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J Cell Biol. 1998 Sep 7;142(5):1269-78.

Differential membrane localization and intermolecular associations of alpha-dystrobrevin isoforms in skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7545, USA.


alpha-Dystrobrevin is both a dystrophin homologue and a component of the dystrophin protein complex. Alternative splicing yields five forms, of which two predominate in skeletal muscle: full-length alpha-dystrobrevin-1 (84 kD), and COOH-terminal truncated alpha-dystrobrevin-2 (65 kD). Using isoform-specific antibodies, we find that alpha-dystrobrevin-2 is localized on the sarcolemma and at the neuromuscular synapse, where, like dystrophin, it is most concentrated in the depths of the postjunctional folds. alpha-Dystrobrevin-2 preferentially copurifies with dystrophin from muscle extracts. In contrast, alpha-dystrobrevin-1 is more highly restricted to the synapse, like the dystrophin homologue utrophin, and preferentially copurifies with utrophin. In yeast two-hybrid experiments and coimmunoprecipitation of in vitro-translated proteins, alpha-dystrobrevin-2 binds dystrophin, whereas alpha-dystrobrevin-1 binds both dystrophin and utrophin. alpha-Dystrobrevin-2 was lost from the nonsynaptic sarcolemma of dystrophin-deficient mdx mice, but was retained on the perisynaptic sarcolemma even in mice lacking both utrophin and dystrophin. In contrast, alpha-dystrobrevin-1 remained synaptically localized in mdx and utrophin-negative muscle, but was absent in double mutants. Thus, the distinct distributions of alpha-dystrobrevin-1 and -2 can be partly explained by specific associations with utrophin and dystrophin, but other factors are also involved. These results show that alternative splicing confers distinct properties of association on the alpha-dystrobrevins.

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