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J Cell Sci. 2011 Nov 1;124(Pt 21):3619-30. doi: 10.1242/jcs.085159. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

Integrity of the network sarcoplasmic reticulum in skeletal muscle requires small ankyrin 1.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Therapeutics University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Small ankyrin 1 (sAnk1; Ank1.5) is a ~20 kDa protein of striated muscle that concentrates in the network compartment of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (nSR). We used siRNA targeted to sAnk1 to assess its role in organizing the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of skeletal myofibers in vitro. siRNA reduced sAnk1 mRNA and protein levels and disrupted the organization of the remaining sAnk1. Sarcomeric proteins were unchanged, but two other proteins of the nSR, SERCA and sarcolipin, decreased significantly in amount and segregated into distinct structures containing sarcolipin and sAnk1, and SERCA, respectively. Exogenous sAnk1 restored SERCA to its normal distribution. Ryanodine receptors and calsequestrin in the junctional SR, and L-type Ca(2+) channels in the transverse tubules were not reduced, although their striated organization was mildly altered. Consistent with the loss of SERCA, uptake and release of Ca(2+) were significantly inhibited. Our results show that sAnk1 stabilizes the nSR and that its absence causes the nSR to fragment into distinct membrane compartments.

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