Kettin, the large actin-binding protein with multiple immunoglobulin domains, is essential for sarcomeric actin assembly and larval development in Caenorhabditis elegans.
ABSTRACT: Among many essential genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, let-330 is located on the left arm of chromosome V and was identified as the largest target of a mutagen in this region. However, let-330 gene has not been characterized at the molecular level. Here, we report that two sequenced let-330 alleles are nonsense mutations of ketn-1, a previously characterized gene encoding kettin. Kettin is a large actin-binding protein of 472 kDa with 31 immunoglobulin domains and is expressed in muscle cells in C. elegans. let-330/ketn-1 mutants are homozygous lethal at the first larval stage with mild defects in body elongation. These mutants have severe defects in sarcomeric actin and myosin assembly in striated muscle. However, ?-actinin and vinculin, which are components of the dense bodies anchoring actin to the membranes, were not significantly disorganized by let-330/ketn-1 mutation. Kettin localizes to embryonic myofibrils before ?-actinin is expressed, and ?-actinin deficiency does not affect kettin localization in larval muscle. Depletion of vinculin minimally affects kettin localization but significantly reduces colocalization of actin with kettin in embryonic muscle cells. These results indicate that kettin is an essential protein for sarcomeric assembly of actin filaments in muscle cells.
Project description:Kettin is a large actin-binding protein with immunoglobulin-like (Ig) repeats, which is associated with the thin filaments in arthropod muscles. Here, we report identification and functional characterization of kettin in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that one of the monoclonal antibodies that were raised against C. elegans muscle proteins specifically reacts with kettin (Ce-kettin). We determined the entire cDNA sequence of Ce-kettin that encodes a protein of 472 kDa with 31 Ig repeats. Arthropod kettins are splice variants of much larger connectin/titin-related proteins. However, the gene for Ce-kettin is independent of other connectin/titin-related genes. Ce-kettin localizes to the thin filaments near the dense bodies in both striated and nonstriated muscles. The C-terminal four Ig repeats and the adjacent non-Ig region synergistically bind to actin filaments in vitro. RNA interference of Ce-kettin caused weak disorganization of the actin filaments in body wall muscle. This phenotype was suppressed by inhibiting muscle contraction by a myosin mutation, but it was enhanced by tetramisole-induced hypercontraction. Furthermore, Ce-kettin was involved in organizing the cytoplasmic portion of the dense bodies in cooperation with alpha-actinin. These results suggest that kettin is an important regulator of myofibrillar organization and provides mechanical stability to the myofibrils during contraction.
Project description:Kettin is a high molecular mass protein of insect muscle that in the sarcomeres binds to actin and alpha-actinin. To investigate kettin's functional role, we combined immunolabeling experiments with mechanical and biochemical studies on indirect flight muscle (IFM) myofibrils of Drosophila melanogaster. Micrographs of stretched IFM sarcomeres labeled with kettin antibodies revealed staining of the Z-disc periphery. After extraction of the kettin-associated actin, the A-band edges were also stained. In contrast, the staining pattern of projectin, another IFM-I-band protein, was not altered by actin removal. Force measurements were performed on single IFM myofibrils to establish the passive length-tension relationship and record passive stiffness. Stiffness decreased within seconds during gelsolin incubation and to a similar degree upon kettin digestion with mu-calpain. Immunoblotting demonstrated the presence of kettin isoforms in normal Drosophila IFM myofibrils and in myofibrils from an actin-null mutant. Dotblot analysis revealed binding of COOH-terminal kettin domains to myosin. We conclude that kettin is attached not only to actin but also to the end of the thick filament. Kettin along with projectin may constitute the elastic filament system of insect IFM and determine the muscle's high stiffness necessary for stretch activation. Possibly, the two proteins modulate myofibrillar stiffness by expressing different size isoforms.
Project description:Z-discs of insect flight muscle contain a large protein of 500-700 kDa. Monoclonal antibodies label an epitope in the molecule at the Z-disc in Drosophila and Lethocerus (waterbug). A partial cDNA of 1.6 kb from the Drosophila gene has been cloned and sequenced. The corresponding amino acid sequence has a modular structure composed of four conserved repeats of 95 amino acids homologous to immunoglobulin C2 domains (called class II domains in muscle proteins), separated by less conserved linker sequences of 35 amino acids. An expressed class II domain with flanking linker sequences binds to actin and alpha-actinin but not to myosin. Single molecules of the protein would be large enough to span the Z-disc. We suggest that the protein acts as scaffolding in the Z-disc and we call the protein kettin. The Ca2+ activated protease, calpain, disrupts the Z-disc of striated muscle, releasing alpha-actinin intact. Calpain digests kettin to a series of peptides of between 30 and 170 kDa which are released from the myofibril. Digestion of kettin may cause disintegration of the Z-disc and alpha-actinin release which lead to disassembly of the myofibril.
Project description:Kettin is a giant muscle protein originally identified in insect flight muscle Z-discs. Here, we determined the entire nucleotide sequence of Drosophila melanogaster kettin, deduced the amino acid sequence of its protein product (540 kD) along with that of the Caenorhabditis elegans counterpart, and found that the overall primary structure of Kettin has been highly conserved in evolution. The main body of Drosophila Kettin consists of 35 immunoglobulin C2 domains separated by spacers. The central two thirds of spacers are constant in length and share in common two conserved motifs, putative actin binding sites. Neither fibronectin type III nor kinase domains were found. Kettin is present at the Z-disc in several muscle types. Genetic analysis showed that kettin is essential for the formation and maintenance of normal sarcomere structure of muscles and muscle tendons. Accordingly, embryos lacking kettin activity cannot hatch nor can adult flies heterozygous for the kettin mutation fly.
Project description:Our group has previously shown that vasoconstrictors increase net actin polymerization in differentiated vascular smooth muscle cells (dVSMC) and that increased actin polymerization is linked to contractility of vascular tissue (Kim et al., Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 295: C768-778, 2008). However, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we evaluated the possible functions of the Ena/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) family of actin filament elongation factors in dVSMC. Inhibition of actin filament elongation by cytochalasin D decreases contractility without changing myosin light-chain phosphorylation levels, suggesting that actin filament elongation is necessary for dVSM contraction. VASP is the only Ena/VASP protein highly expressed in aorta tissues, and VASP knockdown decreased smooth muscle contractility. VASP partially colocalizes with alpha-actinin and vinculin in dVSMC. Profilin, known to associate with G actin and VASP, also colocalizes with alpha-actinin and vinculin, potentially identifying the dense bodies and the adhesion plaques as hot spots of actin polymerization. The EVH1 domain of Ena/VASP is known to target these proteins to their sites of action. Introduction of an expressed EVH1 domain as a dominant negative inhibits stimulus-induced increases in actin polymerization. VASP phosphorylation, known to inhibit actin polymerization, is decreased during phenylephrine stimulation in dVSMC. We also directly visualized, for the first time, rhodamine-labeled actin incorporation in dVSMC and identified hot spots of actin polymerization in the cell cortex that colocalize with VASP. These results indicate a role for VASP in actin filament assembly, specifically at the cell cortex, that modulates contractility in dVSMC.
Project description:The ?-actinin proteins are a highly conserved family of actin crosslinkers that mediate interactions between several cytoskeletal and sarcomeric proteins. Nonsarcomeric ?-actinin-1 and ?-actinin-4 crosslink actin filaments in the cytoskeleton, while sarcomeric ?-actinin-2 and ?-actinin-3 serve a crucial role in anchoring actin filaments to the muscle Z-line. To assess the difference in turnover dynamics and structure/function properties between the ?-actinin isoforms at the sarcomeric Z-line, we used Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) in primary myofiber cultures. We found that the recovery kinetics of these proteins followed three distinct patterns: ?-actinin-2/?-actinin-3 had the slowest turn over, ?-actinin-1 recovered to an intermediate degree, and ?-actinin-4 had the fastest recovery. Interestingly, the isoforms' patterns of recovery were reversed at adhesion plaques in fibroblasts. This disparity suggests that the different ?-actinin isoforms have unique association kinetics in myofibers and that nonmuscle isoform interactions are more dynamic at the sarcomeric Z-line. Protein domain-specific investigations using ?-actinin-2/4 chimeric proteins showed that differential dynamics between sarcomeric and nonmuscle isoforms are regulated by cooperative interactions between the N-terminal actin-binding domain, the spectrin-like linker region and the C-terminal calmodulin-like EF hand domain. Together, these findings demonstrate that ?-actinin isoforms are unique in binding dynamics at the Z-line and suggest differentially evolved interactive and Z-line association capabilities of each functional domain.
Project description:The ubiquitous clathrin heavy chain (CHC), the main component of clathrin-coated vesicles, is well characterized for its role in intracellular membrane traffic and endocytosis from the plasma membrane (PM). Here, we demonstrate that in skeletal muscle CHC regulates the formation and maintenance of PM-sarcomere attachment sites also known as costameres. We show that clathrin forms large coated lattices associated with actin filaments and the muscle-specific isoform of ?-actinin at the PM of differentiated myotubes. Depletion of CHC in myotubes induced a loss of actin and ?-actinin sarcomeric organization, whereas CHC depletion in vivo induced a loss of contractile force due to the detachment of sarcomeres from the PM. Our results suggest that CHC contributes to the formation and maintenance of the contractile apparatus through interactions with costameric proteins and highlight an unconventional role for CHC in skeletal muscle that may be relevant to pathophysiology of neuromuscular disorders.
Project description:One response of cells to growth factor stimulus involves changes in morphology driven by the actin cytoskeleton and actin associated proteins which regulate functions such as cell adhesion, motility and in neurons, synaptic plasticity. Previous studies suggest that Huntingtin may be involved in regulating morphology however, there has been limited evidence linking endogenous Huntingtin localization or function with cytoplasmic actin in cells. We found that depletion of Huntingtin in human fibroblasts reduced adhesion and altered morphology and these phenotypes were made worse with growth factor stimulation, whereas the presence of the Huntington's Disease mutation inhibited growth factor induced changes in morphology and increased numbers of vinculin-positive focal adhesions. Huntingtin immunoreactivity localized to actin stress fibers, vinculin-positive adhesion contacts and membrane ruffles in fibroblasts. Interactome data from others has shown that Huntingtin can associate with ?-actinin isoforms which bind actin filaments. Mapping studies using a cDNA encoding ?-actinin-2 showed that it interacts within Huntingtin aa 399-969. Double-label immunofluorescence showed Huntingtin and ?-actinin-1 co-localized to stress fibers, membrane ruffles and lamellar protrusions in fibroblasts. Proximity ligation assays confirmed a close molecular interaction between Huntingtin and ?-actinin-1 in human fibroblasts and neurons. Huntingtin silencing with siRNA in fibroblasts blocked the recruitment of ?-actinin-1 to membrane foci. These studies support the idea that Huntingtin is involved in regulating adhesion and actin dependent functions including those involving ?-actinin.
Project description:Cofilin-2, a small actin-binding protein and member of the AC protein family that includes cofilin-1 and destrin, is predominantly expressed at sarcomeres in skeletal and cardiac muscles. The role of cofilin-2 in muscle development and function is unclear. In humans, recessive cofilin-2 mutations have been associated with nemaline myopathy with minicores. To investigate the functional role of cofilin-2 in vivo, we generated constitutive and muscle-specific cofilin-2-deficient mice using a cre-loxP strategy. Cofilin-2-deficient mice were similar to their wild-type (WT) littermates at birth, but died by day 8. They were significantly smaller, severely weak and had very little milk in their stomachs. The sarcomeric structure was intact at birth, but by Day 7, skeletal muscles showed severe sarcomeric disruptions starting at the Z-line, along with filamentous actin accumulations consistent with a lack of actin depolymerization activity. Cofilin-2-deficient muscles contained elevated numbers of slow fibers and exhibited upregulation of slow fiber-specific genes. Increased amounts of other sarcomeric proteins including ?-actinin-2, ?-sarcomeric actin and tropomyosin were also present. While destrin was not expressed in either WT or cofilin-2-deficient muscles, cofilin-1 was similarly expressed in developing myofibers of both genotypes. There was no evidence for compensatory changes in expression of either family member in cofilin-2-deficient tissues. The onset of pathology and weakness in cofilin-2-deficient muscles correlated with normal developmental loss of cofilin-1 expression within myofibers, suggesting that cofilin-1 serves as an early developmental sarcomeric isoform. Overall, cofilin-2, although not critical for muscle development, is essential for muscle maintenance.
Project description:The sarcomeric Z-disk, the anchoring plane of thin (actin) filaments, links titin (also called connectin) and actin filaments from opposing sarcomere halves in a lattice connected by alpha-actinin. We demonstrate by protein interaction analysis that two types of titin interactions are involved in the assembly of alpha-actinin into the Z-disk. Titin interacts via a single binding site with the two central spectrin-like repeats of the outermost pair of alpha-actinin molecules. In the central Z-disk, titin can interact with multiple alpha-actinin molecules via their C-terminal domains. These interactions allow the assembly of a ternary complex of titin, actin and alpha-actinin in vitro, and are expected to constrain the path of titin in the Z-disk. In thick skeletal muscle Z-disks, titin filaments cross over the Z-disk centre by approximately 30 nm, suggesting that their alpha-actinin-binding sites overlap in an antiparallel fashion. The combination of our biochemical and ultrastructural data now allows a molecular model of the sarcomeric Z-disk, where overlapping titin filaments and their interactions with the alpha-actinin rod and C-terminal domain can account for the essential ultrastructural features.