ARTICLE: Distortion of the Actin A-Triad Results in Contractile Disinhibition and Cardiomyopathy

AUTHORS: Meera C. Viswanathan, William Schmidt, Michael J. Rynkiewicz, Karuna Agarwal, Jian Gao, Joseph Katz, William Lehman and Anthony Cammarato

JOURNAL: Cell Repots. 2017 Sep.


Striated muscle contraction is regulated by the movement of tropomyosin over the thin filament surface, which blocks or exposes myosin binding sites on actin. Findings suggest that electrostatic contacts, particularly those between K326, K328, and R147 on actin and tropomyosin, establish an energetically favorable F-actin-tropomyosin configuration, with tropomyosin positioned in a location that impedes actomyosin associations and promotes relaxation. Here, we provide data that directly support a vital role for these actin residues, termed the A-triad, in tropomyosin positioning in intact functioning muscle. By examining the effects of an A295S α-cardiac actin hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-causing mutation, over a range of increasingly complex in silico, in vitro, and in vivo Drosophila muscle models, we propose that subtle A-triad-tropomyosin perturbation can destabilize thin filament regulation, which leads to hypercontractility and triggers disease. Our efforts increase understanding of basic thin filament biology and help unravel the mechanistic basis of a complex cardiac disorder.

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