Charged residue changes in the carboxy‐terminus of α‐tropomyosin alter mouse cardiac muscle contractility
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Striated muscle tropomyosin (TM) is an essential thin filament protein that is sterically and allosterically involved in calcium-mediated cardiac contraction. We have previously shown that overexpressing the beta-TM isoform in mouse hearts leads to physiological changes in myocardial relaxation and Ca(2+) handling of myofilaments. Two important charge differences in beta-TM compared to alpha-TM are the exchange of serine and histidine at positions 229 and 276 with glutamic acid and asparagine, respectively, imparting a more negative charge to beta-TM relative to alpha-TM. Our hypothesis is that the net charge at specific sites on TM might be a major determinant of its role in modulating cardiac muscle performance and in regulating Ca(2+) sensitivity of the myofilaments. To address this, we generated transgenic (TG) double mutation mouse lines (alpha-TM DM) expressing mutated alpha-TM at the two residues that differ between alpha- and beta-TM (Ser229Glu + His276Asn). Molecular analyses show 60-88% of the native TM is replaced with alpha-TM DM in the different TG lines. Work-performing heart analyses show that alpha-TM DM mouse hearts exhibit decreased rates of pressure development and relaxation (+dP/dt and -dP/dt). Skinned myofibre preparations from the TG hearts indicate a decrease in calcium sensitivity of steady state force. Protein modelling studies show that these two charge alterations in alpha-TM cause a change in the surface charges of the molecule. Our results provide the first evidence that charge changes at the carboxy-terminal of alpha-TM alter the functional characteristics of the heart at both the whole organ and myofilament levels.
author list (cited authors)
Gaffin, R. D., Gokulan, K., Sacchettini, J. C., Hewett, T., Klevitsky, R., Robbins, J., & Muthuchamy, M.