A nemaline myopathy–linked mutation inhibits the actin-regulatory functions of tropomodulin and leiomodin

Lauren E. Schultz, Mert Colpan, Garry E. Smith, Rachel M. Mayfield, Tania M. Larrinaga, Alla S. Kostyukova, Carol C. Gregorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Actin is a highly expressed protein in eukaryotic cells and is essential for numerous cellular processes. In particular, efficient striated muscle contraction is dependent upon the precise regulation of actin-based thin filament structure and function. Alterations in the lengths of actin-thin filaments can lead to the development of myopathies. Leiomodins and tropomodulins are members of an actin-binding protein family that fine-tune thin filament lengths, and their dysfunction is implicated in muscle diseases. An Lmod3 mutation [G326R] was previously identified in patients with nemaline myopathy (NM), a severe skeletal muscle disorder; this residue is conserved among Lmod and Tmod isoforms and resides within their homologous leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain. We mutated this glycine to arginine in Lmod and Tmod to determine the physiological function of this residue and domain. This G-to-R substitution disrupts Lmod and Tmod’s LRR domain structure, altering their binding interface with actin and destroying their abilities to regulate thin filament lengths. Additionally, this mutation renders Lmod3 nonfunctional in vivo. We found that one single amino acid is essential for folding of Lmod and Tmod LRR domains, and thus is essential for the opposing actin-regulatory functions of Lmod (filament elongation) and Tmod (filament shortening), revealing a mechanism underlying the development of NM.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021051468
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume120
Issue number47
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • actin
  • nemaline myopathy
  • sarcomere
  • skeletal muscle
  • thin filament

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