K146N is a dominant mutation in human β-cardiac myosin heavy chain, which causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. We examined how Drosophila muscle responds to this mutation and integratively analyzed the biochemical, physiological and mechanical foundations of the disease. ATPase assays, actin motility, and indirect flight muscle mechanics suggest at least two rate constants of the cross-bridge cycle are altered by the mutation: increased myosin attachment to actin and decreased detachment, yielding prolonged binding. This increases isometric force generation, but also resistive force and work absorption during cyclical contractions, resulting in decreased work, power output, flight ability and degeneration of flight muscle sarcomere morphology. Consistent with prolonged cross-bridge binding serving as the mechanistic basis of the disease and with human phenotypes, 146N/+ hearts are hypercontractile with increased tension generation periods, decreased diastolic/systolic diameters and myofibrillar disarray. This suggests that screening mutated Drosophila hearts could rapidly identify hypertrophic cardiomyopathy alleles and treatments.
Data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Sanford I Bernstein
- Anthony Cammarato
- Douglas M Swank
- Adriana S Trujillo
The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
- Lee Sweeney
© 2018, Kronert et al.
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A causal relationship between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the development of neurodegenerative diseases remains controversial. Here, we focused on Seipinopathy, a dominant motor neuron disease, based on the finding that its causal gene product, Seipin, is a protein that spans the ER membrane twice. Gain-of-function mutations of Seipin produce non-glycosylated Seipin (ngSeipin), which was previously shown to induce ER stress and apoptosis at both cell and mouse levels albeit with no clarified mechanism. We found that aggregation-prone ngSeipin dominantly inactivated SERCA2b, the major calcium pump in the ER, and decreased the calcium concentration in the ER, leading to ER stress and apoptosis in human colorectal carcinoma-derived cells (HCT116). This inactivation required oligomerization of ngSeipin and direct interaction of the C-terminus of ngSeipin with SERCA2b, and was observed in Seipin-deficient neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells expressing ngSeipin at an endogenous protein level. Our results thus provide a new direction to the controversy noted above.
Conventional antibodies and their derived fragments are difficult to deploy against intracellular targets in live cells, due to their bulk and structural complexity. Nanobodies provide an alternative modality, with well-documented examples of intracellular expression. Despite their promise as intracellular reagents, there has not been a systematic study of nanobody intracellular expression. Here, we examined intracellular expression of 75 nanobodies from the Protein Data Bank. Surprisingly, a majority of these nanobodies were unstable in cells, illustrated by aggregation and clearance. Using comparative analysis and framework mutagenesis, we developed a general approach that stabilized a great majority of nanobodies that were originally unstable intracellularly, without significantly compromising target binding. This approach led to the identification of distinct sequence features that impacted the intracellular stability of tested nanobodies. Mutationally stabilized nanobody expression was found to extend to in vivo contexts, in the murine retina and in E. coli. These data provide for improvements in nanobody engineering for intracellular applications, potentiating a growing field of intracellular interrogation and intervention.