: 87-94. Benian, G. and Bernsteins, S., editors. Elsevier Journals Publishing.
  • Tanner, B.C. W., Miller, M. S., Miller, B. M., Lekkas, P., Irving, T. C., Maughan, D. W . and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2011) COOH-terminal truncation of flightin decreases myofilament lattice organization, cross-bridge binding, and power output in Drosophila indirect flight muscle.
  • Miller, M.S., G.P. Farman, J.M. Braddock, F.N. Soto-Adames, T. C. Irving, J.O. Vigoreaux, and D.W. Maughan. (2011) Regulatory Light Chain Phosphorylation and N-terminal Extension Increase Cross-Bridge Binding and Power Output in Drosophila at In Vivo Myofilament Lattice Spacing. Biophys J., 100: 1737-1746.
  • Miller, M.S., Tanner, B. C. W., Nyland, L., and Vigoreaux J. O. (2010) Comparative biomechanics of thick filaments and thin filaments with functional consequences for muscle contraction. (Invited review) J. Biomed & Biotech., Vol 2010, Article ID 473423, 14 pages; doi:10.1155/2010/473423.
  • Contompasis, J., Nyland, L., Maughan, D. and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2010) Flightin is necessary for length determination, structural integrity and large bending stiffness of insect flight muscle thick filaments. J. Mol. Biol, 395: 340-348.
  • Chakravorty, S. and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2010) Amplification of orthologous genes using degenerate primers (Invited chapter). In vitro Mutagenesis Protocols. Third Edition. Braman, J., editor. Humana Press, pp 175-185.
  • Farman, G.P., Miller, M.S., M.C. Reedy, F.N. Soto-Adames, J.O. Vigoreaux, D.W. Maughan, and T.C. Irving (2009) Phosphorylation and the N-terminal extension of the Regulatory light chain help orient and align the myosin heads in Drosophila flight muscle.J. Structural Biol., 168: 240-249.
  • Nyland, L. R., Palmer, B. P., Chen, Z., Maughan, D. W., Seidman, C. E., Seidman, J. G., Kreplak, L., and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2009) Cardiac myosin binding protein-C is essential for thick filament stability and flexural rigidity. Biophys. J., 96: 3273-3280.
  • Kreplak, L., Nyland, L., Contompasis, J. L., and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2009) Nanomechanics of native thick filaments from indirect flight muscles. J. Mol. Biol., 386: 1403-1410.
  • Previs, M. J., VanBuren, P., Begin, K. J., Vigoreaux, J. O., LeWinter, M. M., and Matthews, D. E. (2008) Absolute Quantification of Protein Phosphorylation by Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. Anal Chem., 80: 5864-5872
  • Miller, M.S., P. Lekkas, J. M. Braddock, G. P. Farman, B. Ballif, T. C. Irving, D. W. Maughan, and J. O. Vigoreaux (2008) Aging enhances indirect flight muscle fiber performance yet decreases flight ability in Drosophila. Biophys. J. 95:2391-2401. (Full text (PDF)
  • Barton, B, Ayer, G., Maughan, D. W., and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2007) Site Directed Mutagenesis of Drosophila Flightin Disrupts Phosphorylation and Impairs Flight Muscle Structure and Mechanics. J. Muscle Res Cell Motil, 28: 219-230. Full text (PDF)
  • Vigoreaux, J. (2006) Nature's Versatile Engine: Insect Flight Muscle Inside and Out. Editor, Springer/Landes Bioscience, New York/Georgetown. LINK
  • Barton, B., Ayer, G., Heymann, G. Maughan, D. Lehmann, F., and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2005) Flight muscle properties and aerodynamic performance of Drosophila expressing a flightin transgene. J. Exp. Biol., 208: 549-560.
  • Maughan, D. Henkin, J., and Vigoreaux, J. (2005) Concentrations of glycolytic enzymes and other cytosolic proteins in the diffusible fraction of a vertebrate muscle proteome. Mol. Cell Proteomics 4.10: 1541-1549.
  • Henkin, J., Maughan, D. W. and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2004) Mutations that affect flightin expression in Drosophila alter the viscoelastic properties of flight muscle fibers. Amer. J. Physiol., Cell Physiol., 286: C65-C72. Full text (PDF)
  • Swank, D. and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2004) The Development of the Flight and Leg Muscle. In Comprehensive Molecular Insect Science. Volume 2, 45-84. Gilbert, L.I., Iatrou, K., and Gill, S. editors. Elsevier, Oxford. LINK
  • Vigoreaux, J. O. (2001) Genetics of the Drosophila flight muscle myofibril: A window into the biology of complex systems. BioEssays 23: 1047-1063. Full text (PDF)
  • Reedy, M. C., Bullard, B., and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2000) Flightin is essential for thick filament assembly and sarcomere stability in Drosophila flight muscles. J. Cell Biol. 151: 1483-1500. Full text (PDF)
  • Maughan, D. W. and Vigoreaux, J. O. (1999) An integrative view of insect flight muscle: genes, motor molecules and motion. News In Physiol. Science. 14, 87-92. Full text (PDF)
  • Vigoreaux, J. O., Hernandez, C., Moore, J., Ayer, G. and Maughan, D. (1998) The effect of a genetic deficiency that spans the Drosophila flightin gene on the ultrastructure and function of the flight muscles. J. Exp. Biol. 201, 2033-2044. Full text (PDF)

  • Vigoreaux, J.O. and Tobin, S.L. (1987) Stage-specific selection of alternative transcriptional initiation sites from the 5C actin gene of Drosophila melanogaster. Genes and Development 1: 1161-1171.
  • Burn, T.C., Vigoreaux, J.O., and Tobin, S.L. (1989) Alternative 5C actin transcripts are localized in different patterns during Drosophila embryogenesis. Developmental Biology 131, 345-355.
  • Saide, J.D., Chin-Bow, S., Hogan-Sheldon, J., Turner, L., Vigoreaux, J.O., Valgiersdottir, K. and Pardue, M.L. (1989) Characterization of components of Z bands in the fibrillar flight muscle of Drosophila melanogaster. J. Cell Biology, 109, 2157-2167. Full text (PDF)
  • Vigoreaux, J.O., Saide, J.D., and Pardue, M.L. (1991) Structurally different Drosophila striated muscles utilize distinct variants of Z band-associated proteins. J. Muscle Res. Cell Motil. 12, 340-354.
  • Ayme-Southgate, A., Vigoreaux, J.O., Benian, G., and Pardue, M.L. (1991). Drosophila has a twitchin/titin-related gene that appears to encode projectin. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 88, 7973-7977. Full text (PDF)
  • Vigoreaux, J. O., Saide, J. S., Valgeirsdottir, K. and Pardue, M. L. (1993) Flightin, a novel myofibrillar protein of Drosophila stretch-activated muscles. J. Cell Biol. 121, 587-598.
  • Vigoreaux, J. O. (1994) The muscle Z band: Lessons in stress management. J. Muscle Res. Cell Motil. 15, 237-255.
  • Vigoreaux, J. O. and Perry, L. M. (1994) Multiple isoelectric variants of flightin in Drosophila stretch-activated muscles are generated by temporally regulated phosphorylations. J. Muscle Res. Cell Motil. 15, 607-616.
  • Vigoreaux, J. O. (1994) Alterations in flightin phosphorylation in Drosophila flight muscles are associated with myofibrillar defects engendered by actin and myosin heavy chain mutant alleles. Biochem. Genetics 32, 301-314.
  • Kronert, W. A., O'Donnell, P. T., Fieck, A., Lawn, A., Vigoreaux, J. O., Sparrow, J. C. and Bernstein, S. I. (1995) Defects in the myosin rod permit normal thick filament assembly but cause muscle degeneration. J. Mol. Biol. 249, 111-125.
  • Dickinson, M., Hyatt, C., Lehmann, F-O., Moore, J., Reedy, M. C., Simcox, A., Tohtong, R., Vigoreaux, J.O., Yamashita, H. and Maughan, D. (1997) Phosphorylation-dependent power output of transgenic flies: an integrated study. Biophys. J. 73, 3122-3134.
  • Maughan, D., Moore, J., Vigoreaux, J., Barnes, B. and Mulieri, L. A. (1998) Work production and work absorption in muscle strips from vertebrate cardiac and insect flight muscle fibers. Adv. Exp. Biol. Med. 453, 471-480.
  • Moore, J., Vigoreaux, J. O. and Maughan, D.W. (1999) The Drosophila projectin mutant, bentD, has reduced stretch activation and altered indirect flight muscle kinetics. J. Muscle Res. Cell Motil. 20: 797-806.
  • Vigoreaux, J. O., Moore, J. R., and Maughan, D. W. (2000) Role of the elastic protein projectin in stretch activation and work output of Drosophila flight muscles. In "Elastic filaments of the Cell". Pollack, G. and Granzier, H., editors. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. pp 237-250
  • Moore, J. R., Dickinson, M. H., Vigoreaux, J. O., and Maughan, D. W. (2000) Removal of the 46 amino acid N-terminal extension of the Drosophila myosin regulatory light chain has little effect on the stretch activation response of the indirect flight muscles. Biophys J. 78: 1431-1440. Full text (PDF)
  • Irving, T., Bhattacharya, S., Tesic, I., Moore, J., Simcox, A. Vigoreaux, J., and Maughan, D. (2001) Changes in myofibrillar structure and function produced by N-terminal deletion of the regulatory light chain in Drosophila. J. Muscle Res. Cell Motil. , 22: 675-683.
  • Ayer, G. and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2003) Flightin is a myosin rod binding protein. Cell Biochem. Biophys. 38: 41-54.
  • Nongthomba, U., Cummins, M, Clark, S., Vigoreaux, J. O., and Sparrow, J. C. (2003) Suppression of the muscle hypercontraction phenotype by mutations in the myosin heavy chain gene of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 164: 209-222.
  • Henkin, J., Jennings, M. E., Matthews, D. E., and Vigoreaux, J. O. (2004) Mass Processing2 - An improved technique for protein identification with MS data. J. Biomolecular Tech., 15: 227-233. Full text (PDF)
  • Maughan, D. and Vigoreaux, J. (2005) Nature's strategy for optimizing power generation in insect flight muscle. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 565: 157-166; discussion 167, 371-377 (also in Mysteries about the sliding filament mechanism: Fifty years after its proposal, Sugi, H, editor. Kluwer Press). Full text (PDF)
  • Barton, B. and Vigoreaux, J. (2006) Novel myosin associated proteins, in Nature's Versatile Engine: Insect Flight Muscle Inside and Out, Vigoreaux, J. editor, Springer/Landes Bioscience, New York/Georgetown. pp 86-96.
  • Henkin, J. and Vigoreaux, J. (2006) Mapping myofibrillar protein interactions by mutational proteomics, in Nature's Versatile Engine: Insect Flight Muscle Inside and Out, Vigoreaux, J. editor, Springer/Landes Bioscience, New York/Georgetown. pp 270-283.
  • Vishnudas, V. and Vigoreaux, J. (2006) Achieving sustained performance: possible strategies for coordinating energetic supply and demand, in Nature's Versatile Engine: Insect Flight Muscle Inside and Out, Vigoreaux, J. editor, Springer/Landes Bioscience, New York/Georgetown. pp 188-196.
  • Vigoreaux, J. (2006) Molecular basis of muscle structure, in Muscle Development in Drosophila, H. Sink, editor. Springer/Landes Bioscience, New York/Georgetown. pp 143-156. Full text (PDF)
  • Previs, M. J., VanBuren, P., Begin, K. J., Vigoreaux, J. O., LeWinter, M. M., and Matthews, D. E. (2008) Absolute Quantification of Protein Phosphorylation by Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. Anal Chem., 80: 5864-5872. Full text (PDF)
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