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FASEB J. 2008 Aug;22(8):2912-9. doi: 10.1096/fj.07-104372. Epub 2008 Apr 23.

Sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium uptake and speed of relaxation are depressed in nebulin-free skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Dept. of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, PO Box 245217, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.


Previous 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.

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