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Gene. 2015 Oct 25;571(2):153-66. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2015.07.074. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Structure and function of cardiac troponin C (TNNC1): Implications for heart failure, cardiomyopathies, and troponin modulating drugs.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G3, Canada; Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H7, Canada.
2
Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G3, Canada; Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H7, Canada. Electronic address: phwang1@ualberta.ca.

Abstract

In striated muscle, the protein troponin complex turns contraction on and off in a calcium-dependent manner. The calcium-sensing component of the complex is troponin C, which is expressed from the TNNC1 gene in both cardiac muscle and slow-twitch skeletal muscle (identical transcript in both tissues) and the TNNC2 gene in fast-twitch skeletal muscle. Cardiac troponin C (cTnC) is made up of two globular EF-hand domains connected by a flexible linker. The structural C-domain (cCTnC) contains two high affinity calcium-binding sites that are always occupied by Ca(2+) or Mg(2+) under physiologic conditions, stabilizing an open conformation that remains anchored to the rest of the troponin complex. In contrast, the regulatory N-domain (cNTnC) contains a single low affinity site that is largely unoccupied at resting calcium concentrations. During muscle activation, calcium binding to cNTnC favors an open conformation that binds to the switch region of troponin I, removing adjacent inhibitory regions of troponin I from actin and allowing muscle contraction to proceed. Regulation of the calcium binding affinity of cNTnC is physiologically important, because it directly impacts the calcium sensitivity of muscle contraction. Calcium sensitivity can be modified by drugs that stabilize the open form of cNTnC, post-translational modifications like phosphorylation of troponin I, or downstream thin filament protein interactions that impact the availability of the troponin I switch region. Recently, mutations in cTnC have been associated with hypertrophic or dilated cardiomyopathy. A detailed understanding of how calcium sensitivity is regulated through the troponin complex is necessary for explaining how mutations perturb its function to promote cardiomyopathy and how post-translational modifications in the thin filament affect heart function and heart failure. Troponin modulating drugs are being developed for the treatment of cardiomyopathies and heart failure.

KEYWORDS:

Calcium sensitizer; Dilated cardiomyopathy; Heart failure; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Levosimendan; Sarcomere modulators

PMID:
26232335
PMCID:
PMC4567495
DOI:
10.1016/j.gene.2015.07.074
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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