Myomesin is a 185-kDa protein located in the M-band of striated muscle where it interacts with myosin and titin, possibly connecting thick filaments with the third filament system. By using expression of epitope-tagged myomesin fragments in cultured cardiomyocytes and biochemical binding assays, we could demonstrate that the M-band targeting activity and the myosin-binding site are located in different domains of the molecule. An N-terminal immunoglobulin-like domain is sufficient for targeting to the M-band, but solid-phase overlay assays between individual N-terminal domains and the thick filament protein myosin revealed that the unique head domain contains the myosin-binding site. When expressed in cardiomyocytes, the head domains of rat and chicken myomesin showed species-specific differences in their incorporation pattern. The head domain of rat myomesin localized to a central area within the A-band, whereas the head domain of chicken myomesin was diffusely distributed in the cytoplasm. We therefore conclude that the head domain of myomesin binds to myosin but that this affinity is not sufficient for the restriction of the domain to the M-band in vivo. Instead, the neighboring immunoglobulin-like domain is essential for the precise incorporation of myomesin into the M-band, possibly because of interaction with a yet unknown protein of the sarcomere.
The expression of the myofibrillar M-band proteins myomesin and M- protein was studied in chicken pectoral muscle and heart during differentiation using monoclonal antibodies in a double-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunoblotting, and immunocytochemistry. In presumptive pectoral muscle, myomesin accumulated first, increasing from 2% of the adult concentration at day 7 to 70% by day 16 in ovo. M-protein accumulation lagged 6-7 d behind that of myomesin attaining only 40% of the adult concentration in ovo. The molecular masses of myomesin (185 kD) and M-protein (165 kD) remained constant during embryogenesis. In cultured myogenic cells the accumulation and M-band localization of myomesin preceded that of M- protein by 1.5 d. Chicken heart was shown, in addition to M-protein, to contain unique isoforms of myomesin. In hearts of 6 d embryos, a 195-kD myomesin isoform was the major species; throughout development, however, a transition to a mixture of 195 and 190 kD was observed, the latter being the major species in the adult tissue. During heart differentiation the initial accumulation of myomesin again preceded that of M-protein, albeit on an earlier time scale than in pectoral muscle with M-protein reaching adult proportions first.
The M band of vertebrate cross-striated myofibrils has remained an enigmatic structure. In addition to myosin thick filaments, two major structural proteins, myomesin and M-protein, have been localized to the M band. Also, titin is expected to be anchored in this structure. To begin to understand the molecular layout of these three proteins, a panel of 16 polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies directed against unique epitopes of defined sequence was assembled, and immunoelectron microscopy was used to locate the position of the epitopes at the sarcomere level. The results allow the localization and orientation of defined domains of titin, myomesin, and M-protein at high resolution. The 250-kD carboxy-terminal region of titin clearly enters the M band with the kinase domain situated approximately 52 nm from the central M1- line. The positions of three additional epitopes are compatible with the view that the titin molecule reaches approximately 60 nm into the opposite sarcomere half. Myomesin also seems to bridge the central M1- line and is oriented parallel to the long axis of the myofibril. The neighboring molecules are oriented in an antiparallel and staggered fashion. The amino-terminal portion of the protein, known to contain a myosin binding site, seems to adopt a specific three-dimensional arrangement. While myomesin is present in both slow and fast fibers, M- protein is restricted to fast fibers. It appears to be organized in a fundamentally different manner: the central portion of the polypeptide is around the M1-line, while the terminal epitopes seem to be arranged along thick filaments. This orientation fits the conspicuously stronger M1-lines in fast twitch fibers. Obvious implications of this model are discussed.
The muscle M-band protein myomesin comprises a 36-nm long filament made of repetitive immunoglobulin–helix modules that can stretch to 2.5-fold this length, demonstrating substantial molecular elasticity.
Skeletal and cardiac muscles are remarkable biological machines that support and move our bodies and power the rhythmic work of our lungs and hearts. As well as producing active contractile force, muscles are also passively elastic, which is essential to their performance. The origins of both active contractile and passive elastic forces can be traced to the individual proteins that make up the highly ordered structure of muscle. In this Primer, we describe the organization of sarcomeres—the structural units that produce contraction—and the nature of the proteins that make muscle elastic. In particular, we focus on an elastic protein called myomesin, whose novel modular architecture helps explain elasticity.
The muscle M-band protein myomesin comprises a 36 nm long filament made of repetitive immunoglobulin–helix modules that can stretch to 2.5-fold this length, demonstrating substantial molecular elasticity.
Active muscles generate substantial mechanical forces by the contraction/relaxation cycle, and, to maintain an ordered state, they require molecular structures of extraordinary stability. These forces are sensed and buffered by unusually long and elastic filament proteins with highly repetitive domain arrays. Members of the myomesin protein family function as molecular bridges that connect major filament systems in the central M-band of muscle sarcomeres, which is a central locus of passive stress sensing. To unravel the mechanism of molecular elasticity in such filament-connecting proteins, we have determined the overall architecture of the complete C-terminal immunoglobulin domain array of myomesin by X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, solution X-ray scattering, and atomic force microscopy. Our data reveal a dimeric tail-to-tail filament structure of about 360 Å in length, which is folded into an irregular superhelical coil arrangement of almost identical α-helix/domain modules. The myomesin filament can be stretched to about 2.5-fold its original length by reversible unfolding of these linkers, a mechanism that to our knowledge has not been observed previously. Our data explain how myomesin could act as a highly elastic ribbon to maintain the overall structural organization of the sarcomeric M-band. In general terms, our data demonstrate how repetitive domain modules such as those found in myomesin could generate highly elastic protein structures in highly organized cell systems such as muscle sarcomeres.
The contraction and relaxation cycles of active muscles generate substantial mechanical forces, both axially and radially, that place extraordinary stress on the molecular structures within the muscle fibers. These forces are sensed and buffered by unusually long and elastic filament proteins with highly repetitive domain structures. Myomesin is one such repetitive filament protein that is thought to form bridges between the main contractile filaments of the muscle, providing the muscle structure with resistance in the radial dimension. To investigate how the repetitive structure of myomesin contributes to muscle elasticity, we determined the overall architecture of its complete repetitive domain array using a combination of four complementary structural biology methods. Our study reveals a long, dimeric tail-to-tail filament structure folded into an irregular superhelical coil arrangement of almost identical domain modules separated by short linkers. When we applied tension to these myomesin filaments, we found they could stretch to about 2.5 times their original length by unfolding these linkers, and then return to their original state when the tension was removed. Our findings explain how myomesin might adapt its overall length in response to the changing dimensions of the contracting and relaxing muscle, so acting as a highly elastic ribbon that maintains the overall structural organization of the muscle fibers. More generally, these findings demonstrate how repetitive domain modules, such as those in myomesin, can provide elasticity to highly organized biological structures.
Accumulating data suggest a link between alterations/deficiencies in cytoskeletal proteins and the progression of cardiomyopathy and heart failure, although the molecular basis for this link remains unclear. Cypher/ZASP is a cytoskeletal protein localized in the sarcomeric Z-line. Mutations in its encoding gene have been identified in patients with isolated non-compaction of the left ventricular myocardium, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. To explore the role of Cypher in myocardium and to better understand molecular mechanisms by which mutations in cypher cause cardiomyopathy, we utilized a conditional approach to knockout Cypher, specially in either developing or adult myocardium. Cardiac-specific Cypher knockout (CKO) mice developed a severe form of DCM with disrupted cardiomyocyte ultrastructure and decreased cardiac function, which eventually led to death before 23 weeks of age. A similar phenotype was observed in inducible cardiac-specific CKO mice in which Cypher was specifically ablated in adult myocardium. In both cardiac-specific CKO models, ERK and Stat3 signaling pathways were augmented. Finally, we demonstrate the specific binding of Cypher's PDZ domain to the C-terminal region of both calsarcin-1 and myotilin within the Z-line. In conclusion, our studies suggest that (i) Cypher plays a pivotal role in maintaining adult cardiac structure and cardiac function through protein–protein interactions with other Z-line proteins, (ii) myocardial ablation of Cypher results in DCM with premature death and (iii) specific signaling pathways participate in Cypher mutant-mediated dysfunction of the heart, and may in concert facilitate the progression to heart failure.
Mutations in a variety of myofibrillar genes cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in humans, usually with dominant inheritance and incomplete penetrance. Here, we sought to clarify the functional effects of the previously identified DCM-causing TTN 2-bp insertion mutation (c.43628insAT) and generated a titin knock-in mouse model mimicking the c.43628insAT allele.
Mutant embryos homozygous for the Ttn knock-in mutation developed defects in sarcomere formation and consequently died before E9.5. Heterozygous mice were viable and demonstrated normal cardiac morphology, function and muscle mechanics. mRNA and protein expression studies on heterozygous hearts demonstrated elevated wild-type titin mRNA under resting conditions, suggesting that up-regulation of the wild-type titin allele compensates for the unstable mutated titin under these conditions.
When chronically exposed to angiotensin II or isoproterenol, heterozygous mice developed marked left ventricular dilatation (p<0.05) with impaired fractional shortening (p<0.001) and diffuse myocardial fibrosis (11.95 ± 2.8% versus 3.7 ±1.1%). Thus, this model mimics typical features of human dilated cardiomyopathy and may further our understanding of how titin mutations perturb cardiac function and remodel the heart.
Cardiomyopathy; Development; Sarcomere formation; Genetics; Mouse model; Heart failure; Pathogenesis; Titin
Cardiomyocyte contraction is regulated by phosphorylation of sarcomeric proteins. Throughout the heart regional and transmural differences may exist in protein phosphorylation. In addition, phosphorylation of sarcomeric proteins is altered in cardiac disease. Heterogeneity in protein phosphorylation may be larger in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) as it may be caused by multiple mutations in genes encoding different sarcomeric proteins. Moreover, HCM is characterized by asymmetric remodelling of the heart. In the present study we assessed if local differences in sarcomeric protein phosphorylation are more evident in primary HCM or DCM than in non-failing donors. Thereto, phosphorylation of the two main target proteins of the beta-adrenergic receptor pathway, troponin I (cTnI) and myosin binding protein C (cMyBP-C) was analysed in different parts in the free left ventricular wall of end–stage failing HCM and DCM patients and donors obtained during transplant surgery. Intra-patient variability in protein phosphorylation within tissue samples of approximately 2 g wet weight was comparable between donor, HCM and DCM samples and could partly be attributed to the precision of the technique. Thus, our data indicate that within the precision of the measurements small, biopsy-sized cardiac tissue samples are representative for the region of the free left ventricular wall from which they were obtained.
Cardiomyopathy; Phosphorylation; Physiology
To elucidate the role of cardiac myosin-binding protein-C (MyBP-C) in myocardial structure and function, we have produced mice expressing altered forms of this sarcomere protein. The engineered mutations encode truncated forms of MyBP-C in which the cardiac myosin heavy chain-binding and titin-binding domain has been replaced with novel amino acid residues. Analogous heterozygous defects in humans cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Mice that are homozygous for the mutated MyBP-C alleles express less than 10% of truncated protein in M-bands of otherwise normal sarcomeres. Homozygous mice bearing mutated MyBP-C alleles are viable but exhibit neonatal onset of a progressive dilated cardiomyopathy with prominent histopathology of myocyte hypertrophy, myofibrillar disarray, fibrosis, and dystrophic calcification. Echocardiography of homozygous mutant mice showed left ventricular dilation and reduced contractile function at birth; myocardial hypertrophy increased as the animals matured. Left-ventricular pressure-volume analyses in adult homozygous mutant mice demonstrated depressed systolic contractility with diastolic dysfunction. These data revise our understanding of the role that MyBP-C plays in myofibrillogenesis during cardiac development and indicate the importance of this protein for long-term sarcomere function and normal cardiac morphology. We also propose that mice bearing homozygous familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy–causing mutations may provide useful tools for predicting the severity of disease that these mutations will cause in humans.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a heart muscle disease characterized by ventricular dilatation and impaired systolic function. Patients with DCM suffer from heart failure, arrhythmia, and are at risk of premature death. DCM has a prevalence of one case out of 2500 individuals with an incidence of 7/100,000/year (but may be under diagnosed). In many cases the disease is inherited and is termed familial DCM (FDC). FDC may account for 20–48% of DCM. FDC is principally caused by genetic mutations in FDC genes that encode for cytoskeletal and sarcomeric proteins in the cardiac myocyte. Family history analysis is an important tool for identifying families affected by FDC. Standard criteria for evaluating FDC families have been published and the use of such criteria is increasing. Clinical genetic testing has been developed for some FDC genes and will be increasingly utilized for evaluating FDC families. Through the use of family screening by pedigree analysis and/or genetic testing, it is possible to identify patients at earlier, or even presymptomatic stages of their disease. This presents an opportunity to invoke lifestyle changes and to provide pharmacological therapy earlier in the course of disease. Genetic counseling is used to identify additional asymptomatic family members who are at risk of developing symptoms, allowing for regular screening of these individuals. The management of FDC focuses on limiting the progression of heart failure and controlling arrhythmia, and is based on currently accepted treatment guidelines for DCM. It includes general measures (salt and fluid restriction, treatment of hypertension, limitation of alcohol intake, control of body weight, moderate exercise) and pharmacotherapy. Cardiac resynchronization, implantable cardioverter defibrillators and left ventricular assist devices have progressively expanding usage. Patients with severe heart failure, severe reduction of the functional capacity and depressed left ventricular ejection fraction have a low survival rate and may require heart transplant.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common cardiomyopathy, characterized by ventricular dilatation, systolic dysfunction, and progressive heart failure. DCM is the most common diagnosis leading to heart transplantation and places a significant burden on healthcare worldwide. The advent of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offers an exceptional opportunity for creating disease-specific models, investigating underlying mechanisms, and optimizing therapy. Here we generated cardiomyocytes (CMs) from iPSCs derived from patients of a DCM family carrying a point mutation (R173W) in the gene encoding sarcomeric protein cardiac troponin T. Compared to the control healthy individuals in the same family cohort, DCM iPSC-CMs exhibited altered Ca2+ handling, decreased contractility, and abnormal sarcomeric α-actinin distribution. When stimulated with β-adrenergic agonist, DCM iPSC-CMs showed characteristics of failure such as reduced beating rates, compromised contraction, and significantly more cells with abnormal sarcomeric α-actinin distribution. β-adrenergic blocker treatment and over-expression of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (Serca2a) improved DCM iPSC-CMs function. Our study demonstrated that human DCM iPSC-CMs recapitulated to some extent the disease phenotypes morphologically and functionally, and thus can serve as a useful platform for exploring molecular and cellular mechanisms and optimizing treatment of this particular disease.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), characterized by dilatation and dysfunction of the left ventricle, is an important cause of heart failure. Many mutations in various genes, including cytoskeletal protein genes and contractile protein genes, have been identified in DCM patients, but the mechanisms of how such mutations lead to DCM remain unknown.
Methods and Results
We established the mouse model of DCM by expressing a mutated cardiac α-actin gene, which has been reported in patients with DCM, in the heart (mActin-Tg). mActin-Tg mice showed gradual dilatation and dysfunction of the left ventricle, resulting in death by heart failure. The number of apoptotic cardiomyocytes and protein levels of p53 were increased in the hearts of mActin-Tg mice. Overexpression of Bcl-2 or downregulation of p53 decreased the number of apoptotic cardiomyocytes and improved cardiac function. This mouse model showed a decrease in myofilament calcium sensitivity and activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase IIδ (CaMKIIδ). The inhibition of CaMKIIδ prevented the increase in p53 and apoptotic cardiomyocytes and ameliorated cardiac function.
CaMKIIδ plays a critical role in the development of heart failure in part by accumulation of p53 and induction of cardiomyocyte apoptosis in the DCM mouse model.
apoptosis; CaMKII; cardiomyopathy; heart failure; genes; p53
The tissue specificity of chicken 165,000 M-protein, tentatively names "myomesin", a tightly bound component of the M-line region of adult skeletal and heart myofibrils, was investigated by immunological techniques. Besides skeletal and heart muscle, only thymus (known to contain myogenic cells) was found to contain myomesin. No myomesin could however, be detected in smooth muscle or any other tissue tested. This result was confirmed in vitro on several cultured embryonic cell types. Only skeletal and heart muscle cells, but not smooth muscle or fibroblast cells, showed the presence of myomesin. When the occurrence and the distribution of myomesin during differentiation of breast muscle cells in culture were studied by the indirect immunofluorescence technique, this protein was first detected in postmitotic, nonproliferating myoblasts in a regular pattern of fluorescent cross- striations. In electron micrographs of sections through young myotubes, it could be shown to be present within the forming H-zones of nascent myofibrils. In large myotubes the typical striation pattern in the M- line region of the myofibrils was observed. Synthesis of myomesin measured by incorporation of [35S]methionine into immunoprecipitable protein of differentiating cells increased sharply after approximately 48 h in culture, i.e., at the time when the major myofibrillar proteins are accumulated. No significant amounts of myomesin were, however, found in cells prevented from undergoing normal myogenesis by 5'- bromodeoxyuridine. The results indicate that myomesin (a) is a myofibrillar protein specific for cross-striated muscle, (b) represents a highly specific marker for cross-striated muscle cell differentiation and (c) might play an important role in myofibril assembly and/or maintenance.
Cardiomyopathies are a heterogeneous group of heart muscle disorders and are classified as 1) Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) 2) Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) 3) Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) and 4) Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) as per WHO classification, of which HCM and DCM are common. HCM is a complex but relatively common form of inherited heart muscle disease with prevalence of 1 in 500 individuals and is commonly associated with sarcomeric gene mutations. Cardiac muscle troponin I (TNNI-3) is one such sarcomeric protein and is a subunit of the thin filament-associated troponin-tropomyosin complex involved in calcium regulation of skeletal and cardiac muscle contraction. Mutations in this gene were found to be associated with a history of sudden cardiac death in HCM patients.
Therefore the present study aims to identify for mutations associated with troponin I gene in a set of HCM patients from Indian population.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Mutational analyses of 92 HCM cases were carried out following PCR based SSCP analysis.
The study revealed band pattern variation in 3 cases from a group of 92 HCM patients. This band pattern variation, on sequencing revealed base changes, one at nt 2560 with G>T transversion in exon-5 region with a wobble and others at nt 2479 and nt 2478 with G>C and C>G transversions in the intronic region upstream of the exon 5 on sequencing. Further analysis showed that one of the probands showed apical form of hypertrophy, two others showing asymmetric septal hypertrophy. Two of these probands showed family history of the condition.
Hence, the study supports earlier reports of involvement of TNNI-3 in the causation of apical and asymmetrical forms of hypertrophy.
Genetic variation; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; sudden cardiac death; troponin-I
The genetic study of titin has been notoriously difficult because of its size and complicated alternative splicing routes. Here, we have used zebrafish as an animal model to investigate the functions of individual titin isoforms. We identified 2 titin orthologs in zebrafish, ttna and ttnb, and annotated the full-length genomic sequences for both genes. We found that ttna, but not ttnb, is required for sarcomere assembly in the heart as well as the subsequent establishment of cardiac contractility. In fact, ttna is the earliest sarcomeric mRNA that is expressed in the heart, which makes it an early molecular marker for cardiomyocyte differentiation. Surprisingly, ttna is required for later steps of sarcomere assembly, including the assembly of Z-discs and A-bands, but not for early steps such as the assembly of Z-bodies and nonstriated myosin filaments. Reduction of individual titin isoforms in vivo using morpholino-modified antisense oligonucleotides indicated that (1) both N2B exon—containing and N2A exon—containing isoforms of ttna are required for sarcomere assembly in the heart; (2) N2A exon—containing isoforms of both ttna and ttnb are required for sarcomere assembly in the somites; and (3) the N2B exon—containing isoforms of ttnb are expressed later than other titin isoforms and are probably involved in modulating their expression; however, these isoforms of ttnb are not required for sarcomere assembly. Collectively, our results reveal distinct functions of different titin isoforms and suggest that various phenotypes in “titinopathies” may be attributable to the disruption of different titin isoforms.
zebrafish; sarcomere; genetics; cardiac muscle
We identified a unique family with autosomal dominant heart disease variably expressed as restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and sought to identify the molecular defect that triggered divergent remodeling pathways. Polymorphic DNA markers for nine sarcomeric genes for DCM and/or HCM were tested for segregation with disease. Linkage to eight genes was excluded, but a cardiac troponin T (TNNT2) marker cosegregated with the disease phenotype. Sequencing of TNNT2 identified a heterozygous missense mutation resulting in an I79N substitution, inherited by all nine affected family members but by none of the six unaffected relatives. Mutation carriers were diagnosed with RCM (n = 2), non-obstructive HCM (n = 3), DCM (n = 2), mixed cardiomyopathy (n = 1), and mild concentric left ventricular hypertrophy (n = 1). Endomyocardial biopsy in the proband revealed non-specific fibrosis, myocyte hypertrophy, and no myofibrillar disarray. Restrictive Doppler filling patterns, atrial enlargement, and pulmonary hypertension were observed among family members regardless of cardiomyopathy subtype. Mutation of a sarcomeric protein gene can cause RCM, HCM, and DCM within the same family, underscoring the necessity of comprehensive morphological and physiological cardiac assessment in familial cardiomyopathy screening.
dilated cardiomyopathy; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; mutation; restrictive cardiomyopathy; sarcomere; TNNT2
Cultured cardiac myocytes were stained with antibodies to sarcomeric alpha-actinin, troponin-I, alpha-actin, myosin heavy chain (MHC), titin, myomesin, C-protein, and vinculin. Attention was focused on the distribution of these proteins with respect to nonstriated myofibrils (NSMFs) and striated myofibrils (SMFs). In NSMFs, alpha-actinin is found as longitudinally aligned, irregular approximately 0.3-microns aggregates. Such aggregates are associated with alpha-actin, troponin- I, and titin. These I-Z-I-like complexes are also found as ectopic patches outside the domain of myofibrils in close apposition to the ventral surface of the cell. MHC is found outside of SMFs in the form of discrete fibrils. The temporal-spatial distribution and accumulation of the MHC-fibrils with respect to the I-Z-I-like complexes varies greatly along the length of the NSMFs. There are numerous instances of I-Z-I-like complexes without associated MHC-fibrils, and also cases of MHC-fibrils located many microns from I-Z-I-like complexes. The transition between the terminal approximately 1.7-microns sarcomere of any given SMF and its distal NSMF-tip is abrupt and is marked by a characteristic narrow alpha-actinin Z-band and vinculin positive adhesion plaque. A titin antibody T20, which localizes to an epitope at the Z-band in SMFs, precisely costains the 0.3-microns alpha-actinin aggregates in ectopic patches and NSMFs. Another titin antibody T1, which in SMFs localizes to an epitope at the A-I junction, typically does not stain ectopic patches and NSMFs. Where detectable, the T1- positive material is adjacent to rather than part of the 0.3-microns alpha-actinin aggregates. Myomesin and C-protein are found only in their characteristic sarcomeric locations (even in just perceptible SMFs). These A-band-associated proteins appear to be absent in ectopic patches and NSMFs.
Alternative splicing plays a major role in the adaptation of cardiac function exemplified by the isoform switch of titin, which adjusts ventricular filling. We previously identified a rat strain deficient in titin splicing. Using genetic mapping, we found a loss-of-function mutation in RBM20 as the underlying cause for the pathological titin isoform expression. Mutations in human RBM20 have previously been shown to cause dilated cardiomyopathy. We showed that the phenotype of Rbm20 deficient rats resembles the human pathology. Deep sequencing of the human and rat cardiac transcriptome revealed an RBM20 dependent regulation of alternative splicing. Additionally to titin we identified a set of 30 genes with conserved regulation between human and rat. This network is enriched for genes previously linked to cardiomyopathy, ion-homeostasis, and sarcomere biology. Our studies emphasize the importance of posttranscriptional regulation in cardiac function and provide mechanistic insights into the pathogenesis of human heart failure.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is known to be manifested by mutations in 12 sarcomeric genes and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is known to manifest due to cytoskeletal mutations. Studies have revealed that sarcomeric mutations can also lead to DCM. Therefore, in the present study, we have made an attempt to compare and analyze the genetic variations of beta-myosin heavy chain gene (β-MYH7), which are interestingly found to be common in both HCM and DCM. The underlying pathophysiological mechanism leading to two different phenotypes has been discussed in this study. Till date, about 186 and 73 different mutations have been reported in HCM and DCM, respectively, with respect to this gene.
The screening of β-MYH7 gene in both HCM and DCM has revealed some common genetic variations. The aim of the present study is to understand the pathophysiological mechanism underlying the manifestation of two different phenotypes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
100 controls, 95 HCM and 97 DCM samples were collected. Genomic DNA was extracted following rapid nonenzymatic method as described by Lahiri and Nurnberger (1991), and the extracted DNA was later subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based single stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis to identify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)s/mutations associated with the diseased phenotypes.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:
Similar variations were observed in β-MYH7 exons 7, 12, 19 and 20 in both HCM and DCM. This could be attributed to impaired energy compromise, or to dose effect of the mutant protein, or to even environmental factors/modifier gene effects wherein an HCM could progress to a DCM phenotype affecting both right and left ventricles, leading to heart failure.
Diastolic dysfunction; dose effect; dilated cardiomyopathy; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; single nucleotide polymorphism; systolic dysfunction
Mutations in a sarcomeric protein can cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the opposite ends of a spectrum of phenotypic responses of the heart to mutations. We posit the contracting phenotypes could result from differential effects of the mutant proteins on interactions among the sarcomeric proteins. To test the hypothesis, we generated transgenic mice expressing either cardiac troponin T (cTnT)-Q92 or cTnT-W141, known to cause HCM and DCM, respectively, in the heart.
Methods and results
We phenotyped the mice by echocardiography, histology and immunoblotting, and real-time polymerase chain reaction. We detected interactions between the sarcomeric proteins by co-immunoprecipitation and determined Ca2+ sensitivity of myofibrillar protein ATPase activity by Carter assay. The cTnT-W141 mice exhibited dilated hearts and decreased systolic function. In contrast, the cTnT-Q92 mice showed smaller ventricles and enhanced systolic function. Levels of cardiac troponin I, cardiac α-actin, α-tropomyosin, and cardiac troponin C co-immunoprecipitated with anti-cTnT antibodies were higher in the cTnT-W141 than in the cTnT-Q92 mice, as were levels of α-tropomyosin co-immunoprecipitated with an anti-cardiac α-actin antibody. In contrast, levels of cardiac troponin I co-immunoprecipitated with an anti-cardiac α-actin antibody were higher in the cTnT-Q92 mice. Ca2+ sensitivity of myofibrillar ATPase activity was increased in HCM but decreased in DCM mice compared with non-transgenic mice.
Differential interactions among the sarcomeric proteins containing cTnT-Q92 or cTnT-W141 are responsible for the contrasting phenotypes of HCM or DCM, respectively.
Cardiomyopathy; Genetics; Mutation; Mouse model; Pathogenesis; Fibrosis; Heart failure
Tropomyosin-kappa (TPM1-κ) is a newly discovered tropomyosin (TM) isoform that is exclusively expressed in the human heart and generated by an alternative splicing of the α-TM gene. We reported that TPM1-κ expression was increased in the hearts of patients with chronic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). To increase our understanding of the significance of this shift in isoform population, we generated transgenic (TG) mice expressing TPM1-κ in the cardiac compartment where TPM1-κ replaces 90% of the native TM. We previously showed that there was a significant inhibition of the ability of strongly bound cross-bridges to induce activation of TG myofilaments. Here, we compared the force–Ca2+ relations in detergent extracted (skinned) fiber bundles isolated from non-transgenic (NTG) and TG-TPM1-κ hearts at two sarcomere lengths (SLs). Our data demonstrated a significant decrease in the Ca2+ sensitivity of the myofilaments fromTG-TPM1-κ hearts with no change in the maximum developed tension, length-dependent activation, and the ratio of ATPase rate to tension. There was also no difference in the affinity and cooperativity of Ca2+-binding to troponin in thin filaments reconstituted with either TPM1-κ or α-TM. We also compared protein phosphorylation in NTG and TG-TPM1-κ myofilaments. There was a decrease in the total phosphorylation of TPM1-κ compared to α-TM, but no significant change in other major sarcomeric proteins. Our results identify a novel mode of myofilament desensitization to Ca2+ associated with a DCM linked switch in TM isoform population.
Calcium sensitivity; Tension cost; Thin filament regulation; ATPase; Sarcomeric proteins
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are classic forms of systolic and diastolic heart failure, respectively. Mutations in genes encoding sarcomere and cytoskeletal proteins are major causes of HCM and DCM. MURC, encoding muscle-restricted coiled-coil, a Z line protein, regulates cardiac function in mice. We investigated potential causal role of MURC in human cardiomyopathies.
Methods and Results
We sequenced MURC in 1,199 individuals including 383 probands with DCM, 307 with HCM and 509 healthy controls. We found six heterozygous DCM-specific missense variants (p.N128K, p.R140W, p.L153P, p.S307T, p.P324L and p.S364L) in eight unrelated probands. Variants p.N128K and p.S307T segregated with inheritance of DCM in small families (χ2=8.5, p=0.003). Variants p.N128K, p.R140W, p.L153P and p.S364L were considered probably or possibly damaging. Variant p.P324L recurred in three independent probands, including one proband with a TPM1 mutation (p.M245T). A deletion variant (p.L232-R238del) was present in three unrelated HCM probands but it did not segregate with HCM in a family who also had a MYH7 mutation (p.L970V). The phenotype in mutation carriers was notable for progressive heart failure leading to heart transplantation in four patients, conduction defects and atrial arrhythmias. Expression of mutant MURC proteins in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes transduced with recombinant adenoviruses was associated with reduced RhoA activity, lower mRNA levels of hypertrophic markers and smaller myocyte size as compared to wild type MURC.
MURC mutations impart loss-of-function effects on MURC functions and are likely causal variants in human DCM. The causal role of a deletion mutation in HCM is uncertain.
heart failure; genetics; cardiomyopathy; mutation; RhoA
The M line, which transverses the center of the thick filament region of skeletal muscle sarcomeres, appears to be a complex array of multiple structural elements. To date, two proteins have definitely been shown to be associated with the M line. They are MM-CK, localized in the M 4,4' substriations, and a 165,000-dalton (164 kd) protein, referred to as both M-protein and myomesin. Here we report the positive identification of a third M-line protein of 185 kd. In the course of making monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against a 165-kd fraction, we also obtained mAbs that bound to the M line of isolated myofibrils as detected by indirect immunofluorescence, but recognized a protein band of 185 kd in immunoblotting experiments with either the original immunogen or low ionic strength myofibril extracts as antigenic targets. The evidence that the 185- and 165-kd proteins are distinct protein species is based on the separation of the two proteins into discrete peaks by ion exchange chromatography, the distinctive patterns of their degradation products, and non-cross-reactivity of any of seven mAbs. These mAbs recognize three unique antigenic determinants on the 185-kd molecule and at least two and probably four sites on the 165-kd molecule as determined from competitive binding and immunofluorescence experiments. To resolve the problem of multiple nomenclature for the 165-kd protein, the 185-kd protein will be referred to as myomesin and the 165-kd protein as M-protein.
Patients with inherited dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) frequently die with severe heart failure (HF) or die suddenly with arrhythmias, although these symptoms are not always observed at birth. It remains unclear how and when HF and arrhythmogenic changes develop in these DCM mutation carriers. In order to address this issue, properties of the myocardium and underlying gene expressions were studied using a knock-in mouse model of human inherited DCM caused by a deletion mutation ΔK210 in cardiac troponinT.
By 1 month, DCM mice had already enlarged hearts, but showed no symptoms of HF and a much lower mortality than at 2 months or later. At around 2 months, some would die suddenly with no clear symptoms of HF, whereas at 3 months, many of the survivors showed evident symptoms of HF. In isolated left ventricular myocardium (LV) from 2 month-mice, spontaneous activity frequently occurred and action potential duration (APD) was prolonged. Transient outward (Ito) and ultrarapid delayed rectifier K+ (IKur) currents were significantly reduced in DCM myocytes. Correspondingly, down-regulation of Kv4.2, Kv1.5 and KChIP2 was evident in mRNA and protein levels. In LVs at 3-months, more frequent spontaneous activity, greater prolongation of APD and further down-regulation in above K+ channels were observed. At 1 month, in contrast, infrequent spontaneous activity and down-regulation of Kv4.2, but not Kv1.5 or KChIP2, were observed.
Our results suggest that at least three steps of electrical remodeling occur in the hearts of DCM model mice, and that the combined down-regulation of Kv4.2, Kv1.5 and KChIP2 prior to the onset of HF may play an important role in the premature sudden death in this DCM model. DCM mice at 1 month or before, on the contrary, are associated with low risk of death in spite of inborn disorder and enlarged heart.
Idiopathic cardiomyopathy (ICM) is a primary cardiac disorder associated with abnormalities of ventricular wall thickness, size of ventricular cavity, contraction, relaxation, conduction and rhythm. Over the past two decades, molecular genetic analyses have revealed that mutations in the various genes cause ICM and such information concerning the genetic basis of ICM enables us to speculate the pathogenesis of this heterogeous cardiac disease. This review focuses on the molecular pathogenesis, i.e., genetic abnormalities and functional alterations due to the mutations especially in sarcomere/cytoskeletal components, in three characteristic features of ICM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM). Understanding the functional abnormalities of the sarcomere/cytoskeletal components, in ICM, has unraveled the function of these components not only as a contractile unit but also as a pivot for transduction of biochemical signals.
Idiopathic cardiomyopathy (ICM); mutation; cytoskeletal proteins