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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.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2012; 287(35):29273-84. · 4.65 Impact Factor