Hendrikus L Granzier
- Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
- Professor, Physiology
- Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Professor, BIO5 Institute
- Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP
- Professor, Biomedical Engineering
- Ph.D. Bioengineering
- University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
- Professor, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (2007 - Ongoing)
- Professor, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington (1993 - 2007)
- AHA GP
- Fall 2017
- symposia organzier
- I organized the following symposia"1. Diastolic dysfuncion symposium at ISHR, Argentina2. Symposium at myofilament meeting in Wisconsin3. Titin meeting in Chicago4. Symposium at EMC meeting in Montpellier, Francie., Summer 2016
- 2015 Bob Wade Memorial Lecture at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
- University of Maryland, Spring 2015
No activities entered.
Cardio Muscle Bio & DiseasePSIO 484 (Spring 2018)
Cardio Muscle Bio & DiseasePSIO 584 (Spring 2018)
DissertationBME 920 (Spring 2018)
DissertationCMM 920 (Spring 2018)
ResearchPS 900 (Spring 2018)
Senior CapstoneBIOC 498 (Spring 2018)
DissertationBME 920 (Fall 2017)
DissertationCMM 920 (Fall 2017)
Introduction to ResearchMCB 795A (Fall 2017)
ResearchPS 900 (Fall 2017)
Senior CapstoneBIOC 498 (Fall 2017)
Cardio Muscle Bio & DiseaseBME 484 (Spring 2017)
Cardio Muscle Bio & DiseaseBME 584 (Spring 2017)
Cardio Muscle Bio & DiseaseCMM 584 (Spring 2017)
Cardio Muscle Bio & DiseasePSIO 484 (Spring 2017)
Directed ResearchBME 492 (Spring 2017)
DissertationBME 920 (Spring 2017)
DissertationCMM 920 (Spring 2017)
ResearchPS 900 (Spring 2017)
Directed ResearchBME 492 (Fall 2016)
DissertationBME 920 (Fall 2016)
DissertationCMM 920 (Fall 2016)
Rsrch Meth Psio SciPS 700 (Fall 2016)
- Dos Remedios, C. G., Lal, S. P., Li, A., McNamara, J., Keogh, A., Macdonald, P. S., Cooke, R., Ehler, E., Knöll, R., Marston, S. B., Stelzer, J., Granzier, H., Bezzina, C., van Dijk, S., De Man, F., Stienen, G. J., Odeberg, J., Pontén, F., Linke, W., & van der Velden, J. (2017). The Sydney Heart Bank: improving translational research while eliminating or reducing the use of animal models of human heart disease. Biophysical reviews, 9(4), 431-441.More infoThe Sydney Heart Bank (SHB) is one of the largest human heart tissue banks in existence. Its mission is to provide high-quality human heart tissue for research into the molecular basis of human heart failure by working collaboratively with experts in this field. We argue that, by comparing tissues from failing human hearts with age-matched non-failing healthy donor hearts, the results will be more relevant than research using animal models, particularly if their physiology is very different from humans. Tissue from heart surgery must generally be used soon after collection or it significantly deteriorates. Freezing is an option but it raises concerns that freezing causes substantial damage at the cellular and molecular level. The SHB contains failing samples from heart transplant patients and others who provided informed consent for the use of their tissue for research. All samples are cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen within 40 min of their removal from the patient, and in less than 5-10 min in the case of coronary arteries and left ventricle samples. To date, the SHB has collected tissue from about 450 failing hearts (>15,000 samples) from patients with a wide range of etiologies as well as increasing numbers of cardiomyectomy samples from patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The Bank also has hearts from over 120 healthy organ donors whose hearts, for a variety of reasons (mainly tissue-type incompatibility with waiting heart transplant recipients), could not be used for transplantation. Donor hearts were collected by the St Vincent's Hospital Heart and Lung transplantation team from local hospitals or within a 4-h jet flight from Sydney. They were flushed with chilled cardioplegic solution and transported to Sydney where they were quickly cryopreserved in small samples. Failing and/or donor samples have been used by more than 60 research teams around the world, and have resulted in more than 100 research papers. The tissues most commonly requested are from donor left ventricles, but right ventricles, atria, interventricular system, and coronary arteries vessels have also been reported. All tissues are stored for long-term use in liquid N or vapor (170-180 °C), and are shipped under nitrogen vapor to avoid degradation of sensitive molecules such as RNAs and giant proteins. We present evidence that the availability of these human heart samples has contributed to a reduction in the use of animal models of human heart failure.
- Joureau, B., de Winter, J. M., Stam, K., Granzier, H., & Ottenheijm, C. A. (2017). Muscle weakness in respiratory and peripheral skeletal muscles in a mouse model for nebulin-based nemaline myopathy. Neuromuscular disorders : NMD, 27(1), 83-89.More infoNemaline myopathy is among the most common non-dystrophic congenital myopathies, and is characterized by the presence of nemaline rods in skeletal muscles fibers, general muscle weakness, and hypotonia. Although respiratory failure is the main cause of death in nemaline myopathy, only little is known regarding the contractile strength of the diaphragm, the main muscle of inspiration. To investigate diaphragm contractility, in the present study we took advantage of a mouse model for nebulin-based nemaline myopathy that we recently developed. In this mouse model, exon 55 of Neb is deleted (NebΔExon55), a mutation frequently found in patients. Diaphragm contractility was determined in permeabilized muscle fibers and was compared to the contractility of permeabilized fibers from three peripheral skeletal muscles: soleus, extensor digitorum longus, and gastrocnemius. The force generating capacity of diaphragm muscle fibers of NebΔExon55 mice was reduced to 25% of wildtype levels, indicating severe contractile weakness. The contractile weakness of diaphragm fibers was more pronounced than that observed in soleus muscle, but not more pronounced than that observed in extensor digitorum longus and gastrocnemius muscles. The reduced muscle contractility was at least partly caused by changes in cross-bridge cycling kinetics which reduced the number of bound cross-bridges. The severe diaphragm weakness likely contributes to the development of respiratory failure in NebΔExon55 mice and might explain their early, postnatal death.
- Kellermayer, D., Smith, J. E., & Granzier, H. (2017). Novex-3, the tiny titin of muscle. Biophysical reviews, 9(3), 201-206.More infoThe giant multi-functional striated muscle protein titin is the third most abundant muscle protein after myosin and actin. Titin plays a pivotal role in myocardial passive stiffness, structural integrity and stress-initiated signaling pathways. The complete sequence of the human titin gene contains three isoform-specific mutually exclusive exons [termed novel exons (novex)] coding for the I-band sequence, named novex-1 (exon 45), novex-2 (exon 46) and novex-3 (exon 48). Transcripts containing either the novex-1 or novex-2 exons code for the novex-1 and novex-2 titin isoforms. The novex-3 transcript contains a stop codon and polyA tail signal, resulting in an unusually small (∼700 kDa) isoform, referred to as novex-3 titin. This 'tiny titin' isoform extends from the Z-disc (N-terminus) to novex-3 (C-terminus) and is expressed in all striated muscles. Biochemical analysis of novex-3 titin in cardiomyocytes shows that obscurin, a vertebrate muscle protein, binds to novex-3 titin. The novex-3/obscurin complex localizes to the Z-disc region and may regulate calcium, and SH3- and GTPase-associated myofibrillar signaling pathways. Therefore, novex-3 titin could be involved in stress-initiated sarcomeric restructuring.
- Methawasin, M., & Granzier, H. (2017). Response by Methawasin and Granzier to Letter Regarding Article, "Experimentally Increasing the Compliance of Titin Through RNA Binding Motif-20 (RBM20) Inhibition Improves Diastolic Function in a Mouse Model of Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction". Circulation, 135(11), e681-e682.
- Slater, R. E., Strom, J. G., & Granzier, H. (2017). Effect of exercise on passive myocardial stiffness in mice with diastolic dysfunction. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 108, 24-33.More infoHeart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a complex syndrome, characterized by increased diastolic stiffness and a preserved ejection fraction, with no effective treatment options. Here we studied the therapeutic potential of exercise for improving diastolic function in a mouse model with HFpEF-like symptoms, the TtnΔIAjxn mouse model. TtnΔIAjxn mice have increased diastolic stiffness and reduced exercise tolerance, mimicking aspects of HFpEF observed in patients. We investigated the effect of free-wheel running exercise on diastolic function. Mechanical studies on cardiac muscle strips from the LV free wall revealed that both TtnΔIAjxn and wildtype (WT) exercised mice had a reduction in passive stiffness, relative to sedentary controls. In both genotypes, this reduction is due to an increase in the compliance of titin whereas ECM-based stiffness was unaffected. Phosphorylation of titin's PEVK and N2B spring elements were assayed with phospho-site specific antibodies. Exercised mice had decreased PEVK phosphorylation and increased N2B phosphorylation both of which are predicted to contribute to the increased compliance of titin. Since exercise lowers the heart rate we examined whether reduction in heart rate per se can improve passive stiffness by administering the heart-rate-lowering drug ivabradine. Ivabradine lowered heart rate in our study but it did not affect passive tension, in neither WT nor TtnΔIAjxn mice. We conclude that exercise is beneficial for decreasing passive stiffness and that it involves beneficial alterations in titin phosphorylation.
- Tonino, P., Kiss, B., Strom, J., Methawasin, M., Smith, J. E., Kolb, J., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. (2017). The giant protein titin regulates the length of the striated muscle thick filament. Nature communications, 8(1), 1041.More infoThe contractile machinery of heart and skeletal muscles has as an essential component the thick filament, comprised of the molecular motor myosin. The thick filament is of a precisely controlled length, defining thereby the force level that muscles generate and how this force varies with muscle length. It has been speculated that the mechanism by which thick filament length is controlled involves the giant protein titin, but no conclusive support for this hypothesis exists. Here we show that in a mouse model in which we deleted two of titin's C-zone super-repeats, thick filament length is reduced in cardiac and skeletal muscles. In addition, functional studies reveal reduced force generation and a dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) phenotype. Thus, regulation of thick filament length depends on titin and is critical for maintaining muscle health.
- Birch, C. L., Behunin, S. M., Lopez-Pier, M. A., Danilo, C., Lipovka, Y., Saripalli, C., Granzier, H., & Konhilas, J. P. (2016). Sex dimorphisms of crossbridge cycling kinetics in transgenic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy mice. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology, 311(1), H125-36.More infoFamilial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease of the sarcomere and may lead to hypertrophic, dilated, restrictive, and/or arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, or sudden cardiac death. We hypothesized that hearts from transgenic HCM mice harboring a mutant myosin heavy chain increase the energetic cost of contraction in a sex-specific manner. To do this, we assessed Ca(2+) sensitivity of tension and crossbridge kinetics in demembranated cardiac trabeculas from male and female wild-type (WT) and HCM hearts at an early time point (2 mo of age). We found a significant effect of sex on Ca(2+) sensitivity such that male, but not female, HCM mice displayed a decrease in Ca(2+) sensitivity compared with WT counterparts. The HCM transgene and sex significantly impacted the rate of force redevelopment by a rapid release-restretch protocol and tension cost by the ATPase-tension relationship. In each of these measures, HCM male trabeculas displayed a gain-of-function when compared with WT counterparts. In addition, cardiac remodeling measured by echocardiography, histology, morphometry, and posttranslational modifications demonstrated sex- and HCM-specific effects. In conclusion, female and male HCM mice display sex dimorphic crossbridge kinetics accompanied by sex- and HCM-dependent cardiac remodeling at the morphometric, histological, and cellular level.
- Bogomolovas, J., Fleming, J. R., Anderson, B. R., Williams, R., Lange, S., Simon, B., Khan, M. M., Rudolf, R., Franke, B., Bullard, B., Rigden, D. J., Granzier, H., Labeit, S., & Mayans, O. (2016). Exploration of pathomechanisms triggered by a single-nucleotide polymorphism in titin's I-band: the cardiomyopathy-linked mutation T2580I. Open biology, 6(9).More infoMissense single-nucleotide polymorphisms (mSNPs) in titin are emerging as a main causative factor of heart failure. However, distinguishing between benign and disease-causing mSNPs is a substantial challenge. Here, we research the question of whether a single mSNP in a generic domain of titin can affect heart function as a whole and, if so, how. For this, we studied the mSNP T2850I, seemingly linked to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). We used structural biology, computational simulations and transgenic muscle in vivo methods to track the effect of the mutation from the molecular to the organismal level. The data show that the T2850I exchange is compatible with the domain three-dimensional fold, but that it strongly destabilizes it. Further, it induces a change in the conformational dynamics of the titin chain that alters its reactivity, causing the formation of aberrant interactions in the sarcomere. Echocardiography of knock-in mice indicated a mild diastolic dysfunction arising from increased myocardial stiffness. In conclusion, our data provide evidence that single mSNPs in titin's I-band can alter overall muscle behaviour. Our suggested mechanisms of disease are the development of non-native sarcomeric interactions and titin instability leading to a reduced I-band compliance. However, understanding the T2850I-induced ARVC pathology mechanistically remains a complex problem and will require a deeper understanding of the sarcomeric context of the titin region affected.
- Bull, M., Methawasin, M., Strom, J., Nair, P., Hutchinson, K., & Granzier, H. (2016). Alternative Splicing of Titin Restores Diastolic Function in an HFpEF-Like Genetic Murine Model (TtnΔIAjxn). Circulation research, 119(6), 764-72.More infoPatients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) experience elevated filling pressures and reduced ventricular compliance. The splicing factor RNA-binding motif 20 (RBM20) regulates the contour length of titin's spring region and thereby determines the passive stiffness of cardiomyocytes. Inhibition of RBM20 leads to super compliant titin isoforms (N2BAsc) that reduce passive stiffness.
- Evans, J. M., Cox, M. L., Huska, J., Li, F., Gaitero, L., Guo, L. T., Casal, M. L., Granzier, H. L., Shelton, G. D., & Clark, L. A. (2016). Exome sequencing reveals a nebulin nonsense mutation in a dog model of nemaline myopathy. Mammalian genome : official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society, 27(9-10), 495-502.More infoNemaline myopathy (NM) is a congenital muscle disorder associated with muscle weakness, hypotonia, and rod bodies in the skeletal muscle fibers. Mutations in 10 genes have been implicated in human NM, but spontaneous cases in dogs have not been genetically characterized. We identified a novel recessive myopathy in a family of line-bred American bulldogs (ABDs); rod bodies in muscle biopsies established this as NM. Using SNP profiles from the nuclear family, we evaluated inheritance patterns at candidate loci and prioritized TNNT1 and NEB for further investigation. Whole exome sequencing of the dam, two affected littermates, and an unaffected littermate revealed a nonsense mutation in NEB (g.52734272 C>A, S8042X). Whole tissue gel electrophoresis and western blots confirmed a lack of full-length NEB in affected tissues, suggesting nonsense-mediated decay. The pathogenic variant was absent from 120 dogs of 24 other breeds and 100 unrelated ABDs, suggesting that it occurred recently and may be private to the family. This study presents the first molecularly characterized large animal model of NM, which could provide new opportunities for therapeutic approaches.
- Gigli, M., Begay, R. L., Morea, G., Graw, S. L., Sinagra, G., Taylor, M. R., Granzier, H., & Mestroni, L. (2016). A Review of the Giant Protein Titin in Clinical Molecular Diagnostics of Cardiomyopathies. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 3, 21.More infoTitin (TTN) is known as the largest sarcomeric protein that resides within the heart muscle. Due to alternative splicing of TTN, the heart expresses two major isoforms (N2B and N2BA) that incorporate four distinct regions termed the Z-line, I-band, A-band, and M-line. Next-generation sequencing allows a large number of genes to be sequenced simultaneously and provides the opportunity to easily analyze giant genes such as TTN. Mutations in the TTN gene can cause cardiomyopathies, in particular dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). DCM is the most common form of cardiomyopathy, and it is characterized by systolic dysfunction and dilation of the left ventricle. TTN truncating variants have been described as the most common cause of DCM, while the real impact of TTN missense variants in the pathogenesis of DCM is still unclear. In a recent population screening study, rare missense variants potentially pathogenic based on bioinformatic filtering represented only 12.6% of the several hundred rare TTN missense variants found, suggesting that missense variants are very common in TTN and are frequently benign. The aim of this review is to understand the clinical role of TTN mutations in DCM and in other cardiomyopathies. Whereas TTN truncations are common in DCM, there is evidence that TTN truncations are rare in the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) phenotype. Furthermore, TTN mutations can also cause arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) with distinct clinical features and outcomes. Finally, the identification of a rare TTN missense variant cosegregating with the restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) phenotype suggests that TTN is a novel disease-causing gene in this disease. Clinical diagnostic testing is currently able to analyze over 100 cardiomyopathy genes, including TTN; however, the size and presence of extensive genetic variation in TTN presents clinical challenges in determining significant disease-causing mutations. This review discusses the current knowledge of TTN genetic variations in cardiomyopathies and the impact of the diagnosis of TTN pathogenic mutations in the clinical setting.
- Hinze, F., Dieterich, C., Radke, M. H., Granzier, H., & Gotthardt, M. (2016). Reducing RBM20 activity improves diastolic dysfunction and cardiac atrophy. Journal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany), 94(12), 1349-1358.More infoImpaired diastolic filling is a main contributor to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), a syndrome with increasing prevalence and no treatment. Both collagen and the giant sarcomeric protein titin determine diastolic function. Since titin's elastic properties can be adjusted physiologically, we evaluated titin-based stiffness as a therapeutic target. We adjusted RBM20-dependent cardiac isoform expression in the titin N2B knockout mouse with increased ventricular stiffness. A ~50 % reduction of RBM20 activity does not only maintain cardiac filling in diastole but also ameliorates cardiac atrophy and thus improves cardiac function in the N2B-deficient heart. Reduced RBM20 activity partially normalized gene expression related to muscle development and fatty acid metabolism. The adaptation of cardiac growth was related to hypertrophy signaling via four-and-a-half lim-domain proteins (FHLs) that translate mechanical input into hypertrophy signals. We provide a novel link between cardiac isoform expression and trophic signaling via FHLs and suggest cardiac splicing as a therapeutic target in diastolic dysfunction.
- Kolb, J., Li, F., Methawasin, M., Adler, M., Escobar, Y. N., Nedrud, J., Pappas, C. T., Harris, S. P., & Granzier, H. (2016). Thin filament length in the cardiac sarcomere varies with sarcomere length but is independent of titin and nebulin. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 97, 286-94.More infoThin filament length (TFL) is an important determinant of the force-sarcomere length (SL) relation of cardiac muscle. However, the various mechanisms that control TFL are not well understood. Here we tested the previously proposed hypothesis that the actin-binding protein nebulin contributes to TFL regulation in the heart by using a cardiac-specific nebulin cKO mouse model (αMHC Cre Neb cKO). Atrial myocytes were studied because nebulin expression has been reported to be most prominent in this cell type. TFL was measured in right and left atrial myocytes using deconvolution optical microscopy and staining for filamentous actin with phalloidin and for the thin filament pointed-end with an antibody to the capping protein Tropomodulin-1 (Tmod1). Results showed that TFLs in Neb cKO and littermate control mice were not different. Thus, deletion of nebulin in the heart does not alter TFL. However, TFL was found to be ~0.05μm longer in the right than in the left atrium and Tmod1 expression was increased in the right atrium. We also tested the hypothesis that the length of titin's spring region is a factor controlling TFL by studying the Rbm20(ΔRRM) mouse which expresses titins that are ~500kDa (heterozygous mice) and ~1000kDa (homozygous mice) longer than in control mice. Results revealed that TFL was not different in Rbm20(ΔRRM) mice. An unexpected finding in all genotypes studied was that TFL increased as sarcomeres were stretched (~0.1μm per 0.35μm of SL increase). This apparent increase in TFL reached a maximum at a SL of ~3.0μm where TFL was ~1.05μm. The SL dependence of TFL was independent of chemical fixation or the presence of cardiac myosin-binding protein C (cMyBP-C). In summary, we found that in cardiac myocytes TFL varies with SL in a manner that is independent of the size of titin or the presence of nebulin.
- Kovács, ., Fülöp, G. Á., Kovács, A., Csípő, T., Bódi, B., Priksz, D., Juhász, B., Beke, L., Hendrik, Z., Méhes, G., Granzier, H. L., Édes, I., Fagyas, M., Papp, Z., Barta, J., & Tóth, A. (2016). Renin overexpression leads to increased titin-based stiffness contributing to diastolic dysfunction in hypertensive mRen2 rats. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology, 310(11), H1671-82.More infoHypertension (HTN) is a major risk factor for heart failure. We investigated the influence of HTN on cardiac contraction and relaxation in transgenic renin overexpressing rats (carrying mouse Ren-2 renin gene, mRen2, n = 6). Blood pressure (BP) was measured. Cardiac contractility was characterized by echocardiography, cellular force measurements, and biochemical assays were applied to reveal molecular mechanisms. Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats (n = 6) were used as controls. Transgenic rats had higher circulating renin activity and lower cardiac angiotensin-converting enzyme two levels. Systolic BP was elevated in mRen2 rats (235.11 ± 5.32 vs. 127.03 ± 7.56 mmHg in SD, P < 0.05), resulting in increased left ventricular (LV) weight/body weight ratio (4.05 ± 0.09 vs. 2.77 ± 0.08 mg/g in SD, P < 0.05). Transgenic renin expression had no effect on the systolic parameters, such as LV ejection fraction, cardiomyocyte Ca(2+)-activated force, and Ca(2+) sensitivity of force production. In contrast, diastolic dysfunction was observed in mRen2 compared with SD rats: early and late LV diastolic filling ratio (E/A) was lower (1.14 ± 0.04 vs. 1.87 ± 0.08, P < 0.05), LV isovolumetric relaxation time was longer (43.85 ± 0.89 vs. 28.55 ± 1.33 ms, P < 0.05), cardiomyocyte passive tension was higher (1.74 ± 0.06 vs. 1.28 ± 0.18 kN/m(2), P < 0.05), and lung weight/body weight ratio was increased (6.47 ± 0.24 vs. 5.78 ± 0.19 mg/g, P < 0.05), as was left atrial weight/body weight ratio (0.21 ± 0.03 vs. 0.14 ± 0.03 mg/g, P < 0.05). Hyperphosphorylation of titin at Ser-12742 within the PEVK domain and a twofold overexpression of protein kinase C-α in mRen2 rats were detected. Our data suggest a link between the activation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and increased titin-based stiffness through phosphorylation of titin's PEVK element, contributing to diastolic dysfunction.
- Leite, F. S., Minozzo, F. C., Kalganov, A., Cornachione, A. S., Cheng, Y., Leu, N. A., Han, X., Saripalli, C., Yates, J. R., Granzier, H., Kashina, A. S., & Rassier, D. E. (2016). Reduced passive force in skeletal muscles lacking protein arginylation. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology, 310(2), C127-35.More infoArginylation is a posttranslational modification that plays a global role in mammals. Mice lacking the enzyme arginyltransferase in skeletal muscles exhibit reduced contractile forces that have been linked to a reduction in myosin cross-bridge formation. The role of arginylation in passive skeletal myofibril forces has never been investigated. In this study, we used single sarcomere and myofibril measurements and observed that lack of arginylation leads to a pronounced reduction in passive forces in skeletal muscles. Mass spectrometry indicated that skeletal muscle titin, the protein primarily linked to passive force generation, is arginylated on five sites located within the A band, an important area for protein-protein interactions. We propose a mechanism for passive force regulation by arginylation through modulation of protein-protein binding between the titin molecule and the thick filament. Key points are as follows: 1) active and passive forces were decreased in myofibrils and single sarcomeres isolated from muscles lacking arginyl-tRNA-protein transferase (ATE1). 2) Mass spectrometry revealed five sites for arginylation within titin molecules. All sites are located within the A-band portion of titin, an important region for protein-protein interactions. 3) Our data suggest that arginylation of titin is required for proper passive force development in skeletal muscles.
- Methawasin, M., Strom, J. G., Slater, R. E., Fernandez, V., Saripalli, C., & Granzier, H. (2016). Experimentally Increasing the Compliance of Titin Through RNA Binding Motif-20 (RBM20) Inhibition Improves Diastolic Function In a Mouse Model of Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction. Circulation, 134(15), 1085-1099.More infoLeft ventricular (LV) stiffening contributes to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), a syndrome with no effective treatment options. Increasing the compliance of titin in the heart has become possible recently through inhibition of the splicing factor RNA binding motif-20. Here, we investigated the effects of increasing the compliance of titin in mice with diastolic dysfunction.
- Pulcastro, H. C., Awinda, P. O., Methawasin, M., Granzier, H., Dong, W., & Tanner, B. C. (2016). Increased Titin Compliance Reduced Length-Dependent Contraction and Slowed Cross-Bridge Kinetics in Skinned Myocardial Strips from Rbm (20ΔRRM) Mice. Frontiers in physiology, 7, 322.More infoTitin is a giant protein spanning from the Z-disk to the M-band of the cardiac sarcomere. In the I-band titin acts as a molecular spring, contributing to passive mechanical characteristics of the myocardium throughout a heartbeat. RNA Binding Motif Protein 20 (RBM20) is required for normal titin splicing, and its absence or altered function leads to greater expression of a very large, more compliant N2BA titin isoform in Rbm20 homozygous mice (Rbm20 (ΔRRM) ) compared to wild-type mice (WT) that almost exclusively express the stiffer N2B titin isoform. Prior studies using Rbm20 (ΔRRM) animals have shown that increased titin compliance compromises muscle ultrastructure and attenuates the Frank-Starling relationship. Although previous computational simulations of muscle contraction suggested that increasing compliance of the sarcomere slows the rate of tension development and prolongs cross-bridge attachment, none of the reported effects of Rbm20 (ΔRRM) on myocardial function have been attributed to changes in cross-bridge cycling kinetics. To test the relationship between increased sarcomere compliance and cross-bridge kinetics, we used stochastic length-perturbation analysis in Ca(2+)-activated, skinned papillary muscle strips from Rbm20 (ΔRRM) and WT mice. We found increasing titin compliance depressed maximal tension, decreased Ca(2+)-sensitivity of the tension-pCa relationship, and slowed myosin detachment rate in myocardium from Rbm20 (ΔRRM) vs. WT mice. As sarcomere length increased from 1.9 to 2.2 μm, length-dependent activation of contraction was eliminated in the Rbm20 (ΔRRM) myocardium, even though myosin MgADP release rate decreased ~20% to prolong strong cross-bridge binding at longer sarcomere length. These data suggest that increasing N2BA expression may alter cardiac performance in a length-dependent manner, showing greater deficits in tension production and slower cross-bridge kinetics at longer sarcomere length. This study also supports the idea that passive mechanical characteristics of the myocardium influence ensemble cross-bridge behavior and maintenance of tension generation throughout the sarcomere.
- Winter, J. M., Joureau, B., Lee, E. J., Kiss, B., Yuen, M., Gupta, V. A., Pappas, C. T., Gregorio, C. C., Stienen, G. J., Edvardson, S., Wallgren-Pettersson, C., Lehtokari, V. L., Pelin, K., Malfatti, E., Romero, N. B., Engelen, B. G., Voermans, N. C., Donkervoort, S., Bönnemann, C. G., , Clarke, N. F., et al. (2016). Mutation-specific effects on thin filament length in thin filament myopathy. Annals of neurology, 79(6), 959-69.More infoThin filament myopathies are among the most common nondystrophic congenital muscular disorders, and are caused by mutations in genes encoding proteins that are associated with the skeletal muscle thin filament. Mechanisms underlying muscle weakness are poorly understood, but might involve the length of the thin filament, an important determinant of force generation.
- Begay, R. L., Graw, S., Sinagra, G., Merlo, M., Slavov, D., Gowan, K., Jones, K. L., Barbati, G., Spezzacatene, A., Brun, F., Di Lenarda, A., Smith, J. E., Granzier, H. L., Mestroni, L., Taylor, M., & , F. C. (2015). Role of Titin Missense Variants in Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Journal of the American Heart Association, 4(11).More infoThe titin gene (TTN) encodes the largest human protein, which plays a central role in sarcomere organization and passive myocyte stiffness. TTN truncating mutations cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM); however, the role of TTN missense variants in DCM has been difficult to elucidate because of the presence of background TTN variation.
- Granzier, H. L. (2015). Reply to Tskhovrebova et al.: Titin's IA junction does not control thick filament length. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(11), E1173.
- Granzier, H. L., & de Tombe, P. P. (2015). Myosin light chain phosphorylation to the rescue. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(30), 9148-9.
- Hutchinson, K. R., Saripalli, C., Chung, C. S., & Granzier, H. (2015). Increased myocardial stiffness due to cardiac titin isoform switching in a mouse model of volume overload limits eccentric remodeling. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 79, 104-14.More infoWe investigated the cellular and molecular mechanisms of diastolic dysfunction in pure volume overload induced by aortocaval fistula (ACF) surgery in the mouse. Four weeks of volume overload resulted in significant biventricular hypertrophy; protein expression analysis in left ventricular (LV) tissue showed a marked decrease in titin's N2BA/N2B ratio with no change in phosphorylation of titin's spring region. Titin-based passive tensions were significantly increased; a result of the decreased N2BA/N2B ratio. Conscious echocardiography in ACF mice revealed eccentric remodeling and pressure volume analysis revealed systolic dysfunction: reductions in ejection fraction (EF), +dP/dt, and the slope of the end-systolic pressure volume relationships (ESPVR). ACF mice also had diastolic dysfunction: increased LV end-diastolic pressure and reduced relaxation rates. Additionally, a decrease in the slope of the end diastolic pressure volume relationship (EDPVR) was found. However, correcting for altered geometry of the LV normalized the change in EDPVR and revealed, in line with our skinned muscle data, increased myocardial stiffness in vivo. ACF mice also had increased expression of the signaling proteins FHL-1, FHL-2, and CARP that bind to titin's spring region suggesting that titin stiffening is important to the volume overload phenotype. To test this we investigated the effect of volume overload in the RBM20 heterozygous (HET) mouse model, which exhibits reduced titin stiffness. It was found that LV hypertrophy was attenuated and that LV eccentricity was exacerbated. We propose that pure volume overload induces an increase in titin stiffness that is beneficial and limits eccentric remodeling.
- Li, F., Buck, D., De Winter, J., Kolb, J., Meng, H., Birch, C., Slater, R., Escobar, Y. N., Smith, J. E., Yang, L., Konhilas, J., Lawlor, M. W., Ottenheijm, C., & Granzier, H. L. (2015). Nebulin deficiency in adult muscle causes sarcomere defects and muscle-type-dependent changes in trophicity: novel insights in nemaline myopathy. Human molecular genetics, 24(18), 5219-33.More infoNebulin is a giant filamentous protein that is coextensive with the actin filaments of the skeletal muscle sarcomere. Nebulin mutations are the main cause of nemaline myopathy (NEM), with typical adult patients having low expression of nebulin, yet the roles of nebulin in adult muscle remain poorly understood. To establish nebulin's functional roles in adult muscle, we studied a novel conditional nebulin KO (Neb cKO) mouse model in which nebulin deletion was driven by the muscle creatine kinase (MCK) promotor. Neb cKO mice are born with high nebulin levels in their skeletal muscles, but within weeks after birth nebulin expression rapidly falls to barely detectable levels Surprisingly, a large fraction of the mice survive to adulthood with low nebulin levels (
- Pappas, C. T., Mayfield, R. M., Henderson, C., Jamilpour, N., Cover, C., Hernandez, Z., Hutchinson, K. R., Chu, M., Nam, K., Valdez, J. M., Wong, P. K., Granzier, H. L., & Gregorio, C. C. (2015). Knockout of Lmod2 results in shorter thin filaments followed by dilated cardiomyopathy and juvenile lethality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(44), 13573-8.More infoLeiomodin 2 (Lmod2) is an actin-binding protein that has been implicated in the regulation of striated muscle thin filament assembly; its physiological function has yet to be studied. We found that knockout of Lmod2 in mice results in abnormally short thin filaments in the heart. We also discovered that Lmod2 functions to elongate thin filaments by promoting actin assembly and dynamics at thin filament pointed ends. Lmod2-KO mice die as juveniles with hearts displaying contractile dysfunction and ventricular chamber enlargement consistent with dilated cardiomyopathy. Lmod2-null cardiomyocytes produce less contractile force than wild type when plated on micropillar arrays. Introduction of GFP-Lmod2 via adeno-associated viral transduction elongates thin filaments and rescues structural and functional defects observed in Lmod2-KO mice, extending their lifespan to adulthood. Thus, to our knowledge, Lmod2 is the first identified mammalian protein that functions to elongate actin filaments in the heart; it is essential for cardiac thin filaments to reach a mature length and is required for efficient contractile force and proper heart function during development.
- Perkin, J., Slater, R., Del Favero, G., Lanzicher, T., Hidalgo, C., Anderson, B., Smith, J. E., Sbaizero, O., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. (2015). Phosphorylating Titin's Cardiac N2B Element by ERK2 or CaMKIIδ Lowers the Single Molecule and Cardiac Muscle Force. Biophysical journal, 109(12), 2592-601.More infoTitin is a large filamentous protein that is responsible for the passive force of the cardiac sarcomere. Titin's force is generated by its I-band region, which includes the cardiac-specific N2B element. The N2B element consists of three immunoglobulin domains, two small unique sequence insertions, and a large 575-residue unique sequence, the N2B-Us. Posttranslational modifications of the N2B element are thought to regulate passive force, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Increased passive-force levels characterize diastolic stiffening in heart-failure patients, and it is critical to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms and identify therapeutic targets. Here, we used single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the mechanical effects of the kinases calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II delta (CaMKIIδ) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) on the single-molecule mechanics of the N2B element. Both CaMKIIδ and ERK2 were found to phosphorylate the N2B element, and single-molecule force spectroscopy revealed an increase in the persistence length (Lp) of the molecule, indicating that the bending rigidity of the molecule was increased. Experiments performed under oxidizing conditions and with a recombinant N2B element that had a simplified domain composition provided evidence that the Lp increase requires the N2B-Us of the N2B element. Mechanical experiments were also performed on skinned myocardium before and after phosphorylation. The results revealed a large (∼30%) passive force reduction caused by CaMKIIδ and a much smaller (∼6%) reduction caused by ERK2. These findings support the notion that the important kinases ERK2 and CaMKIIδ can alter the passive force of myocytes in the heart (although CaMKIIδ appears to be more potent) during physiological and pathophysiological states.
- Zile, M. R., Baicu, C. F., Ikonomidis, J. S., Stroud, R. E., Nietert, P. J., Bradshaw, A. D., Slater, R., Palmer, B. M., Van Buren, P., Meyer, M., Redfield, M. M., Bull, D. A., Granzier, H. L., & LeWinter, M. M. (2015). Myocardial stiffness in patients with heart failure and a preserved ejection fraction: contributions of collagen and titin. Circulation, 131(14), 1247-59.More infoThe purpose of this study was to determine whether patients with heart failure and a preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) have an increase in passive myocardial stiffness and the extent to which discovered changes depend on changes in extracellular matrix fibrillar collagen and cardiomyocyte titin.
- de Winter, J. M., Joureau, B., Sequeira, V., Clarke, N. F., van der Velden, J., Stienen, G. J., Granzier, H., Beggs, A. H., & Ottenheijm, C. A. (2015). Effect of levosimendan on the contractility of muscle fibers from nemaline myopathy patients with mutations in the nebulin gene. Skeletal muscle, 5, 12.More infoNemaline myopathy (NM), the most common non-dystrophic congenital myopathy, is characterized by generalized skeletal muscle weakness, often from birth. To date, no therapy exists that enhances the contractile strength of muscles of NM patients. Mutations in NEB, encoding the giant protein nebulin, are the most common cause of NM. The pathophysiology of muscle weakness in NM patients with NEB mutations (NEB-NM) includes a lower calcium-sensitivity of force generation. We propose that the lower calcium-sensitivity of force generation in NEB-NM offers a therapeutic target. Levosimendan is a calcium sensitizer that is approved for use in humans and has been developed to target cardiac muscle fibers. It exerts its effect through binding to slow skeletal/cardiac troponin C. As slow skeletal/cardiac troponin C is also the dominant troponin C isoform in slow-twitch skeletal muscle fibers, we hypothesized that levosimendan improves slow-twitch muscle fiber strength at submaximal levels of activation in patients with NEB-NM.
- Buck, D., Smith, J. E., Chung, C. S., Ono, Y., Sorimachi, H., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2014). Removal of immunoglobulin-like domains from titin's spring segment alters titin splicing in mouse skeletal muscle and causes myopathy. The Journal of general physiology, 143(2), 215-30.More infoTitin is a molecular spring that determines the passive stiffness of muscle cells. Changes in titin's stiffness occur in various myopathies, but whether these are a cause or an effect of the disease is unknown. We studied a novel mouse model in which titin's stiffness was slightly increased by deleting nine immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains from titin's constitutively expressed proximal tandem Ig segment (IG KO). KO mice displayed mild kyphosis, a phenotype commonly associated with skeletal muscle myopathy. Slow muscles were atrophic with alterations in myosin isoform expression; functional studies in soleus muscle revealed a reduced specific twitch force. Exon expression analysis showed that KO mice underwent additional changes in titin splicing to yield smaller than expected titin isoforms that were much stiffer than expected. Additionally, splicing occurred in the PEVK region of titin, a finding confirmed at the protein level. The titin-binding protein Ankrd1 was highly increased in the IG KO, but this did not play a role in generating small titin isoforms because titin expression was unaltered in IG KO mice crossed with Ankrd1-deficient mice. In contrast, the splicing factor RBM20 (RNA-binding motif 20) was also significantly increased in IG KO mice, and additional differential splicing was reversed in IG KO mice crossed with a mouse with reduced RBM20 activity. Thus, increasing titin's stiffness triggers pathological changes in skeletal muscle, with an important role played by RBM20.
- Elhamine, F., Radke, M. H., Pfitzer, G., Granzier, H., Gotthardt, M., & Stehle, R. (2014). Deletion of the titin N2B region accelerates myofibrillar force development but does not alter relaxation kinetics. Journal of cell science, 127(Pt 17), 3666-74.More infoCardiac titin is the main determinant of sarcomere stiffness during diastolic relaxation. To explore whether titin stiffness affects the kinetics of cardiac myofibrillar contraction and relaxation, we used subcellular myofibrils from the left ventricles of homozygous and heterozygous N2B-knockout mice which express truncated cardiac titins lacking the unique elastic N2B region. Compared with myofibrils from wild-type mice, myofibrils from knockout and heterozygous mice exhibit increased passive myofibrillar stiffness. To determine the kinetics of Ca(2+)-induced force development (rate constant kACT), myofibrils from knockout, heterozygous and wild-type mice were stretched to the same sarcomere length (2.3 µm) and rapidly activated with Ca(2+). Additionally, mechanically induced force-redevelopment kinetics (rate constant kTR) were determined by slackening and re-stretching myofibrils during Ca(2+)-mediated activation. Myofibrils from knockout mice exhibited significantly higher kACT, kTR and maximum Ca(2+)-activated tension than myofibrils from wild-type mice. By contrast, the kinetic parameters of biphasic force relaxation induced by rapidly reducing [Ca(2+)] were not significantly different among the three genotypes. These results indicate that increased titin stiffness promotes myocardial contraction by accelerating the formation of force-generating cross-bridges without decelerating relaxation.
- Granzier, H. L., Hutchinson, K. R., Tonino, P., Methawasin, M., Li, F. W., Slater, R. E., Bull, M. M., Saripalli, C., Pappas, C. T., Gregorio, C. C., & Smith, J. E. (2014). Deleting titin's I-band/A-band junction reveals critical roles for titin in biomechanical sensing and cardiac function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(40), 14589-94.More infoTitin, the largest protein known, forms a giant filament in muscle where it spans the half sarcomere from Z disk to M band. Here we genetically targeted a stretch of 14 immunoglobulin-like and fibronectin type 3 domains that comprises the I-band/A-band (IA) junction and obtained a viable mouse model. Super-resolution optical microscopy (structured illumination microscopy, SIM) and electron microscopy were used to study the thick filament length and titin's molecular elasticity. SIM showed that the IA junction functionally belongs to the relatively stiff A-band region of titin. The stiffness of A-band titin was found to be high, relative to that of I-band titin (∼ 40-fold higher) but low, relative to that of the myosin-based thick filament (∼ 70-fold lower). Sarcomere stretch therefore results in movement of A-band titin with respect to the thick filament backbone, and this might constitute a novel length-sensing mechanism. Findings disproved that titin at the IA junction is crucial for thick filament length control, settling a long-standing hypothesis. SIM also showed that deleting the IA junction moves the attachment point of titin's spring region away from the Z disk, increasing the strain on titin's molecular spring elements. Functional studies from the cellular to ex vivo and in vivo left ventricular chamber levels showed that this causes diastolic dysfunction and other symptoms of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Thus, our work supports titin's important roles in diastolic function and disease of the heart.
- Hidalgo, C., Saripalli, C., & Granzier, H. L. (2014). Effect of exercise training on post-translational and post-transcriptional regulation of titin stiffness in striated muscle of wild type and IG KO mice. Archives of biochemistry and biophysics, 552-553, 100-7.More infoExercise has beneficial effects on diastolic dysfunction but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here we studied the effects of exercise on the elastic protein titin, an important determinant of diastolic stiffness, in both the left ventricle and the diaphragm. We used wild type mice and genetically engineered mice with HFpEF symptoms (IG KO mice), including diastolic dysfunction. In the diaphragm muscle, exercise increased the expression level of titin (increased titin:MHC ratio) which is expected to increase titin-based stiffness. This effect was absent in the LV. We also studied the constitutively expressed titin residues S11878 and S12022 that are known targets of CaMKIIδ and PKCα with increased phosphorylation resulting in an increase in titin-based passive stiffness. The phosphorylation level of S11878 was unchanged whereas S12022 responded to exercise with a reduction in the phosphorylation level in the LV and, interestingly, an increase in the diaphragm. These changes are expected to lower titin's stiffness in the LV and increase stiffness in the diaphragm. We propose that these disparate effects reflect the unique physiological needs of the two tissue types and that both effects are beneficial.
- Le Sueur, H., Mollon, J. D., Granzier, J., & Jordan, G. (2014). Counterphase modulation photometry: comparison of two instruments. Journal of the Optical Society of America. A, Optics, image science, and vision, 31(4), A34-7.More infoThe ratio of long-wavelength to medium-wavelength sensitive cones varies significantly among people. In order to investigate the possible effect of this variation in large numbers of participants, a quick and efficient method to estimate the ratio is required. The OSCAR test has been utilized previously for this purpose, but it is no longer available commercially. Having access to one of the few remaining OSCAR instruments, we compared the observers' mean settings to those obtained with the Medmont C100, a newer but apparently similar device. We also obtained Rayleigh matches for each participant. One hundred volunteers took part in the study. Settings on the OSCAR test were highly correlated with those on the Medmont C100. Both tests appeared to be influenced not only by L∶M cone ratios but also by the spectral positions of the cone photopigments, since anomaloscope midmatch points accounted for a significant proportion of the variance. We conclude that the Medmont C100 can be used as a suitable replacement for the OSCAR test and has a role in the rapid estimation of L∶M cone ratios.
- Meng, H., Janssen, P. M., Grange, R. W., Yang, L., Beggs, A. H., Swanson, L. C., Cossette, S. A., Frase, A., Childers, M. K., Granzier, H., Gussoni, E., & Lawlor, M. W. (2014). Tissue triage and freezing for models of skeletal muscle disease. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.More infoSkeletal muscle is a unique tissue because of its structure and function, which requires specific protocols for tissue collection to obtain optimal results from functional, cellular, molecular, and pathological evaluations. Due to the subtlety of some pathological abnormalities seen in congenital muscle disorders and the potential for fixation to interfere with the recognition of these features, pathological evaluation of frozen muscle is preferable to fixed muscle when evaluating skeletal muscle for congenital muscle disease. Additionally, the potential to produce severe freezing artifacts in muscle requires specific precautions when freezing skeletal muscle for histological examination that are not commonly used when freezing other tissues. This manuscript describes a protocol for rapid freezing of skeletal muscle using isopentane (2-methylbutane) cooled with liquid nitrogen to preserve optimal skeletal muscle morphology. This procedure is also effective for freezing tissue intended for genetic or protein expression studies. Furthermore, we have integrated our freezing protocol into a broader procedure that also describes preferred methods for the short term triage of tissue for (1) single fiber functional studies and (2) myoblast cell culture, with a focus on the minimum effort necessary to collect tissue and transport it to specialized research or reference labs to complete these studies. Overall, this manuscript provides an outline of how fresh tissue can be effectively distributed for a variety of phenotypic studies and thereby provides standard operating procedures (SOPs) for pathological studies related to congenital muscle disease.
- Methawasin, M., Hutchinson, K. R., Lee, E., Smith, J. E., Saripalli, C., Hidalgo, C. G., Ottenheijm, C. A., & Granzier, H. (2014). Experimentally increasing titin compliance in a novel mouse model attenuates the Frank-Starling mechanism but has a beneficial effect on diastole. Circulation, 129(19), 1924-36.More infoExperimentally upregulating compliant titins has been suggested as a therapeutic for lowering pathological diastolic stiffness levels. However, how increasing titin compliance impacts global cardiac function requires in-depth study. We investigate the effect of upregulating compliant titins in a novel mouse model with a genetically altered titin splicing factor; integrative approaches were used from intact cardiomyocyte mechanics to pressure-volume analysis and Doppler echocardiography.
- Rain, S., Bos, D. d., Handoko, D., Westerhof, D., Stienen, D., Ottenheijm, D., Goebel, D., Dorfmüller, D., Guignabert, D., Humbert, D., Bogaard, D., Remedios, D., Saripalli, D., Hidalgo, D., Granzier, D., Vonk-Noordegraaf, D., van der Velden, D., & de Man, D. (2014). Protein changes contributing to right ventricular cardiomyocyte diastolic dysfunction in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Journal of the American Heart Association, 3(3), e000716.More infoRight ventricular (RV) diastolic function is impaired in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Our previous study showed that elevated cardiomyocyte stiffness and myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity underlie diastolic dysfunction in PAH. This study investigates protein modifications contributing to cellular diastolic dysfunction in PAH.
- Granzier, H., Anderson, B. R., & Granzier, H. L. (0). Titin-based tension in the cardiac sarcomere: molecular origin and physiological adaptations. Progress in biophysics and molecular biology, 110(2-3).More infoThe passive stiffness of cardiac muscle plays a critical role in ventricular filling during diastole and is determined by the extracellular matrix and the sarcomeric protein titin. Titin spans from the Z-disk to the M-band of the sarcomere and also contains a large extensible region that acts as a molecular spring and develops passive force during sarcomere stretch. This extensible segment is titin's I-band region, and its force-generating mechanical properties determine titin-based passive tension. The properties of titin's I-band region can be modulated by isoform splicing and post-translational modification and are intimately linked to diastolic function. This review discusses the physical origin of titin-based passive tension, the mechanisms that alter titin stiffness, and titin's role in stress-sensing signaling pathways.
- Granzier, H., Anderson, B. R., Bogomolovas, J., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2013). Single molecule force spectroscopy on titin implicates immunoglobulin domain stability as a cardiac disease mechanism. The Journal of biological chemistry, 288(8).More infoTitin plays crucial roles in sarcomere organization and cardiac elasticity by acting as an intrasarcomeric molecular spring. A mutation in the tenth Ig-like domain of titin's spring region is associated with arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, a disease characterized by ventricular arrhythmias leading to cardiac arrest and sudden death. Titin is the first sarcomeric protein linked to arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy. To characterize the disease mechanism, we have used atomic force microscopy to directly measure the effects that the disease-linked point mutation (T16I) has on the mechanical and kinetic stability of Ig10 at the single molecule level. The mutation decreases the force needed to unfold Ig10 and increases its rate of unfolding 4-fold. We also found that T16I Ig10 is more prone to degradation, presumably due to compromised local protein structure. Overall, the disease-linked mutation weakens the structural integrity of titin's Ig10 domain and suggests an Ig domain disease mechanism.
- Granzier, H., Chung, C. S., Hutchinson, K. R., Methawasin, M., Saripalli, C., Smith, J. E., Hidalgo, C. G., Luo, X., Labeit, S., Guo, C., & Granzier, H. L. (2013). Shortening of the elastic tandem immunoglobulin segment of titin leads to diastolic dysfunction. Circulation, 128(1).More infoDiastolic dysfunction is a poorly understood but clinically pervasive syndrome that is characterized by increased diastolic stiffness. Titin is the main determinant of cellular passive stiffness. However, the physiological role that the tandem immunoglobulin (Ig) segment of titin plays in stiffness generation and whether shortening this segment is sufficient to cause diastolic dysfunction need to be established.
- Granzier, H., Hidalgo, C. G., Chung, C. S., Saripalli, C., Methawasin, M., Hutchinson, K. R., Tsaprailis, G., Labeit, S., Mattiazzi, A., & Granzier, H. L. (2013). The multifunctional Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II delta (CaMKIIδ) phosphorylates cardiac titin's spring elements. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 54.More infoTitin-based passive stiffness is post-translationally regulated by several kinases that phosphorylate specific spring elements located within titin's elastic I-band region. Whether titin is phosphorylated by calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), an important regulator of cardiac function and disease, has not been addressed. The aim of this work was to determine whether CaMKIIδ, the predominant CaMKII isoform in the heart, phosphorylates titin, and to use phosphorylation assays and mass spectrometry to study which of titin's spring elements might be targeted by CaMKIIδ. It was found that CaMKIIδ phosphorylates titin in mouse LV skinned fibers, that the CaMKIIδ sites can be dephosphorylated by protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), and that under baseline conditions, in both intact isolated hearts and skinned myocardium, about half of the CaMKIIδ sites are phosphorylated. Mass spectrometry revealed that both the N2B and PEVK segments are targeted by CaMKIIδ at several conserved serine residues. Whether phosphorylation of titin by CaMKIIδ occurs in vivo, was tested in several conditions using back phosphorylation assays and phospho-specific antibodies to CaMKIIδ sites. Reperfusion following global ischemia increased the phosphorylation level of CaMKIIδ sites on titin and this effect was abolished by the CaMKII inhibitor KN-93. No changes in the phosphorylation level of the PEVK element were found suggesting that the increased phosphorylation level of titin in IR (ischemia reperfusion) might be due to phosphorylation of the N2B element. The findings of these studies show for the first time that titin can be phosphoryalated by CaMKIIδ, both in vitro and in vivo, and that titin's molecular spring region that determines diastolic stiffness is a target of CaMKIIδ.
- Granzier, H., Hidalgo, C., & Granzier, H. L. (2013). Tuning the molecular giant titin through phosphorylation: role in health and disease. Trends in cardiovascular medicine, 23(5).More infoTitin is a giant multi-functional filament that spans half of the sarcomere. Titin's extensible I-band region functions as a molecular spring that provides passive stiffness to cardiac myocytes. Elevated diastolic stiffness is found in a large fraction of heart failure patients and thus understanding the normal mechanisms and pathophysiology of passive stiffness modulation is clinically important. Here we provide first a brief general background on titin including what is known about titin isoforms and then focus on recently discovered post-translational modifications of titin that alter passive stiffness. We discuss the various kinases that have been shown to phosphorylate titin and address the possible roles of titin phosphorylation in cardiac disease, including heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).
- Granzier, H., Lee, E., De Winter, J. M., Buck, D., Jasper, J. R., Malik, F. I., Labeit, S., Ottenheijm, C. A., & Granzier, H. L. (2013). Fast skeletal muscle troponin activation increases force of mouse fast skeletal muscle and ameliorates weakness due to nebulin-deficiency. PloS one, 8(2).More infoThe effect of the fast skeletal muscle troponin activator, CK-2066260, on calcium-induced force development was studied in skinned fast skeletal muscle fibers from wildtype (WT) and nebulin deficient (NEB KO) mice. Nebulin is a sarcomeric protein that when absent (NEB KO mouse) or present at low levels (nemaline myopathy (NM) patients with NEB mutations) causes muscle weakness. We studied the effect of fast skeletal troponin activation on WT muscle and tested whether it might be a therapeutic mechanism to increase muscle strength in nebulin deficient muscle. We measured tension-pCa relations with and without added CK-2066260. Maximal active tension in NEB KO tibialis cranialis fibers in the absence of CK-2066260 was ∼60% less than in WT fibers, consistent with earlier work. CK-2066260 shifted the tension-calcium relationship leftwards, with the largest relative increase (up to 8-fold) at low to intermediate calcium levels. This was a general effect that was present in both WT and NEB KO fiber bundles. At pCa levels above ∼6.0 (i.e., calcium concentrations
- Granzier, H., Lee, E., Nedrud, J., Schemmel, P., Gotthardt, M., Irving, T. C., & Granzier, H. L. (2013). Calcium sensitivity and myofilament lattice structure in titin N2B KO mice. Archives of biochemistry and biophysics, 535(1).More infoThe cellular basis of the Frank-Starling "Law of the Heart" is the length-dependence of activation, but the mechanisms by which the sarcomere detects length changes and converts this information to altered calcium sensitivity has remained elusive. Here the effect of titin-based passive tension on the length-dependence of activation (LDA) was studied by measuring the tension-pCa relation in skinned mouse LV muscle at two sarcomere lengths (SLs). N2B KO myocardium, where the N2B spring element in titin is deleted and passive tension is elevated, was compared to WT myocardium. Myofilament lattice structure was studied with low-angle X-ray diffraction; the myofilament lattice spacing (d1,0) was measured as well as the ratio of the intensities of the 1,1 and 1,0 diffraction peaks (I1,1/I1,0) as an estimate of the degree of association of myosin heads with the thin filaments. Experiments were carried out in skinned muscle in which the lattice spacing was reduced with Dextran-T500. Experiments with and without lattice compression were also carried out following PKA phosphorylation of the skinned muscle. Under all conditions that were tested, LDA was significantly larger in N2B KO myocardium compared to WT myocardium, with the largest differences following PKA phosphorylation. A positive correlation between passive tension and LDA was found that persisted when the myofilament lattice was compressed with Dextran and that was enhanced following PKA phosphorylation. Low-angle X-ray diffraction revealed a shift in mass from thin filaments to thick filaments as sarcomere length was increased. Furthermore, a positive correlation was obtained between myofilament lattice spacing and passive tension and the change in I1,1/I1,0 and passive tension and these provide possible explanations for how titin-based passive tension might regulate calcium sensitivity.
- Granzier, H., Lewinter, M. M., & Granzier, H. L. (2013). Cardiac Titin and Heart Disease. Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology.More infoThe giant sarcomeric protein titin is a key determinant of myocardial passive stiffness and stress sensitive signaling. Titin stiffness is modulated by isoform variation, phosphorylation by protein kinases and possibly oxidative stress through disulfide bond formation. Titin has also emerged as an important human disease gene. Early studies in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) revealed shifts toward more compliant isoforms, an adaptation that offsets increases in passive stiffness based in the extracellular matrix. Similar shifts are observed in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). In contrast, hypophosphorylation of PKA/G sites contributes to a net increase in cardiomyocyte resting tension in HFpEF. More recently, titin mutations have been recognized as the most common etiology of inherited DCM. In addition, some DCM-causing mutations affect RBM20, a titin splice factor. Titin mutations are a rare cause of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and also underlie some cases of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. Finally, mutations of genes encoding proteins that interact with and/or bind to titin are responsible for both DCM and HCM. Targeting titin as a therapeutic strategy is in its infancy, but could potentially involve manipulation of isoforms, post-translational modifications, and up-regulation of normal protein in patients with disease causing mutations.
- Granzier, H., Chung, C. S., & Granzier, H. L. (2011). Contribution of titin and extracellular matrix to passive pressure and measurement of sarcomere length in the mouse left ventricle. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 50(4).More infoIt remains to be established to what degree titin and the extracellular matrix (ECM) contribute to passive pressure in the left ventricle (LV). Thus, we aimed to elucidate the contribution of major molecular determinants of passive pressure in the normal mouse LV. Furthermore, we determined the working sarcomere length (SL) range of the LV to bridge our findings to earlier work in skinned muscle fibers. We utilized Frank-Starling type protocols to obtain diastolic pressure-volume relationships (PVR) in Langendorff perfused isolated LVs. To quantify the molecular contribution of titin and ECM, we innovated on methods of fiber mechanics to chemically permeabilize intact LVs and measure a fully passive PVR. To differentially dissect the contributions of the ECM and titin, we utilized myofilament extraction techniques in permeabilized LVs, measuring passive PVRs at each stage in the protocol. Myofilament extraction suggests that titin contributes ~80% of passive pressures in the heart. Langendorff perfusion was also used to chemically fix passive and BaCl(2) activated hearts at specific volumes to determine that the maximal working SL range of the midwall LV fibers is approximately 1.8-2.2 μm. A model of the passive SL-volume relationship was then used to estimate the pressure-SL relationships, indicating that the ECM contribution does not exceed titin's contribution until large volumes with SLs >~2.2 μm. In conclusion, within physiological volumes, titin is the dominant contributor to LV passive pressure, and ECM-based pressures dominate at larger volumes.
- Granzier, H., Chung, C. S., Bogomolovas, J., Gasch, A., Hidalgo, C. G., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2011). Titin-actin interaction: PEVK-actin-based viscosity in a large animal. Journal of biomedicine & biotechnology, 2011.More infoTitin exhibits an interaction between its PEVK segment and the actin filament resulting in viscosity, a speed dependent resistive force, which significantly influences diastolic filling in mice. While diastolic disease is clinically pervasive, humans express a more compliant titin (N2BA:N2B ratio ~0.5-1.0) than mice (N2BA:N2B ratio ~0.2). To examine PEVK-actin based viscosity in compliant titin-tissues, we used pig cardiac tissue that expresses titin isoforms similar to that in humans. Stretch-hold experiments were performed at speeds from 0.1 to 10 lengths/s from slack sarcomere lengths (SL) to SL of 2.15 μm. Viscosity was calculated from the slope of stress-relaxation vs stretch speed. Recombinant PEVK was added to compete off native interactions and this found to reduce the slope by 35%, suggesting that PEVK-actin interactions are a strong contributor of viscosity. Frequency sweeps were performed at frequencies of 0.1-400 Hz and recombinant protein reduced viscous moduli by 40% at 2.15 μm and by 50% at 2.25 μm, suggesting a SL-dependent nature of viscosity that might prevent SL "overshoot" at long diastolic SLs. This study is the first to show that viscosity is present at physiologic speeds in the pig and supports the physiologic relevance of PEVK-actin interactions in humans in both health and disease.
- Granzier, H., Chung, C. S., Methawasin, M., Nelson, O. L., Radke, M. H., Hidalgo, C. G., Gotthardt, M., & Granzier, H. L. (2011). Titin based viscosity in ventricular physiology: an integrative investigation of PEVK-actin interactions. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 51(3).More infoViscosity is proposed to modulate diastolic function, but only limited understanding of the source(s) of viscosity exists. In vitro experiments have shown that the proline-glutamic acid-valine-lysine (PEVK) rich element of titin interacts with actin, causing a viscous force in the sarcomere. It is unknown whether this mechanism contributes to viscosity in vivo. We tested the hypothesis that PEVK-actin interaction causes cardiac viscosity and is important in vivo via an integrative physiological study on a unique PEVK knockout (KO) model. Both skinned cardiomyocytes and papillary muscle fibers were isolated from wildtype (WT) and PEVK KO mice and passive viscosity was examined using stretch-hold-release and sinusoidal analysis. Viscosity was reduced by ~60% in KO myocytes and ~50% in muscle fibers at room temperature. The PEVK-actin interaction was not modulated by temperature or diastolic calcium, but was increased by lattice compression. Stretch-hold and sinusoidal frequency protocols on intact isolated mouse hearts showed a smaller, 30-40% reduction in viscosity, possibly due to actomyosin interactions, and showed that microtubules did not contribute to viscosity. Transmitral Doppler echocardiography similarly revealed a 40% decrease in LV chamber viscosity in the PEVK KO in vivo. This integrative study is the first to quantify the influence of a specific molecular (PEVK-actin) viscosity in vivo and shows that PEVK-actin interactions are an important physiological source of viscosity.
- Granzier, H., Hudson, B., Hidalgo, C., Saripalli, C., & Granzier, H. L. (2011). Hyperphosphorylation of mouse cardiac titin contributes to transverse aortic constriction-induced diastolic dysfunction. Circulation research, 109(8).More infoMechanisms underlying diastolic dysfunction need to be better understood.
- Granzier, H., King, N. M., Methawasin, M., Nedrud, J., Harrell, N., Chung, C. S., Helmes, M., & Granzier, H. L. (2011). Mouse intact cardiac myocyte mechanics: cross-bridge and titin-based stress in unactivated cells. The Journal of general physiology, 137(1).More infoA carbon fiber-based cell attachment and force measurement system was used to measure the diastolic stress-sarcomere length (SL) relation of mouse intact cardiomyocytes, before and after the addition of actomyosin inhibitors (2,3-butanedione monoxime [BDM] or blebbistatin). Stress was measured during the diastolic interval of twitching myocytes that were stretched at 100% base length/second. Diastolic stress increased close to linear from 0 at SL 1.85 µm to 4.2 mN/mm(2) at SL 2.1 µm. The actomyosin inhibitors BDM and blebbistatin significantly lowered diastolic stress by ∼1.5 mN/mm(2) (at SL 2.1 µm, ∼30% of total), suggesting that during diastole actomyosin interaction is not fully switched off. To test this further, calcium sensitivity of skinned myocytes was studied under conditions that simulate diastole: 37°C, presence of Dextran T500 to compress the myofilament lattice to the physiological level, and [Ca(2+)] from below to above 100 nM. Mean active stress was significantly increased at [Ca(2+)] > 55 nM (pCa 7.25) and was ∼0.7 mN/mm(2) at 100 nM [Ca(2+)] (pCa 7.0) and ∼1.3 mN/mm(2) at 175 nM Ca(2+) (pCa 6.75). Inhibiting active stress in intact cells attached to carbon fibers at their resting SL and stretching the cells while first measuring restoring stress (pushing outward) and then passive stress (pulling inward) made it possible to determine the passive cell's mechanical slack SL as ∼1.95 µm and the restoring stiffness and passive stiffness of the cells around the slack SL each as ∼17 mN/mm(2)/µm/SL. Comparison between the results of intact and skinned cells shows that titin is the main contributor to restoring stress and passive stress of intact cells, but that under physiological conditions, calcium sensitivity is sufficiently high for actomyosin interaction to contribute to diastolic stress. These findings are relevant for understanding diastolic function and for future studies of diastolic heart failure.
- Granzier, H., Nedrud, J., Labeit, S., Gotthardt, M., & Granzier, H. L. (2011). Mechanics on myocardium deficient in the N2B region of titin: the cardiac-unique spring element improves efficiency of the cardiac cycle. Biophysical journal, 101(6).More infoTitin (also known as connectin) is an intrasarcomeric muscle protein that functions as a molecular spring and generates passive tension upon muscle stretch. The N2B element is a cardiac-specific spring element within titin's extensible region. Our goal was to study the contribution of the N2B element to the mechanical properties of titin, particularly its hypothesized role in limiting energy loss during repeated stretch (diastole)-shortening (systole) cycles of the heart. We studied energy loss by measuring hysteresis from the area between the stretch and release passive force-sarcomere length curves and used both wild-type (WT) mice and N2B knockout (KO) mice in which the N2B element has been deleted. A range of protocols was used, including those that mimic physiological loading conditions. KO mice showed significant increases in hysteresis. Most prominently, in tissue that had been preconditioned with a physiological stretch-release protocol, hysteresis increased significantly from 320 ± 46 pJ/mm(2)/sarcomere in WT to 650 ± 94 pJ/mm(2)/sarcomere in N2B KO myocardium. These results are supported by experiments in which oxidative stress was used to mechanically inactivate portions of the N2B-Us of WT titin through cysteine cross-linking. Studies on muscle from which the thin filaments had been extracted (using the actin severing protein gelsolin) showed that the difference in hysteresis between WT and KO tissue cannot be explained by filament sliding-based viscosity. Instead the results suggest that hysteresis arises from within titin and most likely involves unfolding of immunoglobulin-like domains. These studies support that the mechanical function of the N2B element of titin includes reducing hysteresis and increasing the efficiency of the heart.
- Granzier, H., Anderson, B. R., Bogomolovas, J., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2010). The effects of PKCalpha phosphorylation on the extensibility of titin's PEVK element. Journal of structural biology, 170(2).More infoPost-translational modifications, along with isoform splicing, of titin determine the passive tension development of stretched sarcomeres. It was recently shown that PKCalpha phosphorylates two highly-conserved residues (S26 and S170) of the PEVK region in cardiac titin, resulting in passive tension increase. To determine how each phosphorylated residue affects myocardial stiffness, we generated three recombinant mutant PEVK fragments (S26A, S170A and S170A/S26A), each flanked by Ig domains. Single-molecule force spectroscopy shows that PKCalpha decreases the PEVK persistence length (from 0.99 to 0.68 nm); the majority of this decrease is attributable to phosphorylation of S26. Before PKCalpha, all three mutant PEVK fragments showed at least 40% decrease in persistence length compared to wildtype. Furthermore, Ig domain unfolding force measurements indicate that PEVK's flanking Ig domains are relatively unstable compared to other titin Ig domains. We conclude that phosphorylation of S26 is the primary mechanism through which PKCalpha modulates cardiac stiffness.
- Granzier, H., Buck, D., Hudson, B. D., Ottenheijm, C. A., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2010). Differential splicing of the large sarcomeric protein nebulin during skeletal muscle development. Journal of structural biology, 170(2).More infoWe studied differential splicing of nebulin, a giant filamentous F-actin binding protein (M(r) approximately 700-800kDa) that is found in skeletal muscle. Nebulin spans the thin filament length, its C-terminus is anchored in the Z-disc, and its N-terminal region is located toward the thin filament pointed end. Various lines of evidence indicate that nebulin plays important roles in thin filament and Z-disc structure in skeletal muscle. In the present work we studied nebulin in a range of muscle types during postnatal development and performed transcript studies with a mouse nebulin exon microarray, developed by us, whose results were confirmed by RT-PCR. We also performed protein studies with high-resolution SDS-agarose gels and Western blots, and structural studies with electron microscopy. We found during postnatal development of the soleus muscle major changes in splicing in both the super-repeat region and the Z-disc region of nebulin; interestingly, these changes were absent in other muscle types. Three novel Z-disc exons, previously described in the mouse gene, were upregulated during postnatal development of soleus muscle and this was correlated with a significant increase in Z-disc width. These findings support the view that nebulin plays an important role in Z-disc width regulation. In summary, we discovered changes in both the super-repeat region and the Z-disc region of nebulin, that these changes are muscle-type specific, and that they correlate with differences in sarcomere structure.
- Granzier, H., Fukushima, H., Chung, C. S., & Granzier, H. L. (2010). Titin-isoform dependence of titin-actin interaction and its regulation by S100A1/Ca2+ in skinned myocardium. Journal of biomedicine & biotechnology, 2010.More infoTitin, also known as connectin, is a large filamentous protein that greatly contributes to passive myocardial stiffness. In vitro evidence suggests that one of titin's spring elements, the PEVK, interacts with actin and that this adds a viscous component to passive stiffness. Differential splicing of titin gives rise to the stiff N2B and more compliant N2BA isoforms. Here we studied the titin-isoform dependence of titin-actin interaction and studied the bovine left atrium (BLA) that expresses mainly N2BA titin, and the bovine left ventricle (BLV) that expresses a mixture of both N2B and N2BA isoforms. For comparison we also studied mouse left ventricular (MLV) myocardium which expresses predominately N2B titin. Using the actin-severing protein gelsolin, we obtained evidence that titin-actin interaction contributes significantly to passive myocardial stiffness in all tissue types, but most in MLV, least in BLA, and an intermediate level in BLV. We also studied whether titin-actin interaction is regulated by S100A1/calcium and found that calcium alone or S100A1 alone did not alter passive stiffness, but that combined they significantly lowered stiffness. We propose that titin-actin interaction is a "viscous break" that is on during diastole and off during systole.
- Granzier, H., Hudson, B. D., Hidalgo, C. G., Gotthardt, M., & Granzier, H. L. (2010). Excision of titin's cardiac PEVK spring element abolishes PKCalpha-induced increases in myocardial stiffness. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 48(5).More infoProtein kinase C-alpha (PKCalpha) was recently reported to increase myocardial stiffness, an effect that was proposed to be due to phosphorylation of two highly conserved sites (S11878 and S12022) within the proline-glutamic acid-valine-lysine (PEVK) rich spring element of titin. To test this proposal we investigated the effect of PKCalpha on phosphorylation and passive stiffness in a mouse model lacking the titin exons that contain these two phosphorylation sites, the PEVK knockout (KO). We used skinned, gelsolin-extracted, left ventricular myocardium from wildtype and PEVK KO mice. Consistent with previous work we found that PKCalpha increased passive stiffness in the WT myocardium by 27+/-6%. Importantly, this effect was completely abolished in KO myocardium. In addition, increases in the elastic and viscous moduli at a wide range of frequencies (properties important in diastolic filling) following PKCalpha incubation (27+/-3% and 20+/-4%, respectively) were also ablated in the KO. Back phosphorylation assays showed that titin phosphorylation following incubation with PKCalpha was significantly reduced by 36+/-12% in skinned PEVK KO myocardial tissues. The remaining phosphorylation in the KO suggests that PKCalpha sites exist in the titin molecule outside the PEVK region; these sites are not involved in increasing passive stiffness. Our results firmly support that the PEVK region of cardiac titin is phosphorylated by PKCalpha and that this increases passive tension. Thus, the PEVK spring element is the critical site of PKCalpha's involvement in passive myocardial stiffness.
- Granzier, H., Lee, E., Peng, J., Radke, M., Gotthardt, M., & Granzier, H. L. (2010). Calcium sensitivity and the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart are increased in titin N2B region-deficient mice. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 49(3).More infoPrevious work suggests that titin-based passive tension is a factor in the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart, by increasing length-dependent activation (LDA) through an increase in calcium sensitivity at long sarcomere length. We tested this hypothesis in a mouse model (N2B KO model) in which titin-based passive tension is elevated as a result of the excision of the N2B element, one of cardiac titin's spring elements. LDA was assessed by measuring the active tension-pCa (-log[Ca(2+)]) relationship at sarcomere length (SLs) of 1.95, 2.10, and 2.30 microm in WT and N2B KO skinned myocardium. LDA was positively correlated with titin-based passive tension due to an increase in calcium sensitivity at the longer SLs in the KO. For example, at pCa 6.0, the KO:WT tension ratio was 1.28+/-0.07 and 1.42+/-0.04 at SLs of 2.1 and 2.3 microm, respectively. There was no difference in protein expression or total phosphorylation of sarcomeric proteins. We also measured the calcium sensitivity after PKA treating the skinned muscle and found that titin-based passive tension was also now correlated with LDA, with a slope that was significantly increased compared to no PKA treatment. Finally, we performed isolated heart experiments and measured the Frank-Starling relation (slope of developed wall stress-LV volume relation) as well as diastolic stiffness (slope of diastolic wall stress-volume relation). The FSM was more pronounced in the N2B KO hearts and the slope of the FSM correlated with diastolic stiffness. These findings support that titin-based passive tension triggers an increase in calcium sensitivity at long sarcomere length, thereby playing an important role in the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart.
- Granzier, H., Ottenheijm, C. A., & Granzier, H. L. (2010). Lifting the nebula: novel insights into skeletal muscle contractility. Physiology (Bethesda, Md.), 25(5).More infoNebulin is a giant protein and a constituent of the skeletal muscle sarcomere. The name of this protein refers to its unknown (i.e., nebulous) function. However, recent rapid advances reveal that nebulin plays important roles in the regulation of muscle contraction. When these functions of nebulin are compromised, muscle weakness ensues, as is the case in patients with nemaline myopathy.
- Granzier, H., Ottenheijm, C. A., & Granzier, H. L. (2010). Role of titin in skeletal muscle function and disease. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 682.More infoThis review covers recent developments in the titin field. Most recent reviews have discussed titin's role in cardiac function: here we will mainly focus on skeletal muscle, and discuss recent advances in the understanding of titin's role in skeletal muscle function and disease.
- Granzier, H., Tonino, P., Pappas, C. T., Hudson, B. D., Labeit, S., Gregorio, C. C., & Granzier, H. L. (2010). Reduced myofibrillar connectivity and increased Z-disk width in nebulin-deficient skeletal muscle. Journal of cell science, 123(Pt 3).More infoA prominent feature of striated muscle is the regular lateral alignment of adjacent sarcomeres. An important intermyofibrillar linking protein is the intermediate filament protein desmin, and based on biochemical and structural studies in primary cultures of myocytes it has been proposed that desmin interacts with the sarcomeric protein nebulin. Here we tested whether nebulin is part of a novel biomechanical linker complex, by using a recently developed nebulin knockout (KO) mouse model and measuring Z-disk displacement in adjacent myofibrils of both extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus muscle. Z-disk displacement increased as sarcomere length (SL) was increased and the increase was significantly larger in KO fibers than in wild-type (WT) fibers; results in 3-day-old and 10-day-old mice were similar. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed reduced levels of desmin in intermyofibrillar spaces adjacent to Z-disks in KO fibers compared with WT fibers. We also performed siRNA knockdown of nebulin and expressed modules within the Z-disk portion of nebulin (M160-M170) in quail myotubes and found that this prevented the mature Z-disk localization of desmin filaments. Combined, these data suggest a model in which desmin attaches to the Z-disk through an interaction with nebulin. Finally, because nebulin has been proposed to play a role in specifying Z-disk width, we also measured Z-disk width in nebulin KO mice. Results show that most Z-disks of KO mice were modestly increased in width (approximately 80 nm in soleus and approximately 40 nm in EDL fibers) whereas a small subset had severely increased widths (up to approximately 1 microm) and resembled nemaline rod bodies. In summary, structural studies on a nebulin KO mouse show that in the absence of nebulin, Z-disks are significantly wider and that myofibrils are misaligned. Thus the functional roles of nebulin extend beyond thin filament length regulation and include roles in maintaining physiological Z-disk widths and myofibrillar connectivity.
- Granzier, H., Chandra, M., Mamidi, R., Ford, S., Hidalgo, C., Witt, C., Ottenheijm, C., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2009). Nebulin alters cross-bridge cycling kinetics and increases thin filament activation: a novel mechanism for increasing tension and reducing tension cost. The Journal of biological chemistry, 284(45).More infoNebulin is a giant filamentous F-actin-binding protein ( approximately 800 kDa) that binds along the thin filament of the skeletal muscle sarcomere. Nebulin is one of the least well understood major muscle proteins. Although nebulin is usually viewed as a structural protein, here we investigated whether nebulin plays a role in muscle contraction by using skinned muscle fiber bundles from a nebulin knock-out (NEB KO) mouse model. We measured force-pCa (-log[Ca(2+)]) and force-ATPase relations, as well as the rate of tension re-development (k(tr)) in tibialis cranialis muscle fibers. To rule out any alterations in troponin (Tn) isoform expression and/or status of Tn phosphorylation, we studied fiber bundles that had been reconstituted with bacterially expressed fast skeletal muscle recombinant Tn. We also performed a detailed analysis of myosin heavy chain, myosin light chain, and myosin light chain 2 phosphorylation, which showed no significant differences between wild type and NEB KO. Our mechanical studies revealed that NEB KO fibers had increased tension cost (5.9 versus 4.4 pmol millinewtons(-1) mm(-1) s(-1)) and reductions in k(tr) (4.7 versus 7.3 s(-1)), calcium sensitivity (pCa(50) 5.74 versus 5.90), and cooperativity of activation (n(H) 3.64 versus 4.38). Our findings indicate the following: 1) in skeletal muscle nebulin increases thin filament activation, and 2) through altering cross-bridge cycling kinetics, nebulin increases force and efficiency of contraction. These novel properties of nebulin add a new level of understanding of skeletal muscle function and provide a mechanism for the severe muscle weakness in patients with nebulin-based nemaline myopathy.
- Granzier, H., Hidalgo, C., Hudson, B., Bogomolovas, J., Zhu, Y., Anderson, B., Greaser, M., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2009). PKC phosphorylation of titin's PEVK element: a novel and conserved pathway for modulating myocardial stiffness. Circulation research, 105(7).More infoProtein kinase C (PKC) regulates contractility of cardiac muscle cells by phosphorylating thin- and thick- filament-based proteins. Myocardial sarcomeres also contain a third myofilament, titin, and it is unknown whether titin can be phosphorylated by PKC and whether it affects passive tension.
- Granzier, H., Ottenheijm, C. A., Hidalgo, C., Rost, K., Gotthardt, M., & Granzier, H. L. (2009). Altered contractility of skeletal muscle in mice deficient in titin's M-band region. Journal of molecular biology, 393(1).More infoWe investigated the contractile phenotype of skeletal muscle deficient in exons MEx1 and MEx2 (KO) of the titin M-band by using the cre-lox recombination system and a multidisciplinary physiological approach to study skeletal muscle contractile performance. At a maximal tetanic stimulation frequency, intact KO extensor digitorum longus muscle was able to produce wild-type levels of force. However, at submaximal stimulation frequency, force was reduced in KO mice, giving rise to a rightward shift of the force-frequency curve. This rightward shift of the force-frequency curve could not be explained by altered sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) handling, as indicated by analysis of Ca(2+) transients in intact myofibers and expression of Ca(2)(+)-handling proteins, but can be explained by the reduced myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity of force generation that we found. Western blotting experiments suggested that the excision of titin exons MEx1 and MEx2 did not result in major changes in expression of titin M-band binding proteins or phosphorylation level of the thin-filament regulatory proteins, but rather in a shift toward expression of slow isoforms of the thick-filament-associated protein, myosin binding protein-C. Extraction of myosin binding protein-C from skinned muscle normalized myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity of the KO extensor digitorum longus muscle. Thus, our data suggest that the M-band region of titin affects the expression of genes involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle contraction.
- Granzier, H., Ottenheijm, C. A., Knottnerus, A. M., Buck, D., Luo, X., Greer, K., Hoying, A., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2009). Tuning passive mechanics through differential splicing of titin during skeletal muscle development. Biophysical journal, 97(8).More infoDuring postnatal development, major changes in mechanical properties of skeletal muscle occur. We investigated passive properties of skeletal muscle in mice and rabbits that varied in age from 1 day to approximately 1 year. Neonatal skeletal muscle expressed large titin isoforms directly after birth, followed by a gradual switch toward progressively smaller isoforms that required weeks-to-months to be completed. This suggests an extremely high plasticity of titin splicing during skeletal muscle development. Titin exon microarray analysis showed increased expression of a large group of exons in neonatal muscle, when compared to adult muscle transcripts, with the majority of upregulated exons coding for the elastic proline-glutamate-valine-lysine (PEVK) region of titin. Protein analysis supported expression of a significantly larger PEVK segment in neonatal muscle. In line with these findings, we found >50% lower titin-based passive stiffness of neonatal muscle when compared to adult muscle. Inhibiting 3,5,3'-tri-iodo-L-thyronine and 3,5,3',5'-tetra-iodo-L-thyronine secretion did not alter isoform switching, suggesting no major role for thyroid hormones in regulating differential titin splicing during postnatal development. In summary, our work shows that stiffening of skeletal muscle during postnatal development occurs through a decrease in titin isoform size, due mainly to a marked restructuring of the PEVK region of titin.
- Granzier, H., Ottenheijm, C. A., Witt, C. C., Stienen, G. J., Labeit, S., Beggs, A. H., & Granzier, H. L. (2009). Thin filament length dysregulation contributes to muscle weakness in nemaline myopathy patients with nebulin deficiency. Human molecular genetics, 18(13).More infoNemaline myopathy (NM) is the most common non-dystrophic congenital myopathy. Clinically the most important feature of NM is muscle weakness; however, the mechanisms underlying this weakness are poorly understood. Here, we studied the muscular phenotype of NM patients with a well-defined nebulin mutation (NM-NEB), using a multidisciplinary approach to study thin filament length regulation and muscle contractile performance. SDS-PAGE and western blotting revealed greatly reduced nebulin levels in skeletal muscle of NM-NEB patients, with the most prominent reduction at nebulin's N-terminal end. Muscle mechanical studies indicated approximately 60% reduced force generating capacity of NM-NEB muscle and a leftward-shift of the force-sarcomere length relation in NM-NEB muscle fibers. This indicates that the mechanism for the force reduction is likely to include shorter and non-uniform thin filament lengths in NM-NEB muscle compared with control muscle. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and electron microscopy studies indicated that average thin filament length is reduced from approximately 1.3 microm in control muscle to approximately 0.75 microm in NM-NEB muscle. Thus, the present study is the first to show a distinct genotype-functional phenotype correlation in patients with NM due to a nebulin mutation, and provides evidence for the notion that dysregulated thin filament length contributes to muscle weakness in NM patients with nebulin mutations. Furthermore, a striking similarity between the contractile and structural phenotypes of nebulin-deficient mouse muscle and human NM-NEB muscle was observed, indicating that the nebulin knockout model is well suited for elucidating the functional basis of muscle weakness in NM and for the development of treatment strategies.
- Granzier, H., Zhu, Y., Bogomolovas, J., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2009). Single molecule force spectroscopy of the cardiac titin N2B element: effects of the molecular chaperone alphaB-crystallin with disease-causing mutations. The Journal of biological chemistry, 284(20).More infoThe small heat shock protein alphaB-crystallin interacts with N2B-Us, a large unique sequence found in the N2B element of cardiac titin. Using single molecule force spectroscopy, we studied the effect of alphaB-crystallin on the N2B-Us and its flanking Ig-like domains. Ig domains from the proximal tandem Ig segment of titin were also studied. The effect of wild type alphaB-crystallin on the single molecule force-extension curve was determined as well as that of mutant alphaB-crystallins harboring the dilated cardiomyopathy missense mutation, R157H, or the desmin-related myopathy mutation, R120G. Results revealed that wild type alphaB-crystallin decreased the persistence length of the N2B-Us (from approximately 0.7 to approximately 0.2 nm) but did not alter its contour length. alphaB-crystallin also increased the unfolding force of the Ig domains that flank the N2B-Us (by 51 +/- 3 piconewtons); the rate constant of unfolding at zero force was estimated to be approximately 17-fold lower in the presence of alphaB-crystallin (1.4 x 10(-4) s(-1) versus 2.4 x 10(-3) s(-1)). We also found that alphaB-crystallin increased the unfolding force of Ig domains from the proximal tandem Ig segment by 28 +/- 6 piconewtons. The effects of alphaB-crystallin were attenuated by the R157H mutation (but were still significant) and were absent when using the R120G mutant. We conclude that alphaB-crystallin protects titin from damage by lowering the persistence length of the N2B-Us and reducing the Ig domain unfolding probability. Our finding that this effect is either attenuated (R157H) or lost (R120G) in disease causing alphaB-crystallin mutations suggests that the interaction between alphaB-crystallin and titin is important for normal heart function.
- Granzier, H., Ottenheijm, C. A., Fong, C., Vangheluwe, P., Wuytack, F., Babu, G. J., Periasamy, M., Witt, C. C., Labeit, S., & Granzier, H. L. (2008). Sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium uptake and speed of relaxation are depressed in nebulin-free skeletal muscle. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 22(8).More infoPrevious work suggested that altered Ca(2+) homeostasis might contribute to dysfunction of nebulin-free muscle, as gene expression analysis revealed that the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA)-inhibitor sarcolipin (SLN) is up-regulated >70-fold in nebulin knockout mice, and here we tested this proposal. We investigated SLN protein expression in nebulin-free and wild-type skeletal muscle, as well as expression of other Ca(2+)-handling proteins. Ca(2+) uptake capacity was determined in isolated sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles and in intact myofibers by measuring Ca(2+) transients. Muscle contractile performance was determined in skinned muscle activated with exogenous Ca(2+), as well as in electrically stimulated intact muscle. We found profound up-regulation of SLN protein in nebulin-free skeletal muscle, whereas expression of other Ca(2+)-handling proteins was not (calsequestrin and phospholamban) or was minimally (SERCA) affected. Speed of Ca(2+) uptake was >3-fold decreased in sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles isolated from nebulin-free muscle as well as in nebulin-free intact myofibers. Ca(2+)-activated stress in skinned muscle and stress produced by intact nebulin-free muscle were reduced to a similar extent compared with wild type. Half-relaxation time was significantly longer in nebulin-free compared with wild-type muscle. Thus, the present study demonstrates for the first time that nebulin might also be involved in physiological Ca(2+) handling of the SR-myofibrillar system.
- Desai, A., Sprissler, R. S., Sotak, S., Granzier, H. L., Tardiff, J. C., Khalpey, Z. I., Sweitzer, N. K., Gupta, A., Nai, V., & Whitaker, M. E. (2015, November). dult Onset Non-Ischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy: A Novel Titin Mutation and a Case of Complex Inheritance. American College of Physicians (Arizona Chapter) Scientific Meeting. Phoenix, AZ: American College of Physicians (Arizona Chapter).
- Granzier, H. L. (2015, July). Role of titin in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection fraction-Invited talk. BCVS-invited talk. New Orleans: AHA.More infoInvited talk
- Granzier, H. L. (2015, March 2015). Giant proteins in skeletal muscle. Bob Wade Memorial Lecture at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.. University of Maryland School of Medicine.: University of Maryland School of Medicine..
- Granzier, H. L. (2015, March). Giant proteins in skeletal muscle -invited talk. Bob Wade Memorial Lecture at the University of Maryland School of Medicine - invited talkUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine..
- Granzier, H. L. (2015, November). Role of nebulin in skeletal muscle and disease-invited talk. Invited Seminar at University of Iowa-invited. Iowa City: University of Iowa.
- Granzier, H. L. (2015, November). Titin in heart function and disease-invited talk. AHA-invited talk. Orlando, Florida: AHA.