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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2006 Nov;41(5):823-33. Epub 2006 Sep 29.

PKC-betaII sensitizes cardiac myofilaments to Ca2+ by phosphorylating troponin I on threonine-144.

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Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Ventricular myocytes express Galphaq-coupled receptors that can mediate enhanced contractility by increasing the sensitivity of the contractile apparatus to Ca(2+). The precise mechanisms underlying this change have been difficult to define, in part because myofilament regulatory proteins contain multiple phosphorylation sites for protein kinase C (PKC), protein kinase A (PKA) and myosin light chain kinase (MLCK), with potentially opposing effects. MLCK increases whereas PKC and PKA have a strong tendency to decrease myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity in myocardium. Here we show in mouse cardiac myocytes that PKC-betaII can increase Ca(2+) sensitivity of tension by a similar magnitude to MLCK but via a distinct mechanism. For PKC-betaII (32)P-incorporation occurred primarily into cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and functional effects were highly dependent upon mutations in phosphorylation sites of cTnI. Replacement of serines-23/24 (PKA sites) with alanine prevented cross-phosphorylation of these sites, reduced (32)P-incorporation into cTnI by half and resulted in myofilament Ca(2+) sensitization rather than desensitization in response to PKC-betaII. Replacement of three additional sites on cTnI, serines-43/45 and threonine-144, eliminated PKC-betaII-mediated Ca(2+) sensitization and the remaining (32)P-incorporation into cTnI. A preference for PKC-betaII phosphorylation of threonine-144 in the intact filament lattice was revealed by differential stable isotope labeling and supported by an analysis of peptide phosphorylation. The results suggest that threonine-144 within the critical inhibitory domain of cTnI represents a novel site of regulation of myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity by PKC-betaII, with possible implications for chronically stressed or diseased hearts.

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