Article

Plectin 1f scaffolding at the sarcolemma of dystrophic (mdx) muscle fibers through multiple interactions with beta-dystroglycan.

Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, University of Vienna, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.
The Journal of Cell Biology (Impact Factor: 10.82). 04/2007; 176(7):965-77. DOI:10.1083/jcb.200604179
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In skeletal muscle, the cytolinker plectin is prominently expressed at Z-disks and the sarcolemma. Alternative splicing of plectin transcripts gives rise to more than eight protein isoforms differing only in small N-terminal sequences (5-180 residues), four of which (plectins 1, 1b, 1d, and 1f) are found at substantial levels in muscle tissue. Using plectin isoform-specific antibodies and isoform expression constructs, we show the differential regulation of plectin isoforms during myotube differentiation and their localization to different compartments of muscle fibers, identifying plectins 1 and 1f as sarcolemma-associated isoforms, whereas plectin 1d localizes exclusively to Z-disks. Coimmunoprecipitation and in vitro binding assays using recombinant protein fragments revealed the direct binding of plectin to dystrophin (utrophin) and beta-dystroglycan, the key components of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex. We propose a model in which plectin acts as a universal mediator of desmin intermediate filament anchorage at the sarcolemma and Z-disks. It also explains the plectin phenotype observed in dystrophic skeletal muscle of mdx mice and Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients.

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    ABSTRACT: Plectin is a large, 500-kDa, intermediate filament (IF)-associated protein. It acts as a cytoskeletal crosslinker and signaling scaffold, affecting mechanical as well as dynamic properties of the cytoskeleton. As a member of the plakin family of cytolinker proteins, plectin has a multidomain structure that is responsible for its vast binding portfolio. It not only binds to all types of IFs, actin filaments and microtubules, but also to transmembrane receptors, proteins of the subplasma membrane protein skeleton, components of the nuclear envelope, and several kinases with known roles in migration, proliferation, and energy metabolism of cells. Due to alternative splicing, plectin is expressed as various isoforms with differing N-terminal heads that dictate their differential subcellular targeting. Through specific interactions with other proteins at their target sites and their ability to bind to all types of IFs, plectin molecules provide strategically located IF anchorage sites within the cytoplasm of cells. In this review, we will present an overview of the structural features and functional properties of plectin and discuss recent progress in defining the role of its isoforms in stress-prone tissues and the implicated diseases, with focus on skin, skeletal muscle, and Schwann cells of peripheral nerve.
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    ABSTRACT: The ubiquitously expressed multifunctional cytolinker protein plectin is essential for muscle fiber integrity and myofiber cytoarchitecture. Patients suffering from plectinopathy-associated epidermolysis bullosa simplex with muscular dystrophy (EBS-MD) and mice lacking plectin in skeletal muscle display pathological desmin-positive protein aggregation and misalignment of Z-disks, which are hallmarks of myofibrillar myopathies (MFMs). Here, we developed immortalized murine myoblast cell lines to examine the pathogenesis of plectinopathies at the molecular and single cell level. Plectin-deficient myotubes, derived from myoblasts, were fully functional and mirrored the pathological features of EBS-MD myofibers, including the presence of desmin-positive protein aggregates and a concurrent disarrangement of the myofibrillar apparatus. Using this cell model, we demonstrated that plectin deficiency leads to increased intermediate filament network and sarcomere dynamics, marked upregulation of HSPs, and reduced myotube resilience following mechanical stretch. Currently, no specific therapy or treatment is available to improve plectin-related or other forms of MFMs; therefore, we assessed the therapeutic potential of chemical chaperones to relieve plectinopathies. Treatment with 4-phenylbutyrate resulted in remarkable amelioration of the pathological phenotypes in plectin-deficient myotubes as well as in plectin-deficient mice. Together, these data demonstrate the biological relevance of the MFM cell model and suggest that this model has potential use for the development of therapeutic approaches for EBS-MD.
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