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Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 29;9(1):12580. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48884-w.

Cardiac MLC2 kinase is localized to the Z-disc and interacts with α-actinin2.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida, College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
2
Department of Neuroscience, University of Florida, College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
3
Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (ICBR), University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
4
Department of Biology, Genetics Institute, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
5
Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida, College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA. hkasahar@ufl.edu.

Abstract

Cardiac contractility is enhanced by phosphorylation of myosin light chain 2 (MLC2) by cardiac-specific MLC kinase (cMLCK), located at the neck region of myosin heavy chain. In normal mouse and human hearts, the level of phosphorylation is maintained relatively constant, at around 30-40% of total MLC2, likely by well-balanced phosphorylation and phosphatase-dependent dephosphorylation. Overexpression of cMLCK promotes sarcomere organization, while the loss of cMLCK leads to cardiac atrophy in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we showed that cMLCK is predominantly expressed at the Z-disc with additional diffuse cytosolic expression in normal adult mouse and human hearts. cMLCK interacts with the Z-disc protein, α-actinin2, with a high-affinity kinetic value of 13.4 ± 0.1 nM through the N-terminus region of cMLCK unique to cardiac-isoform. cMLCK mutant deficient for interacting with α-actinin2 did not promote sarcomeric organization and reduced cardiomyocyte cell size. In contrast, a cMLCK kinase-deficient mutant showed effects similar to wild-type cMLCK on sarcomeric organization and cardiomyocyte cell size. Our results suggest that cMLCK plays a role in sarcomere organization, likely distinct from its role in phosphorylating MLC2, both of which will contribute to the enhancement of cardiac contractility.

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