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Publications (5)31.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Telethonin (also known as titin-cap or t-cap) is a 19-kDa Z-disk protein with a unique β-sheet structure, hypothesized to assemble in a palindromic way with the N-terminal portion of titin and to constitute a signalosome participating in the process of cardiomechanosensing. In addition, a variety of telethonin mutations are associated with the development of several different diseases; however, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms and telethonin's in vivo function. Here we aim to investigate the role of telethonin in vivo and to identify molecular mechanisms underlying disease as a result of its mutation. By using a variety of different genetically altered animal models and biophysical experiments we show that contrary to previous views, telethonin is not an indispensable component of the titin-anchoring system, nor is deletion of the gene or cardiac specific overexpression associated with a spontaneous cardiac phenotype. Rather, additional titin-anchorage sites, such as actin-titin cross-links via α-actinin, are sufficient to maintain Z-disk stability despite the loss of telethonin. We demonstrate that a main novel function of telethonin is to modulate the turnover of the proapoptotic tumor suppressor p53 after biomechanical stress in the nuclear compartment, thus linking telethonin, a protein well known to be present at the Z-disk, directly to apoptosis ("mechanoptosis"). In addition, loss of telethonin mRNA and nuclear accumulation of this protein is associated with human heart failure, an effect that may contribute to enhanced rates of apoptosis found in these hearts. Telethonin knockout mice do not reveal defective heart development or heart function under basal conditions, but develop heart failure following biomechanical stress, owing at least in part to apoptosis of cardiomyocytes, an effect that may also play a role in human heart failure.
    Circulation Research 07/2011; 109(7):758-69. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Muscle LIM protein (MLP, also known as cysteine rich protein 3 (CSRP3, CRP3)) is a muscle-specific-expressed LIM-only protein. It consists of 194 amino-acids and has been described initially as a factor involved in myogenesis (Arber et al. Cell 79:221-231, 1994). MLP soon became an important model for experimental cardiology when it was first demonstrated that MLP deficiency leads to myocardial hypertrophy followed by a dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure phenotype (Arber et al. Cell 88:393-403, 1997). At this time, this was the first genetically altered animal model to develop this devastating disease. Interestingly, MLP was also found to be down-regulated in humans with heart failure (Zolk et al. Circulation 101:2674-2677, 2000) and MLP mutations are able to cause hypertrophic and dilated forms of cardiomyopathy in humans (Bos et al. Mol Genet Metab 88:78-85, 2006; Geier et al. Circulation 107:1390-1395, 2003; Hershberger et al. Clin Transl Sci 1:21-26, 2008; Knöll et al. Cell 111:943-955, 2002; Knöll et al. Circ Res 106:695-704, 2010; Mohapatra et al. Mol Genet Metab 80:207-215, 2003). Although considerable efforts have been undertaken to unravel the underlying molecular mechanisms-how MLP mutations, either in model organisms or in the human setting cause these diseases are still unclear. In contrast, only precise knowledge of the underlying molecular mechanisms will allow the development of novel and innovative therapeutic strategies to combat this otherwise lethal condition. The focus of this review will be on the function of MLP in cardiac mechanosensation and we shall point to possible future directions in MLP research.
    Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology 07/2011; 462(1):135-42. · 4.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanosensation (the ultimate conversion of a mechanical stimulus into a biochemical signal) as well as mechanotransduction (transmission of mechanically induced signals) belong to the most fundamental processes in biology. These effects, because of their dynamic nature, are particularly important for the cardiovascular system. Therefore, it is not surprising that defects in cardiac mechanosensation, are associated with various types of cardiomyopathy and heart failure. However, our current knowledge regarding the genetic basis of impaired mechanosensation in the cardiovascular system is beginning to shed light on this subject and is at the centre of this brief review.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research 03/2011; 4(3):238-44. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously discovered the human 10T-->C (Trp4Arg) missense mutation in exon 2 of the muscle LIM protein (MLP, CSRP3) gene. We sought to study the effects of this single-nucleotide polymorphism in the in vivo situation. We now report the generation and detailed analysis of the corresponding Mlp(W4R/+) and Mlp(W4R/W4R) knock-in animals, which develop an age- and gene dosage-dependent hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure phenotype, characterized by almost complete loss of contractile reserve under catecholamine induced stress. In addition, evidence for skeletal muscle pathology, which might have implications for human mutation carriers, was observed. Importantly, we found significantly reduced MLP mRNA and MLP protein expression levels in hearts of heterozygous and homozygous W4R-MLP knock-in animals. We also detected a weaker in vitro interaction of telethonin with W4R-MLP than with wild-type MLP. These alterations may contribute to an increased nuclear localization of W4R-MLP, which was observed by immunohistochemistry. Given the well-known high frequency of this mutation in Caucasians of up to 1%, our data suggest that (W4R-MLP) might contribute significantly to human cardiovascular disease.
    Circulation Research 03/2010; 106(4):695-704. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RATIONALE: We previously discovered the human 10T-->C (Trp4Arg) missense mutation in exon 2 of the muscle LIM protein (MLP, CSRP3) gene. OBJECTIVE: We sought to study the effects of this single-nucleotide polymorphism in the in vivo situation. METHODS AND RESULTS: We now report the generation and detailed analysis of the corresponding Mlp(W4R/+) and Mlp(W4R/W4R) knock-in animals, which develop an age- and gene dosage-dependent hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure phenotype, characterized by almost complete loss of contractile reserve under catecholamine induced stress. In addition, evidence for skeletal muscle pathology, which might have implications for human mutation carriers, was observed. Importantly, we found significantly reduced MLP mRNA and MLP protein expression levels in hearts of heterozygous and homozygous W4R-MLP knock-in animals. We also detected a weaker in vitro interaction of telethonin with W4R-MLP than with wild-type MLP. These alterations may contribute to an increased nuclear localization of W4R-MLP, which was observed by immunohistochemistry. CONCLUSIONS: Given the well-known high frequency of this mutation in Caucasians of up to 1%, our data suggest that (W4R-MLP) might contribute significantly to human cardiovascular disease.
    Circ Res, v.106, 695-704 (2010).