ARTICLE: TNNT2 mutations in the tropomyosin binding region of TNT1 disrupt its role in contractile inhibition and stimulate cardiac dysfunction

AUTHORS: Aditi MadanMeera C Viswanathan, Kathleen C Woulfe, William SchmidtAgnes SidorTing LiuTran H Nguyen, Bosco Trinh, Cortney Wilson, Sineej Madathil, Georg Vogler, Brian O'Rourke, Brandon J Biesiadecki, Larry S Tobacman, Anthony Cammarato

JOURNAL: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Aug 4;117(31):18822-18831. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2001692117. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Abstract

Muscle contraction is regulated by the movement of end-to-end-linked troponin-tropomyosin complexes over the thin filament surface, which uncovers or blocks myosin binding sites along F-actin. The N-terminal half of troponin T (TnT), TNT1, independently promotes tropomyosin-based, steric inhibition of acto-myosin associations, in vitro. Recent structural models additionally suggest TNT1 may restrain the uniform, regulatory translocation of tropomyosin. Therefore, TnT potentially contributes to striated muscle relaxation; however, the in vivo functional relevance and molecular basis of this noncanonical role remain unclear. Impaired relaxation is a hallmark of hypertrophic and restrictive cardiomyopathies (HCM and RCM). Investigating the effects of cardiomyopathy-causing mutations could help clarify TNT1's enigmatic inhibitory property. We tested the hypothesis that coupling of TNT1 with tropomyosin's end-to-end overlap region helps anchor tropomyosin to an inhibitory position on F-actin, where it deters myosin binding at rest, and that, correspondingly, cross-bridge cycling is defectively suppressed under diastolic/low Ca2+ conditions in the presence of HCM/RCM lesions. The impact of TNT1 mutations on Drosophila cardiac performance, rat myofibrillar and cardiomyocyte properties, and human TNT1's propensity to inhibit myosin-driven, F-actin-tropomyosin motility were evaluated. Our data collectively demonstrate that removing conserved, charged residues in TNT1's tropomyosin-binding domain impairs TnT's contribution to inhibitory tropomyosin positioning and relaxation. Thus, TNT1 may modulate acto-myosin activity by optimizing F-actin-tropomyosin interfacial contacts and by binding to actin, which restrict tropomyosin's movement to activating configurations. HCM/RCM mutations, therefore, highlight TNT1's essential role in contractile regulation by diminishing its tropomyosin-anchoring effects, potentially serving as the initial trigger of pathology in our animal models and humans.

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