Nebulin is a large skeletal muscle protein wound around the thin filaments, with its C-terminus embedded within the Z-disk and its N-terminus extending out toward the thin filament pointed end. While nebulin's C-terminus has been implicated in both sarcomeric structure and function as well as the development of nemaline myopathy, the contributions of this region remain largely unknown. Additionally, the C-terminus is reported to contribute to muscle hypertrophy via the IGF-1 growth pathway. To study the functions of nebulin's C-terminus, we generated a mouse model deleting the final two unique C-terminal domains, the serine-rich region (SRR) and the SH3 domain (NebΔ163-165). Homozygous NebΔ163-165 mice that survive past the neonatal stage exhibit a mild weight deficit. Characterization of these mice revealed that the truncation caused a moderate myopathy phenotype reminiscent of nemaline myopathy despite the majority of nebulin being localized properly in the thin filaments. This phenotype included muscle weight loss, changes in sarcomere structure, as well as a decrease in force production. Glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down experiments found novel binding partners with the SRR, several of which are associated with myopathies. While the C-terminus does not appear to be a limiting step in muscle growth, the IGF-1 growth pathway remained functional despite the deleted domains being proposed to be essential for IGF-1 mediated hypertrophy. The NebΔ163-165 mouse model emphasizes that nebulin's C-terminus is necessary for proper sarcomeric development and shows that its loss is sufficient to induce myopathy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology