The sarcoglycans (SGs), transmembrane components of the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex, are stable and functional only when they assemble into a tetrameric complex in muscle cells. A defect in any one of the four SG members disrupts the entire SG complex (SGC) and causes limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. zeta-SG has been recently found as a transmembrane protein homologous to gamma-SG and delta-SG. To characterize zeta-SG in complex formation, we co-transfected expression vectors encoding all six SGs (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, delta-, epsilon- and zeta-SG) and dystroglycan into Chinese hamster ovary cells. Immunoprecipitation analysis showed that zeta-SG or gamma-SG formed a SGC with beta-SG and delta-SG plus alpha-SG or epsilon-SG, revealing that zeta-SG can form two types of SGCs (alpha-beta-zeta-delta or epsilon-beta-zeta-delta). This result indicates the functional resemblance of zeta-SG to gamma-SG rather than delta-SG, although phylogenetic analysis suggests that zeta-SG is evolutionally closer to delta-SG than to gamma-SG. Reverse transcription (RT)-PCR showed that the expression pattern of the transcript was almost the reciprocal of that of gamma-SG in various mouse tissues and that the zeta-SG transcript was especially abundant in the brain, suggesting that zeta-SG might play a particular role in the central nervous system.
Experimental Cell Research 08/2006; 312(11):2083-92. DOI:10.1016/j.yexcr.2006.03.011 · 3.37 Impact Factor