We evaluated ankyrin repeat domain 1 (ANKRD1), the gene encoding cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP), as a novel candidate gene for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) through mutation analysis of a cohort of familial or idiopathic DCM patients, based on the hypothesis that inherited dysfunction of mechanical stretch-based signaling is present in a subset of DCM patients.
CARP, a transcription coinhibitor, is a member of the titin-N2A mechanosensory complex and translocates to the nucleus in response to stretch. It is up-regulated in cardiac failure and hypertrophy and represses expression of sarcomeric proteins. Its overexpression results in contractile dysfunction.
In all, 208 DCM patients were screened for mutations/variants in the coding region of ANKRD1 using polymerase chain reaction, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography, and direct deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing. In vitro functional analyses of the mutation were performed using yeast 2-hybrid assays and investigating the effect on stretch-mediated gene expression in myoblastoid cell lines using quantitative real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction.
Three missense heterozygous ANKRD1 mutations (P105S, V107L, and M184I) were identified in 4 DCM patients. The M184I mutation results in loss of CARP binding with Talin 1 and FHL2, and the P105S mutation in loss of Talin 1 binding. Intracellular localization of mutant CARP proteins is not altered. The mutations result in differential stretch-induced gene expression compared with wild-type CARP.
ANKRD1 is a novel DCM gene, with mutations present in 1.9% of DCM patients. The ANKRD1 mutations may cause DCM as a result of disruption of the normal cardiac stretch-based signaling.
DCM; CARP; ANKRD1; mutations
A proteomic-based search for novel substrates of Akt was undertaken in C2C12 murine muscle cells. Our data demonstrate that Akt isoform 2 phosphorylates Ankrd2 at Serine 99 in response to H2O2 stimuli, regulating muscle differentiation rate.
Activation of Akt-mediated signaling pathways is crucial for survival, differentiation, and regeneration of muscle cells. A proteomic-based search for novel substrates of Akt was therefore undertaken in C2C12 murine muscle cells exploiting protein characterization databases in combination with an anti–phospho-Akt substrate antibody. A Scansite database search predicted Ankrd2 (Ankyrin repeat domain protein 2, also known as ARPP) as a novel substrate of Akt. In vitro and in vivo studies confirmed that Akt phosphorylates Ankrd2 at Ser-99. Moreover, by kinase assay with recombinant Akt1 and Akt2, as well as by single-isoform silencing, we demonstrated that Ankrd2 is a specific substrate of Akt2. Ankrd2 is typically found in skeletal muscle cells, where it mediates the transcriptional response to stress conditions. In an attempt to investigate the physiological implications of Ankrd2 phosphorylation by Akt2, we found that oxidative stress induced by H2O2 triggers this phosphorylation. Moreover, the forced expression of a phosphorylation-defective mutant form of Ankrd2 in C2C12 myoblasts promoted a faster differentiation program, implicating Akt-dependent phosphorylation at Ser-99 in the negative regulation of myogenesis in response to stress conditions.
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) is an effective anti-cancer drug, but its clinical usage is limited by a dose-dependent cardiotoxicity characterized by widespread sarcomere disarray and loss of myofilaments. Cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP, ANKRD1) is a transcriptional regulatory protein that is extremely susceptible to doxorubicin; however, the mechanism(s) of doxorubicin-induced CARP depletion and its specific role in cardiomyocytes have not been completely defined. We report that doxorubicin treatment in cardiomyocytes resulted in inhibition of CARP transcription, depletion of CARP protein levels, inhibition of myofilament gene transcription, and marked sarcomere disarray. Knockdown of CARP with small interfering RNA (siRNA) similarly inhibited myofilament gene transcription and disrupted cardiomyocyte sarcomere structure. Adenoviral overexpression of CARP, however, was unable to rescue the doxorubicin-induced sarcomere disarray phenotype. Doxorubicin also induced depletion of the cardiac transcription factor GATA4 in cardiomyocytes. CARP expression is regulated in part by GATA4, prompting us to examine the relationship between GATA4 and CARP in cardiomyocytes. We show in co-transfection experiments that GATA4 operates upstream of CARP by activating the proximal CARP promoter. GATA4-siRNA knockdown in cardiomyocytes inhibited CARP expression and myofilament gene transcription, and induced extensive sarcomere disarray. Adenoviral overexpression of GATA4 (AdV-GATA4) in cardiomyocytes prior to doxorubicin exposure maintained GATA4 levels, modestly restored CARP levels, and attenuated sarcomere disarray. Interestingly, siRNA-mediated depletion of CARP completely abolished the Adv-GATA4 rescue of the doxorubicin-induced sarcomere phenotype. These data demonstrate co-dependent roles for GATA4 and CARP in regulating sarcomere gene expression and maintaining sarcomeric organization in cardiomyocytes in culture. The data further suggests that concurrent depletion of GATA4 and CARP in cardiomyocytes by doxorubicin contributes in large part to myofibrillar disarray and the overall pathophysiology of anthracycline cardiomyopathy.
Ankrd 13A, 13B, and 13D constitute a family of ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM)-bearing cytoplasmic proteins. They are anchored to the plasma membrane, where they recognize the Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chains tagged to ligand-activated EGF receptor and regulate the endocytosis of EGF receptor from the cell surface in mammalian cells.
The mechanism of ubiquitin-dependent endocytosis of cell surface proteins is not completely understood. Here we examine the role of the ankyrin repeat domain (Ankrd) 13A, 13B, and 13D proteins, which constitute a functionally unknown family of ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM)–bearing proteins, in the process. Stimulation of human HeLa cells with epidermal growth factor (EGF) rapidly induced direct binding of Ankrd 13 proteins to ubiquitinated EGF receptor (EGFR) via the UIMs. The binding was inhibited when the Ankrd 13 proteins underwent UIM-dependent monoubiquitination, suggesting that their activity is regulated by ubiquitination of themselves. Ankrd 13 proteins bound specifically to Lys-63–linked ubiquitin chains, which was consistent with a previous report that EGFR mainly undergoes Lys-63–linked polyubiquitination. Ankrd 13 proteins were anchored, via the central region and UIMs, to the plasma membrane, where they colocalized with EGFR. Finally, overexpression of wild-type as well as truncated-mutant Ankrd 13 proteins strongly inhibited rapid endocytosis of ubiquitinated EGFR from the surface in EGF-treated cells. We conclude that by binding to the Lys-63–linked polyubiquitin moiety of EGFR at the plasma membrane, Ankrd 13 proteins regulate the rapid internalization of ligand-activated EGFR.
Partial inactivation of the Ankyrin repeat domain 26 (Ankrd26) gene causes obesity and diabetes in mice and increases spontaneous and induced adipogenesis in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. However, it is not yet known how the Ankrd26 protein carries out its biological functions. We identified by yeast two-hybrid and immunoprecipitation assays the triple functional domain protein (TRIO), the G protein pathway suppressor 2 (GPS2), the delta-interacting protein A (DIPA) and the hyaluronan-mediated motility receptor (HMMR) as ANKRD26 interacting partners. Adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells was increased by selective down-regulation of Ankrd26, Trio, Gps2, Hmmr and Dipa. Furthermore, GPS2 and DIPA, which are normally located in the nucleus, were translocated to the cytoplasm, when the C-terminus of ANKRD26 was introduced into these cells. These findings provide biochemical evidence that ANKRD26, TRIO, GPS2 and HMMR are novel and important regulators of adipogenisis and identify new targets for the modulation of adipogenesis.
DOCK180 is an atypical guanine nucleotide exchange factor of Rac1 identified originally as one of the two major proteins bound to the SH3 domain of the Crk adaptor protein. DOCK180 induces tyrosine phosphorylation of p130Cas, and recruits the Crk-p130Cas complex to focal adhesions. Recently, we searched for DOCK180-binding proteins with a nano-LC/MS/MS system, and found that ANKRD28, a protein with twenty-six ankyrin domain-repeats, interacts with the SH3 domain of DOCK180. Knockdown of ANKRD28 reduced the migration velocity and altered the distribution of focal adhesion proteins such as Crk, paxillin and p130Cas. On the other hand, the expression of ANKRD28, p130Cas, Crk and DOCK180 induced hyper-phosphorylation of p130Cas, which paralleled the induction of multiple long cellular processes. Depletion of ELMO, another protein bound to the SH3 domain of DOCK180, also retarded cell migration, but its expression together with p130Cas, Crk and DOCK180 induced extensive lamellipodial protrusion around the entire circumference without 130Cas hyperphosphorylation. These data suggest the dual modes of DOCK180-Rac regulation for cell migration.
ankyrin; Rac; p130Cas; DOCK180; paxillin; Crk; migration; focal adhesion
Monoclonal antibodies specific for the muscle protein titin have been used in conjunction with muscle-specific antibodies against myofibrillar myosin heavy chains (MHCs) and desmin to study myogenesis in cultured cells. Desmin synthesis is initiated in replicating presumptive myoblasts, whereas the synthesis of titin and MHC is initiated simultaneously in their progeny, the postmitotic, mononucleated myoblasts. Both titin and MHC are briefly localized to nonstriated and thereafter to definitively striated myofibrils. At no stage during myofibrillogenesis is either protein observed as part of a sequence of mini-sarcomeres. Titin antibodies bind to the A-I junction, MHC antibodies to the A bands in nascent, maturing, and mature myofibrils. In contrast, desmin remains distributed as longitudinal filaments until well after the definitive myofibrils have aligned laterally. This tight temporal and topographical linkage between titin and myosin is also observed in postmitotic, mononucleated myoblasts and multinucleated myotubes when myofibrillogenesis is perturbed with Colcemid or taxol. Colcemid induces elongating postmitotic mononucleated myoblasts and multinucleated myotubes to round up and form Colcemid myosacs. The myofibrils that emerge in these rounded cells are deployed in convoluted circles. The time required for their nonstriated myofibrils to transform into striated myofibrils is greatly protracted. Furthermore, as Colcemid induces immense desmin intermediate filament cables, the normal spatial relationships between emerging individual myofibrils is distorted. Despite these disturbances at all stages, the characteristic temporal and spatial relationship observed in normal myofibrils between titin and MHC is observed in myofibrils assembling in Colcemid-treated cells. Newly born postmitotic mononucleated myoblasts, or maturing myotubes, reared in taxol acquire a star-shaped configuration and are induced to assemble "pseudo- striated myofibrils." Pseudo-striated myofibrils consist of laterally aggregated 1.6-micron long, thick filaments that interdigitate, not with thin filaments, but with long microtubules. These atypical myofibrils lack Z bands. Despite the absence of thin filaments and Z bands, titin localizes with its characteristics sarcomeric periodicity in pseudo-striated myofibrils. We conclude that the initiation and subsequent regulation of titin and myosin synthesis, and their spatial deployment within developing sarcomeres are tightly coupled events. These findings are discussed in terms of a model that proposes interaction between two relatively autonomous "organizing centers" in the assembly of each sarcomere.
Titin proteins play an essential role in maintaining muscle function and structure. Recent work has implicated the involvement of the novex-3 titin isoform in sarcomere restructuring and disease. Unlike avian and mammalian systems, Xenopus laevis myogenesis is characterized by a wave of primary myogenesis followed by apoptosis of the primary muscles and formation of new muscles by secondary myogenesis. We show here that the Xenopus laevis novex-3 titin isoform (Xtn3) is developmentally expressed throughout the somites, heart, and primary muscles of the developing embryo. Downregulation of Xtn3 expression at tadpole stages appears to coincide with the change in myofiber composition from solely embryonic “fast” fiber types to myofibers containing both “fast” and “slow” fiber types. We demonstrate that Xtn3 is expressed early in the presomitic mesoderm and remains expressed in the somites, ventral myoblasts, and developing jaw muscles through late tailbud stage. Furthermore, we show that Xtn3 is expressed in the cardiac primordia prior to linear heart tube formation and remains expressed in the heart until tadpole stage, at which point it is downregulated in the heart except in discrete patches of cardiac cells. Finally, we demonstrate that Xtn3 transcripts are detectable in adult heart and muscle tissues.
Titin; TTN; Novex; Xtn3; Cardiogenesis; Cardiac; Heart; Somite; Muscle; Skeletal muscle; Pharyngeal; Myoblast; Myogenesis; Somitogenesis; Myofibril; Sarcomere; Development; Xenopus
Titin is a giant filamentous protein traversing the half sarcomere of striated muscle with putative functions as diverse as providing structural template, generating elastic response, and sensing and relaying mechanical information. The Z-disk region of titin, which corresponds to the N-terminal end of the molecule, has been thought to be a hot spot for mechanosensing while also serving as anchorage for its sarcomeric attachment. Understanding the mechanics of titin's Z-disk region, particularly under the effect of binding proteins, is of great interest. Here we briefly review recent findings on the structure, molecular associations, and mechanics of titin's Z-disk region. In addition, we report experimental results on the dynamic strength of titin's Z1Z2 domains measured by nanomechanical manipulation of the chemical dimer of a recombinant protein fragment.
The formation of contractile myofibrils requires the stepwise onset of expression of muscle specific proteins. It is likely that elucidation of the expression patterns of muscle-specific sarcomeric proteins is important to understand muscle disorders originating from defects in contractile sarcomeric proteins.
We investigated the expression profile of a panel of sarcomeric components with a focus on proteins associated with a group of congenital disorders. The analyses were performed in cultured human skeletal muscle cells during myoblast proliferation and myotube development.
Our culture technique resulted in the development of striated myotubes and the expression of adult isoforms of the sarcomeric proteins, such as fast TnI, fast TnT, adult fast and slow MyHC isoforms and predominantly skeletal muscle rather than cardiac actin. Many proteins involved in muscle diseases, such as beta tropomyosin, slow TnI, slow MyBPC and cardiac TnI were readily detected in the initial stages of muscle cell differentiation, suggesting the possibility of an early role for these proteins as constituent of the developing contractile apparatus during myofibrillogenesis. This suggests that in disease conditions the mechanisms of pathogenesis for each of the mutated sarcomeric proteins might be reflected by altered expression patterns, and disturbed assembly of cytoskeletal, myofibrillar structures and muscle development.
In conclusion, we here confirm that cell cultures of human skeletal muscle are an appropriate tool to study developmental stages of myofibrillogenesis. The expression of several disease-associated proteins indicates that they might be a useful model system for studying the pathogenesis of muscle diseases caused by defects in specific sarcomeric constituents.
Myogenesis; Sarcomere; Myoblast; Skeletal muscle
Contrary to prior models in which titin serves as a stable scaffold in sarcomeres, sarcomeric and soluble titin exchange dynamically in myofibers when calcium levels are low.
The giant muscle protein titin is an essential structural component of the sarcomere. It forms a continuous periodic backbone along the myofiber that provides resistance to mechanical strain. Thus, the titin filament has been regarded as a blueprint for sarcomere assembly and a prerequisite for stability. Here, a novel titin-eGFP knockin mouse provided evidence that sarcomeric titin is more dynamic than previously suggested. To study the mobility of titin in embryonic and neonatal cardiomyocytes, we used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and investigated the contribution of protein synthesis, contractility, and calcium load to titin motility. Overall, the kinetics of lateral and longitudinal movement of titin-eGFP were similar. Whereas protein synthesis and developmental stage did not alter titin dynamics, there was a strong, inhibitory effect of calcium on titin mobility. Our results suggest a model in which the largely unrestricted movement of titin within and between sarcomeres primarily depends on calcium, suggesting that fortification of the titin filament system is activity dependent.
The pathophysiological mechanisms of both familial and sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are unknown, although growing evidence suggests that skeletal muscle tissue is a primary target of ALS toxicity. Skeletal muscle biopsies were performed on transgenic SOD1G93A mice, a mouse model of ALS, to determine genetic biomarkers of disease longevity. Mice were anesthetized with isoflurane, and three biopsy samples were obtained per animal at the three main stages of the disease. Transcriptional expression levels of seventeen genes, Ankrd1, Calm1, Col19a1, Fbxo32, Gsr, Impa1, Mef2c, Mt2, Myf5, Myod1, Myog, Nnt, Nogo A, Pax7, Rrad, Sln and Snx10, were tested in each muscle biopsy sample. Total RNA was extracted using TRIzol Reagent according to the manufacturer's protocol, and variations in gene expression were assayed by real-time PCR for all of the samples. The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to determine the linear correlation between transcriptional expression levels throughout disease progression and longevity. Consistent with the results obtained from total skeletal muscle of transgenic SOD1G93A mice and 74-day-old denervated mice, five genes (Mef2c, Gsr, Col19a1, Calm1 and Snx10) could be considered potential genetic biomarkers of longevity in transgenic SOD1G93A mice. These results are important because they may lead to the exploration of previously unexamined tissues in the search for new disease biomarkers and even to the application of these findings in human studies.
Previously, we reported that chromosomes contain a giant filamentous protein, which we identified as titin, a component of muscle sarcomeres. Here, we report the sequence of the entire titin gene in Drosophila melanogaster, D-Titin, and show that it encodes a two-megadalton protein with significant colinear homology to the NH2-terminal half of vertebrate titin. Mutations in D-Titin cause chromosome undercondensation, chromosome breakage, loss of diploidy, and premature sister chromatid separation. Additionally, D-Titin mutants have defects in myoblast fusion and muscle organization. The phenotypes of the D-Titin mutants suggest parallel roles for titin in both muscle and chromosome structure and elasticity, and provide new insight into chromosome structure.
chromosome condensation; Drosophila melanogaster; myoblast fusion; sarcomere; titin
Titin (also called connectin) acts as a scaffold for signaling proteins in muscle, and is responsible for establishing and maintaining the structure and elasticity of sarcomeres in striated muscle. Several human muscular dystrophies and cardiomyopathies have previously been linked to mutations in the titin gene. This study reports linkage of the runzel homozygous lethal muscular dystrophy in the zebrafish Danio rerio to a genomic interval containing the titin gene. Analysis of the genomic sequence suggests that zebrafish contain two adjacent titin loci. One titin locus lies within the genetic linkage interval and its expression is significantly reduced in runzel mutants by both immunofluorescence and protein electrophoresis. Morpholino downregulation of this same titin locus in wildtype embryos results in decreased muscle organization and mobility, phenocopying runzel mutants. Additional protein analysis demonstrates that, in wildtype zebrafish, titin isoform sizes are rapidly altered during the development of striated muscle, likely requiring a previously unrecognized need for vertebrate sarcomere remodeling to incorporate developmentally-regulated titin isoforms. Decreases of affected titin isoforms in runzel mutants during this time correlate with a progressive loss of sarcomeric organization and suggest that the unaffected titin proteins are capable of sarcomerogenesis but not sarcomere maintenance. In addition, microarray analysis of the ruz transcriptome suggests a novel mechanism of dystrophy pathogenesis, involving mild increases in calpain-3 expression and upregulation of heat shock proteins. These studies should lead to a better understanding of titin’s role in normal and diseased muscle.
The Wnts are secreted proteins that play important roles in skeletal myogenesis, muscle fiber type diversification, neuromuscular junction formation and muscle stem cell function. How Wnt proteins orchestrate such diverse activities remains poorly understood. Canonical Wnt signaling stabilizes β-catenin, which subsequently translocate to the nucleus to activate the transcription of TCF/LEF family genes.
We employed TCF-reporter mice and performed analysis of embryos and of muscle groups. We further isolated fetal myoblasts and performed cell and molecular analyses.
We found that canonical Wnt signaling is strongly activated during fetal myogenesis and weakly activated in adult muscles limited to the slow myofibers. Muscle-specific transgenic expression of a stabilized β-catenin protein led to increased oxidative myofibers and reduced muscle mass, suggesting that canonical Wnt signaling promotes slow fiber types and inhibits myogenesis. By TCF-luciferase reporter assay, we identified Wnt-1 and Wnt-3a as potent activators of canonical Wnt signaling in myogenic progenitors. Consistent with in vivo data, constitutive overexpression of Wnt-1 or Wnt-3a inhibited the proliferation of both C2C12 and primary myoblasts. Surprisingly, Wnt-1 and Wnt-3a overexpression up-regulated BMP-4, and inhibition of BMP-4 by shRNA or recombinant Noggin protein rescued the myogenic inhibitory effect of Wnt-1 and Wnt-3a. Importantly, Wnt-3a or BMP-4 recombinant proteins promoted slow myosin heavy chain expression during myogenic differentiation of fetal myoblasts.
These results demonstrate a novel interaction between canonical Wnt and BMP signaling that induces myogenic differentiation towards slow muscle phenotype.
Skeletal muscle; Fetal myoblasts; Canonical Wnt signaling; BMP4 signaling; Differentiation; Slow muscle specification
Myofibrillogenesis in striated muscles is a highly complex process that depends on the coordinated assembly and integration of a large number of contractile, cytoskeletal, and signaling proteins into regular arrays, the sarcomeres. It is also associated with the stereotypical assembly of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and the transverse tubules around each sarcomere. Three giant, muscle-specific proteins, titin (3–4 MDa), nebulin (600–800 kDa), and obscurin (~720–900 kDa), have been proposed to play important roles in the assembly and stabilization of sarcomeres. There is a large amount of data showing that each of these molecules interacts with several to many different protein ligands, regulating their activity and localizing them to particular sites within or surrounding sarcomeres. Consistent with this, mutations in each of these proteins have been linked to skeletal and cardiac myopathies or to muscular dystrophies. The evidence that any of them plays a role as a “molecular template,” “molecular blueprint,” or “molecular ruler” is less definitive, however. Here we review the structure and function of titin, nebulin, and obscurin, with the literature supporting a role for them as scaffolding molecules and the contradictory evidence regarding their roles as molecular guides in sarcomerogenesis.
Assembly of the higher-order structure of mitotic chromosomes is a prerequisite for proper chromosome condensation, segregation and integrity. Understanding the details of this process has been limited because very few proteins involved in the assembly of chromosome structure have been discovered. Using a human autoimmune scleroderma serum that identifies a chromosomal protein in human cells and Drosophila embryos, we cloned the corresponding Drosophila gene that encodes the homologue of vertebrate titin based on protein size, sequence similarity, developmental expression and subcellular localization. Titin is a giant sarcomeric protein responsible for the elasticity of striated muscle that may also function as a molecular scaffold for myofibrillar assembly. Molecular analysis and immunostaining with antibodies to multiple titin epitopes indicates that the chromosomal and muscle forms of titin may vary in their NH2 termini. The identification of titin as a chromosomal component provides a molecular basis for chromosome structure and elasticity.
The contractile activity of striated muscle depends on myofibrils that are highly ordered macromolecular complexes. The protein components of myofibrils are well characterized, but it remains largely unclear how signaling at the molecular level within the sarcomere and the control of assembly are coordinated. We show that the Rho GTPase TC10 appears during differentiation of human primary skeletal myoblasts and it is active in differentiated myotubes. We identify obscurin, a sarcomere-associated protein, as a specific activator of TC10. Indeed, TC10 binds directly to obscurin via its predicted RhoGEF motif. Importantly, we demonstrate that obscurin is a specific activator of TC10 but not the Rho GTPases Rac and Cdc42. Finally, we show that inhibition of TC10 activity by expression of a dominant-negative mutant or its knockdown by expression of specific shRNA block myofibril assembly. Our findings reveal a novel signaling pathway in human skeletal muscle that involves obscurin and the Rho GTPase TC10 and implicate this pathway in new sarcomere formation.
Cell Differentiation; Cells, Cultured; Enzyme Activation; Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors; chemistry; metabolism; Humans; Muscle Fibers, Skeletal; cytology; enzymology; Muscle Proteins; chemistry; metabolism; Myofibrils; enzymology; Organogenesis; Phosphorylation; Protein Binding; Protein Structure, Tertiary; RNA, Small Interfering; metabolism; Sarcomeres; enzymology; metabolism; p21-Activated Kinases; metabolism; rho GTP-Binding Proteins; antagonists & inhibitors; metabolism; Myofibrillogenesis; Rho GTPase; Obscurin
Obscurin is an ∼800-kDa protein composed of structural and signaling domains that organizes contractile structures in striated muscle. We have studied the Rho-GEF domain of obscurin to understand its roles in morphogenesis and signaling. We used adenoviral overexpression of this domain, together with ultrastructural and immunofluorescence methods, to examine its effect on maturing myofibrils. We report that overexpression of the Rho-GEF domain specifically inhibits the incorporation of titin into developing Z-disks and disrupts the structure of the Z-disk and Z/I junction, and alters features of the A/I junction. The organization of other sarcomeric markers, including α-actinin, was not affected. We identified Ran binding protein 9 (RanBP9) as a novel ligand of the Rho-GEF domain and showed that binding is specific, with an apparent binding affinity of 1.9 μM. Overexpression of the binding region of RanBP9 also disrupted the incorporation of titin into developing Z-disks. Immunofluorescence localization during myofibrillogenesis indicated that the Rho-GEF domain assembles into sarcomeres before RanBP9, which first occurs in myonuclei and later in development translocates to the myoplasm, where it colocalizes with obscurin. Both the Rho-GEF domain and its binding region on RanBP9 bind directly to the N-terminal Ig domains of titin, which flank the Z-disk. Our results suggest that the Rho-GEF domain interacts with RanBP9 and that both can interact with the N-terminal region of titin to influence the formation of the Z-disk and A/I junction.
Abstract. Titin (also known as connectin) is a giant protein that spans half of the striated muscle sarcomere. In the I-band titin extends as the sarcomere is stretched, developing what is known as passive force. The I-band region of titin contains tandem Ig segments (consisting of serially linked immunoglobulin-like domains) with the unique PEVK segment in between (Labeit, S., and B. Kolmerer. 1995. Science. 270:293–296). Although the tandem Ig and PEVK segments have been proposed to behave as stiff and compliant springs, respectively, precise experimental testing of the hypothesis is still needed. Here, sequence-specific antibodies were used to mark the ends of the tandem Ig and PEVK segments. By following the extension of the segments as a function of sarcomere length (SL), their respective contributions to titin's elastic behavior were established. In slack sarcomeres (∼2.0 μm) the tandem Ig and PEVK segments were contracted. Upon stretching sarcomeres from ∼2.0 to 2.7 μm, the “contracted” tandem Ig segments straightened while their individual Ig domains remained folded. When sarcomeres were stretched beyond ∼2.7 μm, the tandem Ig segments did not further extend, instead PEVK extension was now dominant. Modeling tandem Ig and PEVK segments as entropic springs with different bending rigidities (Kellermayer, M., S. Smith, H. Granzier, and C. Bustamante. 1997. Science. 276:1112–1116) indicated that in the physiological SL range (a) the Ig-like domains of the tandem Ig segments remain folded and (b) the PEVK segment behaves as a permanently unfolded polypeptide. Our model provides a molecular basis for the sequential extension of titin's different segments. Initially, the tandem Ig segments extend at low forces due to their high bending rigidity. Subsequently, extension of the PEVK segment occurs only upon reaching sufficiently high external forces due to its low bending rigidity. The serial linking of tandem Ig and PEVK segments with different bending rigidities provides a unique passive force–SL relation that is not achievable with a single elastic segment.
Titin, a sarcomeric protein expressed primarily in striated muscles, is responsible for maintaining the structure and biomechanical properties of muscle cells. Cardiac titin undergoes developmental size reduction from 3.7 megadaltons in neonates to primarily 2.97 megadaltons in the adult. This size reduction results from gradually increased exon skipping between exons 50 and 219 of titin mRNA. Our previous study reported that Rbm20 is the splicing factor responsible for this process. In this work, we investigated its molecular mechanism. We demonstrate that Rbm20 mediates exon skipping by binding to titin pre-mRNA to repress the splicing of some regions; the exons/introns in these Rbm20-repressed regions are ultimately skipped. Rbm20 was also found to mediate intron retention and exon shuffling. The two Rbm20 speckles found in nuclei from muscle tissues were identified as aggregates of Rbm20 protein on the partially processed titin pre-mRNAs. Cooperative repression and alternative 3′ splice site selection were found to be used by Rbm20 to skip different subsets of titin exons, and the splicing pathway selected depended on the ratio of Rbm20 to other splicing factors that vary with tissue type and developmental age.
Myogenesis involves changes in both gene expression and cellular architecture. Little is known of the organization, in muscle in vivo, of the subcellular organelles involved in protein synthesis despite the potential importance of targeted protein synthesis for formation and maintenance of functional domains such as the neuromuscular junction. A panel of antibodies to markers of the ER, the Golgi complex, and the centrosome were used to localize these organelles by immunofluorescence in myoblasts and myotubes of the mouse muscle cell line C2 in vitro, and in intact single muscle fibers from the rat flexor digitorum brevis. Antibodies to the ER stained structures throughout the cytoplasm of both C2 myoblasts and myotubes. In contrast, the spatial relationship between nucleus, centrosome, and Golgi complex was dramatically altered. These changes could also be observed in a low- calcium medium that allowed differentiation while preventing myoblast fusion. Muscle fibers in vivo resembled myotubes except that the ER occupied a smaller volume of cytoplasm and no staining was found for one of the Golgi complex markers, the enzyme alpha-mannosidase II. Electron microscopy, however, clearly showed the presence of stacks of Golgi cisternae in both junctional and extrajunctional regions of muscle fibers. The perinuclear distribution of the Golgi complex was also observed in live muscle fibers stained with a fluorescent lipid. Thus, the distribution of subcellular organelles of the secretory pathway was found to be similar in myotubes and muscle fibers, and all organelles were found in both junctional and extrajunctional areas of muscle.
The characteristic shapes and positions of each individual body muscle are established during the process of muscle morphogenesis in response to patterning information from the surrounding mesenchyme. Throughout muscle morphogenesis, primary myotubes are arranged in small parallel bundles, each myotube spanning the forming muscles from end to end. This unique arrangement potentially assigns a crucial role to primary myotube end regions for muscle morphogenesis.
We have cloned muscle ankyrin repeat protein (MARP) as a gene induced in adult rat skeletal muscle by denervation. MARP is the rodent homologue of human C-193 (Chu, W., D.K. Burns, R.A. Swerick, and D.H. Presky. 1995. J. Biol. Chem. 270:10236–10245) and is identical to rat cardiac ankyrin repeat protein. (Zou, Y., S. Evans, J. Chen, H.-C. Kuo, R.P. Harvey, and K.R. Chien. 1997. Development. 124:793–804). In denervated muscle fibers, MARP transcript accumulated in a unique perisynaptic pattern. MARP was also expressed in large blood vessels and in cardiac muscle, where it was further induced by cardiac hypertrophy. During embryonic development, MARP was expressed in forming skeletal muscle. In situ hybridization analysis in mouse embryos revealed that MARP transcript exclusively accumulates at the end regions of primary myotubes during muscle morphogenesis. This closely coincided with the expression of thrombospondin-4 in adjacent prospective tendon mesenchyme, suggesting that these two compartments may constitute a functional unit involved in muscle morphogenesis. Transfection experiments established that MARP protein accumulates in the nucleus and that the levels of both MARP mRNA and protein are controlled by rapid degradation mechanisms characteristic of regulatory early response genes. The results establish the existence of novel regulatory muscle fiber subcompartments associated with muscle morphogenesis and denervation and suggest that MARP may be a crucial nuclear cofactor in local signaling pathways from prospective tendon mesenchyme to forming muscle and from activated muscle interstitial cells to denervated muscle fibers.
The COOH-terminal A168–170 region of the giant sarcomeric protein titin interacts with muscle-specific RING finger-1 (MURF-1). To investigate the functional significance of this interaction, we expressed green fluorescent protein fusion constructs encoding defined fragments of titin's M-line region and MURF-1 in cardiac myocytes. Upon expression of MURF-1 or its central region (containing its titin-binding site), the integrity of titin's M-line region was dramatically disrupted. Disruption of titin's M-line region also resulted in a perturbation of thick filament components, but, surprisingly, not of the NH2-terminal or I-band regions of titin, the Z-lines, or the thin filaments. This specific phenotype also was caused by the expression of titin A168–170. These data suggest that the interaction of titin with MURF-1 is important for the stability of the sarcomeric M-line region.
MURF-1 also binds to ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme-9 and isopeptidase T-3, enzymes involved in small ubiquitin-related modifier–mediated nuclear import, and with glucocorticoid modulatory element binding protein-1 (GMEB-1), a transcriptional regulator. Consistent with our in vitro binding data implicating MURF-1 with nuclear functions, endogenous MURF-1 also was detected in the nuclei of some myocytes. The dual interactions of MURF-1 with titin and GMEB-1 may link myofibril signaling pathways (perhaps including titin's kinase domain) with muscle gene expression.
MURF-1; titin; GMEB-1; cardiac myocyte; SUMO-3
Muscle contractile proteins are expressed as a series of developmental isoforms that are in constant dynamic remodeling during embryogenesis, but how obsolete molecules are recognized and removed is not known. Ozz is a developmentally regulated protein that functions as the adaptor component of a RING-type ubiquitin ligase complex specific to striated muscle. Ozz−/− mutants exhibit defects in myofibrillogenesis and myofiber differentiation. Here we show that Ozz targets the rod portion of embryonic myosin heavy chain and preferentially recognizes the sarcomeric rather than the soluble pool of myosin. We present evidence that Ozz binding to the embryonic myosin isoform within sarcomeric thick filaments marks it for ubiquitination and proteolytic degradation, allowing its replacement with neonatal or adult isoforms. This unique function positions Ozz within a system that facilitates sarcomeric myosin remodeling during muscle maturation and regeneration. Our findings identify Ozz-E3 as the ubiquitin ligase complex that interacts with and regulates myosin within its fully assembled cytoskeletal structure.