FLNC Expression Level Influences the Activity of TEAD-YAP/TAZ Signaling.
ABSTRACT: Filamin C (FLNC), being one of the major actin-binding proteins, is involved in the maintenance of key muscle cell functions. Inherited skeletal muscle and cardiac disorders linked to genetic variants in FLNC have attracted attention because of their high clinical importance and possibility of genotype-phenotype correlations. To further expand on the role of FLNC in muscle cells, we focused on detailed alterations of muscle cell properties developed after the loss of FLNC. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 method we generated a C2C12 murine myoblast cell line with stably suppressed Flnc expression. FLNC-deficient myoblasts have a significantly higher proliferation rate combined with an impaired cell migration capacity. The suppression of Flnc expression leads to inability to complete myogenic differentiation, diminished expression of Myh1 and Myh4, alteration of transcriptional dynamics of myogenic factors, such as Mymk and Myog, and deregulation of Hippo signaling pathway. Specifically, we identified elevated basal levels of Hippo activity in myoblasts with loss of FLNC, and ineffective reduction of Hippo signaling activity during myogenic differentiation. The latter was restored by Flnc overexpression. In summary, we confirmed the role of FLNC in muscle cell proliferation, migration and differentiation, and demonstrated for the first time the direct link between Flnc expression and activity of TEAD-YAP\TAZ signaling. These findings support a role of FLNC in regulation of essential muscle processes relying on mechanical as well as signaling mechanisms.
Project description:FilaminC (FLNc) is the muscle-specific member of a family of actin binding proteins. Although it interacts with many proteins involved in muscular dystrophies, its unique role in muscle is poorly understood. To address this, two models were developed. First, FLNc expression was stably reduced in C2C12 myoblasts by RNA interference. While these cells start differentiation normally, they display defects in differentiation and fusion ability and ultimately form multinucleated "myoballs" rather than maintain elongated morphology. Second, a mouse model carrying a deletion of last 8 exons of Flnc was developed. FLNc-deficient mice die shortly after birth, due to respiratory failure, and have severely reduced birth weights, with fewer muscle fibers and primary myotubes, indicating defects in primary myogenesis. They exhibit variation in fiber size, fibers with centrally located nuclei, and some rounded fibers resembling the in vitro phenotype. The similarity of the phenotype of FLNc-deficient mice to the filamin-interacting TRIO null mice was further confirmed by comparing FLNc-deficient C2C12 cells to TRIO-deficient cells. These data provide the first evidence that FLNc has a crucial role in muscle development and maintenance of muscle structural integrity and suggest the presence of a TRIO-FLNc-dependent pathway in maintaining proper myotube structure.
Project description:The presence of tetraplex structures in the promoter region of the myogenic differentiation 1 gene (MyoD1) was investigated with a specific tetraplex-binding porphyrin (TMPyP4), to test its influence on the expression of MyoD1 itself and downstream-regulated genes during myogenic differentiation. TMPyP4-exposed C2C12 myoblasts, blocking MyoD1 transcription, proliferated reaching confluence and fused forming elongated structures, resembling myotubes, devoid of myosin heavy chain 3 (MHC) expression. Besides lack of MHC, upon MyoD1 inhibition, other myogenic gene expressions were also affected in treated cells, while untreated control cell culture showed normal myotube formation expressing MyoD1, Myog, MRF4, Myf5, and MHC. Unexpectedly, the myomaker (Mymk) gene expression was not affected upon TMPyP4 exposure during C2C12 myogenic differentiation. At the genomic level, the bioinformatic comparison of putative tetraplex sites found that three tetraplexes in MyoD1 and Myog are highly conserved in mammals, while Mymk and MHC did not show any conserved tetraplexes in the analysed regions. Thus, here, we report for the first time that the inhibition of the MyoD1 promoter function, stabilizing the tetraplex region, affects downstream myogenic genes by blocking their expression, while leaving the expression of Mymk unaltered. These results reveal the existence of two distinct pathways: one leading to cell fusion and one guaranteeing correct myotube differentiation.
Project description:Filamin C (FLNC) variants are associated with cardiac and muscular phenotypes. Originally, FLNC variants were described in myofibrillar myopathy (MFM) patients. Later, high-throughput screening in cardiomyopathy cohorts determined a prominent role for FLNC in isolated hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathies (HCM and DCM). FLNC variants are now among the more prevalent causes of genetic DCM. FLNC-associated DCM is associated with a malignant clinical course and a high risk of sudden cardiac death. The clinical spectrum of FLNC suggests different pathomechanisms related to variant types and their location in the gene. The appropriate functioning of FLNC is crucial for structural integrity and cell signaling of the sarcomere. The secondary protein structure of FLNC is critical to ensure this function. Truncating variants with subsequent haploinsufficiency are associated with DCM and cardiac arrhythmias. Interference with the dimerization and folding of the protein leads to aggregate formation detrimental for muscle function, as found in HCM and MFM. Variants associated with HCM are predominantly missense variants, which cluster in the ROD2 domain. This domain is important for binding to the sarcomere and to ensure appropriate cell signaling. We here review FLNC genotype-phenotype correlations based on available evidence.
Project description:The PI3K/Akt pathway promotes skeletal muscle growth and myogenic differentiation. Although its importance in skeletal muscle biology is well documented, many of its substrates remain to be identified. We here studied PI3K/Akt signaling in contracting skeletal muscle cells by quantitative phosphoproteomics. We identified the extended basophilic phosphosite motif RxRxxp[S/T]xxp[S/T] in various proteins including filamin-C (FLNc). Importantly, this extended motif, located in a unique insert in Ig-like domain 20 of FLNc, is doubly phosphorylated. The protein kinases responsible for this dual-site phosphorylation are Akt and PKC?. Proximity proteomics and interaction analysis identified filamin A-interacting protein 1 (FILIP1) as direct FLNc binding partner. FILIP1 binding induces filamin degradation, thereby negatively regulating its function. Here, dual-site phosphorylation of FLNc not only reduces FILIP1 binding, providing a mechanism to shield FLNc from FILIP1-mediated degradation, but also enables fast dynamics of FLNc necessary for its function as signaling adaptor in cross-striated muscle cells.
Project description:Skeletal muscle satellite cell-derived myoblasts are mainly responsible for postnatal muscle growth and injury-induced regeneration. However, the cellular signaling pathways that control proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts remain poorly defined. Recently, we found that JAK1/STAT1/STAT3 not only participate in myoblast proliferation but also actively prevent them from premature differentiation. Unexpectedly, we found that a related pathway consisting of JAK2, STAT2, and STAT3 is required for early myogenic differentiation. Interference of this pathway by either a small molecule inhibitor or small interfering RNA inhibits myogenic differentiation. Consistently, all three molecules are activated upon differentiation. The pro-differentiation effect of JAK2/STAT2/STAT3 is partially mediated by MyoD and MEF2. Interestingly, the expression of the IGF2 gene and the HGF gene is also regulated by JAK2/STAT2/STAT3, suggesting that this pathway could also promote differentiation by regulating signaling molecules known to be involved in myogenic differentiation. In summary, our current study reveals a novel role for the JAK2/STAT2/STAT3 pathway in myogenic differentiation.
Project description:The circadian clock network is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that imparts temporal regulation to diverse biological processes. Brain and muscle Arnt-like 1 (Bmal1), an essential transcriptional activator of the clock, is highly expressed in skeletal muscle. However, whether this key clock component impacts myogenesis, a temporally regulated event that requires the sequential activation of myogenic regulatory factors, is not known. Here we report a novel function of Bmal1 in controlling myogenic differentiation through direct transcriptional activation of components of the canonical Wnt signaling cascade, a major inductive signal for embryonic and postnatal muscle growth. Genetic loss of Bmal1 in mice leads to reduced total muscle mass and Bmal1-deficient primary myoblasts exhibit significantly impaired myogenic differentiation accompanied by markedly blunted expression of key myogenic regulatory factors. Conversely, forced expression of Bmal1 enhances differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts. This cell-autonomous effect of Bmal1 is mediated by Wnt signaling as both expression and activity of Wnt components are markedly attenuated by inhibition of Bmal1, and activation of the Wnt pathway partially rescues the myogenic defect in Bmal1-deficient myoblasts. We further reveal direct association of Bmal1 with promoters of canonical Wnt pathway genes, and as a result of this transcriptional regulation, Wnt signaling components exhibit intrinsic circadian oscillation. Collectively, our study demonstrates that the core clock gene, Bmal1, is a positive regulator of myogenesis, which may represent a temporal regulatory mechanism to fine-tune myocyte differentiation.
Project description:Insulin resistance and lower muscle quality (strength divided by mass) are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Here, we explore whether alterations in muscle stem cells (myoblasts) from individuals with T2D contribute to these phenotypes. We identify VPS39 as an important regulator of myoblast differentiation and muscle glucose uptake, and VPS39 is downregulated in myoblasts and myotubes from individuals with T2D. We discover a pathway connecting VPS39-deficiency in human myoblasts to impaired autophagy, abnormal epigenetic reprogramming, dysregulation of myogenic regulators, and perturbed differentiation. VPS39 knockdown in human myoblasts has profound effects on autophagic flux, insulin signaling, epigenetic enzymes, DNA methylation and expression of myogenic regulators, and gene sets related to the cell cycle, muscle structure and apoptosis. These data mimic what is observed in myoblasts from individuals with T2D. Furthermore, the muscle of Vps39<sup>+/-</sup> mice display reduced glucose uptake and altered expression of genes regulating autophagy, epigenetic programming, and myogenesis. Overall, VPS39-deficiency contributes to impaired muscle differentiation and reduced glucose uptake. VPS39 thereby offers a therapeutic target for T2D.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) is a rare cardiomyopathy characterized by impaired diastolic ventricular function resulting in a poor clinical prognosis. Rarely, heritable forms of RCM have been reported, and mutations underlying RCM have been identified in genes that govern the contractile function of the cardiomyocytes. METHODS AND RESULTS:We evaluated 8 family members across 4 generations by history, physical examination, electrocardiography, and echocardiography. Affected individuals presented with a pleitropic syndrome of progressive RCM, atrioventricular septal defects, and a high prevalence of atrial fibrillation. Exome sequencing of 5 affected members identified a single novel missense variant in a highly conserved residue of FLNC (filamin C; p.V2297M). FLNC encodes filamin C-a protein that acts as both a scaffold for the assembly and organization of the central contractile unit of striated muscle and also as a mechanosensitive signaling molecule during cell migration and shear stress. Immunohistochemical analysis of FLNC localization in cardiac tissue from an affected family member revealed a diminished localization at the z disk, whereas traditional localization at the intercalated disk was preserved. Stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes mutated to carry the effect allele had diminished contractile activity when compared with controls. CONCLUSION:We have identified a novel variant in FLNC as pathogenic variant for familial RCM-a finding that further expands on the genetic basis of this rare and morbid cardiomyopathy.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To determine whether a new indel mutation in the dimerization domain of filamin C (FLNc) causes a hereditary myopathy with protein aggregation in muscle fibers, we clinically and molecularly studied a German family with autosomal dominant myofibrillar myopathy (MFM).<h4>Methods</h4>We performed mutational analysis in 3 generations, muscle histopathology, and proteomic studies of IM protein aggregates. Functional consequences of the <i>FLNC</i> mutation were investigated with interaction and transfection studies and biophysics molecular analysis.<h4>Results</h4>Eight patients revealed clinical features of slowly progressive proximal weakness associated with a heterozygous c.8025_8030delCAAGACinsA (p.K2676Pfs*3) mutation in <i>FLNC</i>. Two patients exhibited a mild cardiomyopathy. MRI of skeletal muscle revealed lipomatous changes typical for MFM with <i>FLNC</i> mutations. Muscle biopsies showed characteristic MFM findings with protein aggregation and lesion formation. The proteomic profile of aggregates was specific for MFM-filaminopathy and indicated activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and autophagic pathways. Functional studies revealed that mutant FLNc is misfolded, unstable, and incapable of forming homodimers and heterodimers with wild-type FLNc.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This new MFM-filaminopathy family confirms that expression of mutant <i>FLNC</i> leads to an adult-onset muscle phenotype with intracellular protein accumulation. Mutant FLNc protein is biochemically compromised and leads to dysregulation of protein quality control mechanisms. Proteomic analysis of MFM protein aggregates is a potent method to identify disease-relevant proteins, differentiate MFM subtypes, evaluate the relevance of gene variants, and identify novel MFM candidate genes.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>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 ?-catenin, which subsequently translocate to the nucleus to activate the transcription of TCF/LEF family genes.<h4>Methods</h4>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.<h4>Results</h4>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 ?-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.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results demonstrate a novel interaction between canonical Wnt and BMP signaling that induces myogenic differentiation towards slow muscle phenotype.