A novel mechanism involving four-and-a-half LIM domain protein-1 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase-2 regulates titin phosphorylation and mechanics.
ABSTRACT Understanding mechanisms underlying titin regulation in cardiac muscle function is of critical importance given recent compelling evidence that highlight titin mutations as major determinants of human cardiomyopathy. We previously identified a cardiac biomechanical stress-regulated complex at the cardiac-specific N2B region of titin that includes four-and-a-half LIM domain protein-1 (Fhl1) and components of the mitogen-activated protein signaling cascade, which impacted muscle compliance in Fhl1 knock-out cardiac muscle. However, direct regulation of these molecular components in mediating titin N2B function remained unresolved. Here we identify Fhl1 as a novel negative regulator of titin N2B levels and phosphorylation-mediated mechanics. We specifically identify titin N2B as a novel substrate of extracellular signal regulated-kinase-2 (Erk2) and demonstrate that Fhl1 directly interferes with Erk2-mediated titin-N2B phosphorylation. We highlight the critical region in titin-N2B that interacts with Fhl1 and residues that are dependent on Erk2-mediated phosphorylation in situ. We also propose a potential mechanism for a known titin-N2B cardiomyopathy-causing mutation that involves this regulatory complex. These studies shed light on a novel mechanism regulating titin-N2B mechano-signaling as well as suggest that dysfunction of these pathways could be important in cardiac disease states affecting muscle compliance.
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ABSTRACT: Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), due to point mutations in genes for sarcomere proteins such as myosin, occurs in 1/500 people and is the most common cause of sudden death in young individuals. Similar mutations in skeletal muscle, e.g., in the MYH7 gene for slow myosin found in both the cardiac ventricle and slow skeletal muscle, may also cause severe disease but the severity and the morphological changes are often different. In HCM, the modified protein function leads, over years to decades, to secondary remodeling with substantial morphological changes, such as hypertrophy, myofibrillar disarray, and extensive fibrosis associated with severe functional deterioration. Despite intense studies, it is unclear how the moderate mutation-induced changes in protein function cause the long-term effects. In hypertrophy of the heart due to pressure overload (e.g., hypertension), mechanical stress in the myocyte is believed to be major initiating stimulus for activation of relevant cell signaling cascades. Here it is considered how expression of mutated proteins, such as myosin or regulatory proteins, could have similar consequences through one or both of the following mechanisms: (1) contractile instabilities within each sarcomere (with more than one stable velocity for a given load), (2) different tension generating capacities of cells in series. These mechanisms would have the potential to cause increased tension and/or stretch of certain cells during parts of the cardiac cycle. Modeling studies are used to illustrate these ideas and experimental tests are proposed. The applicability of similar ideas to skeletal muscle is also postulated, and differences between heart and skeletal muscle are discussed.Frontiers in physiology. 01/2014; 5:350.
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ABSTRACT: Abstract The giant sarcomeric protein titin has multiple important functions in striated muscle cells. Due to its gigantic size, its central position in the sarcomere and its elastic I-band domains, titin is a scaffold protein that is important for sarcomere assembly, and serves as a molecular spring that defines myofilament distensibility. This review focuses on the emerging role of titin in mechanosensing and hypertrophic signaling, and further highlights recent evidence that links titin to sarcomeric protein turnover.Biological Chemistry 09/2014; · 2.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Titin-based myofilament stiffness is largely modulated by phosphorylation of its elastic I-band regions N2-Bus (decreases passive stiffness, PT) and PEVK (increases PT). Here, we tested the hypothesis that acute exercise changes titin phosphorylation and modifies myofilament stiffness. Adult rats were exercised on a treadmill for 15 min, untrained animals served as controls. Titin phosphorylation was determined by Western blot analysis using phosphospecific antibodies to Ser4099 and Ser4010 in the N2-Bus region (PKG and PKA-dependent. respectively), and to Ser11878 and Ser 12022 in the PEVK region (PKCα and CaMKIIδ-dependent, respectively). Passive tension was determined by step-wise stretching of isolated skinned cardiomyocytes to sarcomere length (SL) ranging from 1.9 to 2.4 μm and showed a significantly increased PT from exercised samples, compared to controls. In cardiac samples titin N2-Bus phosphorylation was significantly decreased by 40% at Ser4099, however, no significant changes were observed at Ser4010. PEVK phosphorylation at Ser11878 was significantly increased, which is probably mediated by the observed exercise-induced increase in PKCα activity. Interestingly, relative phosphorylation of Ser12022 was substantially decreased in the exercised samples. Surprisingly, in skeletal samples from acutely exercised animals we detected a significant decrease in PEVK phosphorylation at Ser11878 and an increase in Ser12022 phosphorylation; however, PKCα activity remained unchanged. In summary, our data show that a single exercise bout of 15 min affects titin domain phosphorylation and titin-based myocyte stiffness with obviously divergent effects in cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues. The observed changes in titin stiffness could play an important role in adapting the passive and active properties of the myocardium and the skeletal muscle to increased physical activity.Frontiers in physiology. 01/2014; 5:449.