Myomesin is part of an integrity pathway that responds to sarcomere damage and disease.
ABSTRACT: The structure and function of the sarcomere of striated muscle is well studied but the steps of sarcomere assembly and maintenance remain under-characterized. With the aid of chaperones and factors of the protein quality control system, muscle proteins can be folded and assembled into the contractile apparatus of the sarcomere. When sarcomere assembly is incomplete or the sarcomere becomes damaged, suites of chaperones and maintenance factors respond to repair the sarcomere. Here we show evidence of the importance of the M-line proteins, specifically myomesin, in the monitoring of sarcomere assembly and integrity in previously characterized zebrafish muscle mutants. We show that myomesin is one of the last proteins to be incorporated into the assembling sarcomere, and that in skeletal muscle, its incorporation requires connections with both titin and myosin. In diseased zebrafish sarcomeres, myomesin1a shows an early increase of gene expression, hours before chaperones respond to damaged muscle. We found that myomesin expression is also more specific to sarcomere damage than muscle creatine kinase, and our results and others support the use of myomesin assays as an early, specific, method of detecting muscle damage.
Project description:Myomesin is one of the most important structural molecules constructing the M-band in the force-generating unit of striated muscle, and a critical structural maintainer of the sarcomere. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we here dissect the mechanical properties of the structurally known building blocks of myomesin, namely ?-helices, immunoglobulin (Ig) domains, and the dimer interface at myomesin's 13th Ig domain, covering the mechanically important C-terminal part of the molecule. We find the interdomain ?-helices to be stabilized by the hydrophobic interface formed between the N-terminal half of these helices and adjacent Ig domains, and, interestingly, to show a rapid unfolding and refolding equilibrium especially under low axial forces up to ? 15 pN. These results support and yield atomic details for the notion of recent atomic-force microscopy experiments, namely, that the unique helices inserted between Ig domains in myomesin function as elastomers and force buffers. Our results also explain how the C-terminal dimer of two myomesin molecules is mechanically outperforming the helices and Ig domains in myomesin and elsewhere, explaining former experimental findings. This study provides a fresh view onto how myomesin integrates elastic helices, rigid immunoglobulin domains, and an extraordinarily resistant dimer into a molecular structure, to feature a mechanical hierarchy that represents a firm and yet extensible molecular anchor to guard the stability of the sarcomere.
Project description:The sarcomeric cytoskeleton is a network of modular proteins that integrate mechanical and signaling roles. Obscurin, or its homolog obscurin-like-1, bridges the giant ruler titin and the myosin crosslinker myomesin at the M-band. Yet, the molecular mechanisms underlying the physical obscurin(-like-1):myomesin connection, important for mechanical integrity of the M-band, remained elusive. Here, using a combination of structural, cellular, and single-molecule force spectroscopy techniques, we decode the architectural and functional determinants defining the obscurin(-like-1):myomesin complex. The crystal structure reveals a trans-complementation mechanism whereby an incomplete immunoglobulin-like domain assimilates an isoform-specific myomesin interdomain sequence. Crucially, this unconventional architecture provides mechanical stability up to forces of ?135 pN. A cellular competition assay in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes validates the complex and provides the rationale for the isoform specificity of the interaction. Altogether, our results reveal a novel binding strategy in sarcomere assembly, which might have implications on muscle nanomechanics and overall M-band organization.
Project description:The highly oriented filamentous protein network of muscle constantly experiences significant mechanical load during muscle operation. The dimeric protein myomesin has been identified as an important M-band component supporting the mechanical integrity of the entire sarcomere. Recent structural studies have revealed a long ?-helical linker between the C-terminal immunoglobulin (Ig) domains My12 and My13 of myomesin. In this paper, we have used single-molecule force spectroscopy in combination with molecular dynamics simulations to characterize the mechanics of the myomesin dimer comprising immunoglobulin domains My12-My13. We find that at forces of approximately 30 pN the ?-helical linker reversibly elongates allowing the molecule to extend by more than the folded extension of a full domain. High-resolution measurements directly reveal the equilibrium folding/unfolding kinetics of the individual helix. We show that ?-helix unfolding mechanically protects the molecule homodimerization from dissociation at physiologically relevant forces. As fast and reversible molecular springs the myomesin ?-helical linkers are an essential component for the structural integrity of the M band.
Project description:Tcap/telethonin encodes a Z-disc protein that plays important roles in sarcomere assembly, sarcomere-membrane interaction and stretch sensing. It remains unclear why mutations in Tcap lead to limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2G (LGMD2G) in human patients. Here, we cloned tcap in zebrafish and conducted genetic studies. We show that tcap is functionally conserved, as the Tcap protein appears in the sarcomeric Z-disc and reduction of Tcap resulted in muscular dystrophy-like phenotypes including deformed muscle structure and impaired swimming ability. However, the observations that Tcap integrates into the sarcomere at a stage after the Z-disc becomes periodic, and that the sarcomere remains intact in tcap morphants, suggest that defective sarcomere assembly does not contribute to this particular type of muscular dystrophy. Instead, a defective interaction between the sarcomere and plasma membrane was detected, which was further underscored by the disrupted development of the T-tubule system. Pertinent to a potential function in stretch sensor signaling, zebrafish tcap exhibits a variable expression pattern during somitogenesis. The variable expression is inducible by stretch force, and the expression level of Tcap is negatively regulated by integrin-link kinase (ILK), a protein kinase that is involved in stretch sensing signaling. Together, our genetic studies of tcap in zebrafish suggested that pathogenesis in LGMD2G is due to a disruption of sarcomere-T-tubular interaction, but not of sarcomere assembly per se. In addition, our data prompted a novel hypothesis that predicts that the transcription level of Tcap can be regulated by the stretch force to ensure proper sarcomere-membrane interaction in striated muscles.
Project description: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.
Project description:The M-band is the prominent cytoskeletal structure that cross-links the myosin and titin filaments in the middle of the sarcomere. To investigate M-band alterations in heart disease, we analyzed the expression of its main components, proteins of the myomesin family, in mouse and human cardiomyopathy. Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and compared to the expression pattern of myomesins evaluated with RT-PCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescent analysis. Disease progression in transgenic mouse models for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) was accompanied by specific M-band alterations. The dominant splice isoform in the embryonic heart, EH-myomesin, was strongly up-regulated in the failing heart and correlated with a decrease in cardiac function (R = -0.86). In addition, we have analyzed the expressions of myomesins in human myocardial biopsies (N = 40) obtained from DCM patients, DCM patients supported by a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients and controls. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the EH-myomesin isoform was up-regulated 41-fold (P < 0.001) in the DCM patients compared to control patients. In DCM hearts supported by a LVAD and HCM hearts, the EH-myomesin expression was comparable to controls. Immunofluorescent analyses indicate that EH-myomesin was enhanced in a cell-specific manner, leading to a higher heterogeneity of the myocytes' cytoskeleton through the myocardial wall. We suggest that the up-regulation of EH-myomesin denotes an adaptive remodeling of the sarcomere cytoskeleton in the dilated heart and might serve as a marker for DCM in mouse and human myocardium.
Project description:Human myofibrillogenesis regulator 1, a novel 17-kDa protein, is closely involved in cardiac hypertrophy. We studied the molecular mechanism that links MR-1 to hypertrophic response. Hypertrophic hallmarks such as cell size and [(3)H]-leucine incorporation were significantly increased when MR-1 was transfected into cardiomyocytes for 48 h. However, sarcomere organization was promoted when MR-1 was transfected for 8 h. The finding that cardiac hypertrophy was induced long after increase of sarcomere organization indicates that the promoted sarcomere organization may be one of the crucial factors causing hypertrophy. Furthermore, when MR-1 was transfected into cardiomyocytes, the nuclear localization of myomesin-1 was shifted to the cytoplasm. Transfection with small ubiquitin-like modifier-1 (SUMO-1) mimicked the effect of MR-1 inducing translocation of myomesin-1. However, transfection with SUMO-1 in MR-1-silenced cardiomyocytes failed to induce translocation and sarcomere organization, even though SUMO-1 expression was at the same level. Overexpression of MR-1 may induce cardiomyocyte hypertrophy via myomesin-1-mediated sarcomere organization.
Project description:Two smyd1 paralogues, smyd1a and smyd1b, have been identified in zebrafish. Although Smyd1b function has been reported in fast muscle, its function in slow muscle and the function of Smyd1a, in general, are uncertain. In this study, we generated 2 smyd1a mutant alleles and analyzed the muscle defects in smyd1a and smyd1b single and double mutants in zebrafish. We demonstrated that knockout of smyd1a alone had no visible effect on muscle development and fish survival. This was in contrast to the smyd1b mutant, which exhibited skeletal and cardiac muscle defects, leading to early embryonic lethality. The smyd1a and smyd1b double mutants, however, showed a stronger muscle defect compared with smyd1a or smyd1b mutation alone, namely, the complete disruption of sarcomere organization in slow and fast muscles. Immunostaining revealed that smyd1a; smyd1b double mutations had no effect on myosin gene expression but resulted in a dramatic reduction of myosin protein levels in muscle cells of zebrafish embryos. This was accompanied by the up-regulation of hsp40 and hsp90-α1 gene expression. Together, our studies indicate that both Smyd1a and Smyd1b partake in slow and fast muscle development although Smyd1b plays a dominant role compared with Smyd1a.-Cai, M., Han, L., Liu, L., He, F., Chu, W., Zhang, J., Tian, Z., Du, S. Defective sarcomere assembly in smyd1a and smyd1b zebrafish mutants.
Project description:The vertebrate sarcomere is a complex and highly organized contractile structure whose assembly and function requires the coordination of hundreds of proteins. Proteins require proper folding and incorporation into the sarcomere by assembly factors, and they must also be maintained and replaced due to the constant physical stress of muscle contraction. Zebrafish mutants affecting muscle assembly and maintenance have proven to be an ideal tool for identification and analysis of factors necessary for these processes. The still heart mutant was identified due to motility defects and a nonfunctional heart. The cognate gene for the mutant was shown to be smyd1b and the still heart mutation results in an early nonsense codon. SMYD1 mutants show a lack of heart looping and chamber definition due to a lack of expression of heart morphogenesis factors gata4, gata5 and hand2. On a cellular level, fast muscle fibers in homozygous mutants do not form mature sarcomeres due to the lack of fast muscle myosin incorporation by SMYD1b when sarcomeres are first being assembled (19hpf), supporting SMYD1b as an assembly protein during sarcomere formation.
Project description:In striated muscle, the basic contractile unit is the sarcomere, which comprises myosin-rich thick filaments intercalated with thin filaments made of actin, tropomyosin and troponin. Troponin is required to regulate Ca(2+)-dependent contraction, and mutant forms of troponins are associated with muscle diseases. We have disrupted several genes simultaneously in zebrafish embryos and have followed the progression of muscle degeneration in the absence of troponin. Complete loss of troponin T activity leads to loss of sarcomere structure, in part owing to the destructive nature of deregulated actin-myosin activity. When troponin T and myosin activity are simultaneously disrupted, immature sarcomeres are rescued. However, tropomyosin fails to localise to sarcomeres, and intercalating thin filaments are missing from electron microscopic cross-sections, indicating that loss of troponin T affects thin filament composition. If troponin activity is only partially disrupted, myofibrils are formed but eventually disintegrate owing to deregulated actin-myosin activity. We conclude that the troponin complex has at least two distinct activities: regulation of actin-myosin activity and, independently, a role in the proper assembly of thin filaments. Our results also indicate that sarcomere assembly can occur in the absence of normal thin filaments.