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J Cell Physiol. 2002 Oct;193(1):120-31.

Titin-cap associates with, and regulates secretion of, Myostatin.

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  • 1Animal Genomics, AgResearch, East Street, Hamilton, New Zealand.


Myostatin, a secreted growth factor, is a key negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. To identify modifiers of Myostatin function, we screened for Myostatin interacting proteins. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified Titin-cap (T-cap) protein as interacting with Myostatin. T-cap is a sarcomeric protein that binds to the N-terminal domain of Titin and is a substrate of the titin kinase. Mammalian two-hybrid studies, in vitro binding assays and protein truncations in the yeast two-hybrid system verified the specific interaction between processed mature Myostatin and full-length T-cap. Analysis of protein-protein interaction using surface plasmon resonance (Biacore, Uppsala, Sweden) kinetics revealed a high affinity between Myostatin and T-cap with a KD of 40 nM. When T-cap was stably overexpressed in C(2)C(12) myoblasts, the rate of cell proliferation was significantly increased. Western analyses showed that production and processing of Myostatin were not altered in cells overexpressing T-cap, but an increase in the retention of mature Myostatin indicated that T-cap may block Myostatin secretion. Bioassay for Myostatin confirmed that conditioned media from myoblasts overexpressing T-cap contained lower levels of Myostatin. Given that Myostatin negatively regulates myoblast proliferation, the increase in proliferation observed in myoblasts overexpressing T-cap could thus be due to reduced Myostatin secretion. These results suggest that T-cap, by interacting with Myostatin, controls Myostatin secretion in myogenic precursor cells without affecting the processing step of precursor Myostatin.

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