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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011 Jun 15;510(2):129-34. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Feb 21.

The significance of regulatory light chain phosphorylation in cardiac physiology.

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  • 1University of California Los Angeles, Department of Physiology, Division of Cardiology, 90095, USA.


It has been over 35 years since the first identification of phosphorylation of myosin light chains in skeletal and cardiac muscle. Yet only in the past few years has the role of these phosphorylations in cardiac dynamics been more fully understood. Advances in this understanding have come about with further evidence on the control mechanisms regulating the level of phosphorylation by kinases and phosphatases. Moreover, studies clarifiying the role of light chain phosphorylation in short and long term control of cardiac contractility and as a factor in cardiac remodeling have improved our knowledge. Especially important in these advances has been the use of gain and loss of function approaches, which have not only testedthe role of kinases and phosphatases, but also the effects of loss of RLC phosphorylation sites. Major conclusions from these studies indicate that (i) two negatively-charged post-translational modifications occupy the ventricular RLC N-terminus, with mouse RLC being doubly phosphorylated (Ser 14/15), and human RLC being singly phosphorylated (Ser 15) and singly deamidated(Asn14/16 to Asp); (ii)a distinct cardiac myosin light kinase (cMLCK) and a unique myosin phosphatase targeting peptide (MYPT2) control phosphoryl group transfer;and (iii) ablation of RLC phosphorylationdecreases ventricular power, lengthens the duration of ventricular ejection, and may also modify other sarcomeric proteins (e.g., troponin I) as substrates for kinases and/or phosphatases. A long term effect of low levels of RLC phosphorylation in mouse models also involves remodeling of the heart with hypertrophy, depressed contractility, and sarcomeric disarray. Data demonstrating altered levels of RLC phosphorylation in comparisons of samples from normal and stressed human hearts indicate the significance of these findings in translational medicine.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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