Publications by authors named "Carole L Moncman"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Effect of clinical isolate or cleavage site mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on protein stability, cleavage, and cell-cell fusion.

J Biol Chem 2021 Jun 20;297(1):100902. Epub 2021 Jun 20.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Electronic address:

The trimeric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein (S) is the sole viral protein responsible for both viral binding to a host cell and the membrane fusion event needed for cell entry. In addition to facilitating fusion needed for viral entry, S can also drive cell-cell fusion, a pathogenic effect observed in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. While several studies have investigated S requirements involved in viral particle entry, examination of S stability and factors involved in S cell-cell fusion remain limited. A furin cleavage site at the border between the S1 and S2 subunits (S1/S2) has been identified, along with putative cathepsin L and transmembrane serine protease 2 cleavage sites within S2. We demonstrate that S must be processed at the S1/S2 border in order to mediate cell-cell fusion and that mutations at potential cleavage sites within the S2 subunit alter S processing at the S1/S2 border, thus preventing cell-cell fusion. We also identify residues within the internal fusion peptide and the cytoplasmic tail that modulate S-mediated cell-cell fusion. In addition, we examined S stability and protein cleavage kinetics in a variety of mammalian cell lines, including a bat cell line related to the likely reservoir species for SARS-CoV-2, and provide evidence that proteolytic processing alters the stability of the S trimer. This work therefore offers insight into S stability, proteolytic processing, and factors that mediate S cell-cell fusion, all of which help give a more comprehensive understanding of this high-profile therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100902DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8214756PMC
June 2021

Effect of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on protein stability, cleavage, and cell-cell fusion function.

bioRxiv 2021 Jan 25. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S) is the sole viral protein responsible for both viral binding to a host cell and the membrane fusion event needed for cell entry. In addition to facilitating fusion needed for viral entry, S can also drive cell-cell fusion, a pathogenic effect observed in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. While several studies have investigated S requirements involved in viral particle entry, examination of S stability and factors involved in S cell-cell fusion remain limited. We demonstrate that S must be processed at the S1/S2 border in order to mediate cell-cell fusion, and that mutations at potential cleavage sites within the S2 subunit alter S processing at the S1/S2 border, thus preventing cell-cell fusion. We also identify residues within the internal fusion peptide and the cytoplasmic tail that modulate S cell-cell fusion. Additionally, we examine S stability and protein cleavage kinetics in a variety of mammalian cell lines, including a bat cell line related to the likely reservoir species for SARS-CoV-2, and provide evidence that proteolytic processing alters the stability of the S trimer. This work therefore offers insight into S stability, proteolytic processing, and factors that mediate S cell-cell fusion, all of which help give a more comprehensive understanding of this highly sought-after therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.24.428007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7852270PMC
January 2021

Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Human Metapneumovirus Infections in Three-Dimensional Human Airway Tissues Expose an Interesting Dichotomy in Viral Replication, Spread, and Inhibition by Neutralizing Antibodies.

J Virol 2020 09 29;94(20). Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) are two of the leading causes of respiratory infections in children and elderly and immunocompromised patients worldwide. There is no approved treatment for HMPV and only one prophylactic treatment against RSV, palivizumab, for high-risk infants. Better understanding of the viral lifecycles in a more relevant model system may help identify novel therapeutic targets. By utilizing three-dimensional (3-D) human airway tissues to examine viral infection in a physiologically relevant model system, we showed that RSV infects and spreads more efficiently than HMPV, with the latter requiring higher multiplicities of infection (MOIs) to yield similar levels of infection. Apical ciliated cells were the target for both viruses, but RSV apical release was significantly more efficient than HMPV. In RSV- or HMPV-infected cells, cytosolic inclusion bodies containing the nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and respective viral genomic RNA were clearly observed in human airway epithelial (HAE) culture. In HMPV-infected cells, actin-based filamentous extensions were more common (35.8%) than those found in RSV-infected cells (4.4%). Interestingly, neither RSV nor HMPV formed syncytia in HAE tissues. Palivizumab and nirsevimab effectively inhibited entry and spread of RSV in HAE tissues, with nirsevimab displaying significantly higher potency than palivizumab. In contrast, 54G10 completely inhibited HMPV entry but only modestly reduced viral spread, suggesting HMPV may use alternative mechanisms for spread. These results represent the first comparative analysis of infection by the two pneumoviruses in a physiologically relevant model, demonstrating an interesting dichotomy in the mechanisms of infection, spread, and consequent inhibition of the viral lifecycles by neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. Respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus are leading causes of respiratory illness worldwide, but limited treatment options are available. To better target these viruses, we examined key aspects of the viral life cycle in three-dimensional (3-D) human airway tissues. Both viruses establish efficient infection through the apical surface, but efficient spread and apical release were seen for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) but not human metapneumovirus (HMPV). Both viruses form inclusion bodies, minimally composed of nucleoprotein (N), phosphoprotein (P), and viral RNA (vRNA), indicating that these structures are critical for replication in this more physiological model. HMPV formed significantly more long, filamentous actin-based extensions in human airway epithelial (HAE) tissues than RSV, suggesting HMPV may promote cell-to-cell spread via these extensions. Lastly, RSV entry and spread were fully inhibited by neutralizing antibodies palivizumab and the novel nirsevimab. In contrast, while HMPV entry was fully inhibited by 54G10, a neutralizing antibody, spread was only modestly reduced, further supporting a cell-to-cell spread mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01068-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7527037PMC
September 2020

Cellubrevin/vesicle-associated membrane protein-3-mediated endocytosis and trafficking regulate platelet functions.

Blood 2017 12 20;130(26):2872-2883. Epub 2017 Sep 20.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Endocytosis is key to fibrinogen (Fg) uptake, trafficking of integrins (αIIbβ, αβ), and purinergic receptors (P2Y, P2Y), and thus normal platelet function. However, the molecular machinery required and possible trafficking routes are still ill-defined. To further identify elements of the platelet endocytic machinery, we examined the role of a vesicle-residing, soluble -ethylmaleimide factor attachment protein receptor (v-SNARE) called cellubrevin/vesicle-associated membrane protein-3 (VAMP-3) in platelet function. Although not required for normal platelet exocytosis or hemostasis, VAMP-3 mice had less platelet-associated Fg, indicating a defect in Fg uptake/storage. Other granule markers were unaffected. Direct experiments, both in vitro and in vivo, showed that loss of VAMP-3 led to a robust defect in uptake/storage of Fg in platelets and cultured megakaryocytes. Uptake of the fluid-phase marker, dextran, was only modestly affected. Time-dependent uptake and endocytic trafficking of Fg and dextran were followed using 3-dimensional-structured illumination microscopy. Dextran uptake was rapid compared with Fg, but both cargoes progressed through Rab4, Rab11, and von Willebrand factor (VWF) compartments in wild-type platelets in a time-dependent manner. In VAMP-3 platelets, the 2 cargoes showed limited colocalization with Rab4, Rab11, or VWF. Loss of VAMP-3 also affected some acute platelet functions, causing enhanced spreading on Fg and fibronectin and faster clot retraction compared with wild-type. In addition, the rate of Janus kinase 2 phosphorylation, initiated through the thrombopoietin receptor (TPOR/Mpl) activation, was affected in VAMP-3 platelets. Collectively, our studies show that platelets are capable of a range of endocytosis steps, with VAMP-3 being pivotal in these processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2017-02-768176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5746669PMC
December 2017

Human metapneumovirus Induces Reorganization of the Actin Cytoskeleton for Direct Cell-to-Cell Spread.

PLoS Pathog 2016 Sep 28;12(9):e1005922. Epub 2016 Sep 28.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, United States of America.

Paramyxovirus spread generally involves assembly of individual viral particles which then infect target cells. We show that infection of human bronchial airway cells with human metapneumovirus (HMPV), a recently identified paramyxovirus which causes significant respiratory disease, results in formation of intercellular extensions and extensive networks of branched cell-associated filaments. Formation of these structures is dependent on actin, but not microtubule, polymerization. Interestingly, using a co-culture assay we show that conditions which block regular infection by HMPV particles, including addition of neutralizing antibodies or removal of cell surface heparan sulfate, did not prevent viral spread from infected to new target cells. In contrast, inhibition of actin polymerization or alterations to Rho GTPase signaling pathways significantly decreased cell-to-cell spread. Furthermore, viral proteins and viral RNA were detected in intercellular extensions, suggesting direct transfer of viral genetic material to new target cells. While roles for paramyxovirus matrix and fusion proteins in membrane deformation have been previously demonstrated, we show that the HMPV phosphoprotein extensively co-localized with actin and induced formation of cellular extensions when transiently expressed, supporting a new model in which a paramyxovirus phosphoprotein is a key player in assembly and spread. Our results reveal a novel mechanism for HMPV direct cell-to-cell spread and provide insights into dissemination of respiratory viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5040343PMC
September 2016

Arf6 controls platelet spreading and clot retraction via integrin αIIbβ3 trafficking.

Blood 2016 Mar 6;127(11):1459-67. Epub 2016 Jan 6.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and.

Platelet and megakaryocyte endocytosis is important for loading certain granule cargo (ie, fibrinogen [Fg] and vascular endothelial growth factor); however, the mechanisms of platelet endocytosis and its functional acute effects are understudied. Adenosine 5'-diphosphate-ribosylation factor 6 (Arf6) is a small guanosine triphosphate-binding protein that regulates endocytic trafficking, especially of integrins. To study platelet endocytosis, we generated platelet-specific Arf6 knockout (KO) mice. Arf6 KO platelets had less associated Fg suggesting that Arf6 affects αIIbβ3-mediated Fg uptake and/or storage. Other cargo was unaffected. To measure Fg uptake, mice were injected with biotinylated- or fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled Fg. Platelets from the injected Arf6 KO mice showed lower accumulation of tagged Fg, suggesting an uptake defect. Ex vivo, Arf6 KO platelets were also defective in FITC-Fg uptake and storage. Immunofluorescence analysis showed initial trafficking of FITC-Fg to a Rab4-positive compartment followed by colocalization with Rab11-positive structures, suggesting that platelets contain and use both early and recycling endosomes. Resting and activated αIIbβ3 levels, as measured by flow cytometry, were unchanged; yet, Arf6 KO platelets exhibited enhanced spreading on Fg and faster clot retraction. This was not the result of alterations in αIIbβ3 signaling, because myosin light-chain phosphorylation and Rac1/RhoA activation were unaffected. Consistent with the enhanced clot retraction and spreading, Arf6 KO mice showed no deficits in tail bleeding or FeCl3-induced carotid injury assays. Our studies present the first mouse model for defining the functions of platelet endocytosis and suggest that altered integrin trafficking may affect the efficacy of platelet function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-05-648550DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4797022PMC
March 2016

The human metapneumovirus small hydrophobic protein has properties consistent with those of a viroporin and can modulate viral fusogenic activity.

J Virol 2014 Jun 26;88(11):6423-33. Epub 2014 Mar 26.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

Unlabelled: Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) encodes three glycoproteins: the glycoprotein, which plays a role in glycosaminoglycan binding, the fusion (F) protein, which is necessary and sufficient for both viral binding to the target cell and fusion between the cellular plasma membrane and the viral membrane, and the small hydrophobic (SH) protein, whose function is unclear. The SH protein of the closely related respiratory syncytial virus has been suggested to function as a viroporin, as it forms oligomeric structures consistent with a pore and alters membrane permeability. Our analysis indicates that both the full-length HMPV SH protein and the isolated SH protein transmembrane domain can associate into higher-order oligomers. In addition, HMPV SH expression resulted in increases in permeability to hygromycin B and alteration of subcellular localization of a fluorescent dye, indicating that SH affects membrane permeability. These results suggest that the HMPV SH protein has several characteristics consistent with a putative viroporin. Interestingly, we also report that expression of the HMPV SH protein can significantly decrease HMPV F protein-promoted membrane fusion activity, with the SH extracellular domain and transmembrane domain playing a key role in this inhibition. These results suggest that the HMPV SH protein could regulate both membrane permeability and fusion protein function during viral infection.

Importance: Human metapneumovirus (HMPV), first identified in 2001, is a causative agent of severe respiratory tract disease worldwide. The small hydrophobic (SH) protein is one of three glycoproteins encoded by all strains of HMPV, but the function of the HMPV SH protein is unknown. We have determined that the HMPV SH protein can alter the permeability of cellular membranes, suggesting that HMPV SH is a member of a class of proteins termed viroporins, which modulate membrane permeability to facilitate critical steps in a viral life cycle. We also demonstrated that HMPV SH can inhibit the membrane fusion function of the HMPV fusion protein. This work suggests that the HMPV SH protein has several functions, though the steps in the HMPV life cycle impacted by these functions remain to be clarified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02848-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4093865PMC
June 2014

Development transitions of thin filament proteins in rat extraocular muscles.

Exp Cell Res 2013 Feb 19;319(3):23-31. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, United States.

Extraocular muscles are a unique subset of striated muscles. During postnatal development, the extraocular muscles undergo a number of myosin isoform transitions that occur between postnatal day P10 (P10) and P15. These include: (1) loss of embryonic myosin from the global layer resulting in the expression restricted to the orbital layer; (2) the onset of expression of extraocular myosin and the putative tonic myosin (myh 7b/14); and (3) the redistribution of nonmuscle myosin IIB from a subsarcolemmal position to a sarcomeric distribution in the slow fibers of the global layer. For this study, we examined the postnatal appearance and distribution of α-actinin, tropomyosin, and nebulin isoforms during postnatal development of the rat extraocular muscles. Although sarcomeric α-actinin is detectable from birth, α-actinin 3 appears around P15. Both tropomyosin-1 and -2 are present from birth in the same distribution as in the adult animal. The expression of nebulin was monitored by gel electrophoresis and western blots. At P5-10, nebulin exhibits a lower molecular mass than observed P15 and later during postnatal development. The changes in α-actinin 3 and nebulin expression between P10 and P15 coincide with transitions in myosin isoforms as detailed above. These data point to P10-P15 as the critical period for the maturation of the extraocular muscles, coinciding with eyelid opening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2012.11.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3546233PMC
February 2013

Rit GTPase signaling promotes immature hippocampal neuronal survival.

J Neurosci 2012 Jul;32(29):9887-97

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0509, USA.

The molecular mechanisms governing the spontaneous recovery seen following brain injury remain elusive, but recent studies indicate that injury-induced stimulation of hippocampal neurogenesis contributes to the repair process. The therapeutic potential of endogenous neurogenesis is tempered by the demonstration that traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in the selective death of adult-born immature neurons, compromising the cell population poised to compensate for trauma-induced neuronal loss. Here, we identify the Ras-related GTPase, Rit, as a critical player in the survival of immature hippocampal neurons following brain injury. While Rit knock-out (Rit(-/-)) did not alter hippocampal development, hippocampal neural cultures derived from Rit(-/-) mice display increased cell death and blunted MAPK cascade activation in response to oxidative stress, without affecting BDNF-dependent signaling. When compared with wild-type hippocampal cultures, Rit loss rendered immature (Dcx(+)) neurons susceptible to oxidative damage, without altering the survival of neural progenitor (Nestin(+)) cells. Oxidative stress is a major contributor to neuronal cell death following brain injury. Consistent with the enhanced vulnerability of cultured Rit(-/-) immature neurons, Rit(-/-) mice exhibited a significantly greater loss of adult-born immature neurons within the dentate gyrus after TBI. In addition, post-TBI neuronal remodeling was blunted. Together, these data identify a new and unexpected role for Rit in injury-induced neurogenesis, functioning as a selective survival mechanism for immature hippocampal neurons within the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus following TBI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0375-12.2012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3416045PMC
July 2012

Postnatal changes in the developing rat extraocular muscles.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2011 Jun 7;52(7):3962-9. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.

Purpose: To examine the distribution and timing of expression of nonmuscle myosin IIB (nmMyH IIB) and the extraocular muscle (EOM)-specific myosin (EO-MyHC) during postnatal development of the rat extraocular muscles.

Methods: Whole orbits were collected from postnatal development day (P) 1 through P30 from Sprague-Dawley rats. Samples were analyzed by immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blot to examine the distribution and abundance of nmMyH IIB and EO-MyHC compared with other myosin isoforms and sarcomeric α-actinin. Polyclonal antibodies were produced to specifically detect EO-MyHC. Postnatal limb muscles were used as control.

Results: Analysis of EOM morphology in the developing orbits indicates that the global and orbital layers are not evident until day P15. The distribution of nmMyH IIB changes between days P10 and P15 from a subsarcolemma distribution to an intrafiber distribution in the global layer. EO-MyHC appears by day p15, primarily in the orbital layer of the EOMs. Sarcomeric α-actinin was equally abundant in the EOMs at all stages. Fetal MyHC was the predominant isoform at day P1 but slowly diminished in abundance with age in a layer-specific manner.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that significant changes occur in the EOMs from P10 to P15 and suggest that visual stimulation may play a role in the signals that regulate both nmMyH IIB and EO-MyHC developmental transitions. The pronounced distinctions of the orbital and global layers occurring by P15 establish the adult morphologic phenotype of the muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/iovs.10-6866DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3175960PMC
June 2011

Nebulette mutations are associated with dilated cardiomyopathy and endocardial fibroelastosis.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2010 Oct;56(18):1493-502

The Heart Institute, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.

Objectives: Four variants (K60N, Q128R, G202R, and A592E) in the nebulette gene were identified in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and endocardial fibroelastosis. We sought to determine if these mutations are cardiomyopathy causing.

Background: Nebulette aligns thin filaments and connects them with the myocardial Z-disk, playing a role in mechanosensation.

Methods: We generated transgenic mice with cardiac-restricted overexpression of human wild-type or mutant nebulette. Chimera and transgenic mice were examined at 4, 6, and 12 months of age by echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. The hearts from embryos and adult mice were assessed by histopathologic, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and protein analyses. Rat H9C2 cardiomyoblasts with transient expression of nebulette underwent cyclic mechanical strain.

Results: We identified lethal cardiac structural abnormalities in mutant embryonic hearts (K60N and Q128R). Founders of the mutant mouse lines developed DCM with severe heart failure. An irregular localization pattern for nebulette and impaired desmin expression were noted in the proband and chimeric Q128R mice. Mutant G202R and A592E mice exhibited left ventricular dilation and impaired function with specific changes in I-band and Z-disk proteins by 6 months of age. The mutations modulated distribution of nebulette in the sarcomere and Z-disk during stretch of H9C2 cells.

Conclusions: Nebulette is a new susceptibility gene for endocardial fibroelastosis and DCM. Different mutations in nebulette trigger specific mechanisms, converging to a common pathological cascade leading to endocardial fibroelastosis and DCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2010.05.045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957670PMC
October 2010

The actin cytoskeleton inhibits pore expansion during PIV5 fusion protein-promoted cell-cell fusion.

Virology 2010 Aug;404(1):117-26

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0509, USA.

Paramyxovirus fusion (F) proteins promote both virus-cell fusion, required for viral entry, and cell-cell fusion, resulting in syncytia formation. We used the F-actin stabilizing drug, jasplakinolide, and the G-actin sequestrant, latrunculin A, to examine the role of actin dynamics in cell-cell fusion mediated by the parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) F protein. Jasplakinolide treatment caused a dose-dependent increase in cell-cell fusion as measured by both syncytia and reporter gene assays, and latrunculin A treatment also resulted in fusion stimulation. Treatment with jasplakinolide or latrunculin A partially rescued a fusion pore opening defect caused by deletion of the PIV5 F protein cytoplasmic tail, but these drugs had no effect on fusion inhibited at earlier stages by either temperature arrest or by a PIV5 heptad repeat peptide. These data suggest that the cortical actin cytoskeleton is an important regulator of fusion pore enlargement, an energetically costly stage of viral fusion protein-mediated membrane merger.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2010.04.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2885465PMC
August 2010

Nonmuscle myosin IIB, a sarcomeric component in the extraocular muscles.

Exp Cell Res 2010 Jul 27;316(12):1958-65. Epub 2010 Mar 27.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.

Extraocular muscles (EOMs) are categorized as skeletal muscles; however, emerging evidence indicates that their gene expression profile, metabolic characteristics and functional properties are significantly different from the prototypical members of this muscle class. Gene expression profiling of developing and adult EOM suggest that many myofilament and cytoskeletal proteins have unique expression patterns in EOMs, including the maintained expression of embryonic and fetal isoforms of myosin heavy chains (MyHC), the presence of a unique EOM specific MyHC and mixtures of both cardiac and skeletal muscle isoforms of thick and thin filament accessory proteins. We demonstrate that nonmuscle myosin IIB (nmMyH IIB) is a sarcomeric component in approximately 20% of the global layer fibers in adult rat EOMs. Comparisons of the myofibrillar distribution of nmMyHC IIB with sarcomeric MyHCs indicate that nmMyH IIB co-exists with slow MyHC isoforms. In longitudinal sections of adult rat EOM, nmMyHC IIB appears to be restricted to the A-bands. Although nmMyHC IIB has been previously identified as a component of skeletal and cardiac sarcomeres at the level of the Z-line, the novel distribution of this protein within the A band in EOMs is further evidence of both the EOMs complexity and unconventional phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2010.03.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2878921PMC
July 2010

The nebulette repeat domain is necessary for proper maintenance of tropomyosin with the cardiac sarcomere.

Exp Cell Res 2008 Nov 16;314(19):3519-30. Epub 2008 Sep 16.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, 741 S. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.

Nebulette is a cardiac-specific isoform of the giant actin-binding protein nebulin. Nebulette, having a mass of approximately 100 kDa, is only predicted to extend 150 nm from the edge of the Z-lines. Overexpression of the nebulette C-terminal linker and/or SH3 domains in chicken cardiomyocytes results in a loss of endogenous nebulette with a concomitant loss of tropomyosin (TPM) and troponin, as well as a shortening of the thin filaments. These data suggest that nebulette's position in the sarcomere is important for the maintenance of TPM, troponin and thin filament length. To evaluate this hypothesis, N-terminal nested truncations tagged with GFP were expressed in chicken cardiomyocytes and the cells were analyzed for the distribution of myofilament proteins. Minimal effects on the myofilaments were observed with N-terminal deletions of up to 10 modules; however, deletion of 15 modules replicated the phenotype observed with expression of the C-terminal fragments. Expression of internal deletions of nebulette verifies that a site between module 10 and 15 is important for TPM maintenance within the sarcomeric lattice. We have additionally isolated TPM cDNAs from a yeast two hybrid (Y2H) analysis. These data indicate the importance of the nebulette-TPM interactions in the maintenance and stability of the thin filaments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2008.09.001DOI Listing
November 2008

Ectopic expression of LIM-nebulette (LASP2) reveals roles in cell migration and spreading.

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton 2008 Oct;65(10):827-40

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.

LIM-nebulette (LASP2) is a small focal adhesion protein and a member of the nebulin family of actin binding proteins. This recently identified splice variant of the nebulette locus is widely expressed and highly enriched in neuronal tissue. Other than that LIM-nebulette is a focal adhesion protein and interacts with zyxin, nothing is known about its function. Given that LIM-nebulette has an identical modular organization and overlapping tissue distributions to that of LASP1, we have analyzed the role of LIM-nebulette in comparison with that of LASP1. We find that LIM-nebulette is a dynamic focal adhesion protein that increases the rate of attachment and spreading of fibroblasts on fibronectin coated surfaces. Additionally, LIM-nebulette is recruited from the cortical cytoskeleton in non-motile cells to focal adhesions at the leading edge of stimulated cells. In confluent cultures of HeLa and NIH3T3 cells, LIM-nebulette co-localizes with alpha-catenin in putative adherens junctions, whereas LASP1 is devoid of these areas. Interestingly, overexpression of LIM-nebulette in PC6 cells inhibits neurite outgrowth in response to growth factors. Collectively, our data indicate that LIM-nebulette and LASP1 have distinct roles in the actin cytoskeleton.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cm.20304DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2603443PMC
October 2008

Nebulette interacts with filamin C.

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton 2008 Feb;65(2):130-42

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.

The actin-binding proteins, nebulette, and nebulin, are comprised of a four-domain layout containing an acidic N-terminal region, a repeat domain, a serine-rich-linker region, and a Src homology-3 domain. Both proteins contain homologous N-terminal regions that are predicted to be in different environments within the sarcomere. The nebulin acidic N-terminal region is found at the distal ends of the thin filaments. Nebulette, however, is predicted to extend 150 nm from the center of the Z-line. To dissect out the functions of the N-terminal domain of nebulette, we have performed a yeast two-hybrid screen using nebulette residues 1-86 as bait. We have identified filamin-C, ZASP-1, and tropomyosin-1 as binding partners. Characterization of the nebulette-filamin interaction indicates that filamin-C predominantly interacts with the modules. These data suggest that filamin-C, a known component of striated muscle Z-lines, interacts with nebulette modules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cm.20249DOI Listing
February 2008

Targeting of nebulin fragments to the cardiac sarcomere.

Exp Cell Res 2007 Mar 30;313(5):896-909. Epub 2006 Dec 30.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, 741 S. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.

Nebulin, a vertebrate skeletal muscle actin binding protein, plays an important role in thin filament architecture. Recently, a number of reports have indicated evidence for nebulin expression in vertebrate hearts. To investigate the ability of nebulin to interact with cardiac myofilaments, we have expressed nebulin cDNA fragments tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP) in chicken cardiomyocytes and PtK2 cells. Nebulin fragments from both the superrepeats and single repeats were expressed minus and plus the nebulin linker. Nebulin fragment incorporation was monitored by fluorescent microscopy and compared with the distribution of actin, alpha-actinin and titin. Expression of nebulin N-terminal superrepeats displayed a punctate cytoplasmic distribution in PtK2 cells and cardiomyocytes. Addition of the nebulin linker to the superrepeats resulted in association of the punctate staining with the myofibrils. Nebulin C-terminal superrepeats plus and minus the linker localized with stress fibers of PtK2 cells and associated with the cardiac myofilaments at the level of the Z-line. Expression of the single repeats plus and minus the nebulin linker region resulted in both a Z-line distribution and an A-band distribution. These data suggest that N-terminal superrepeat nebulin modules are incapable of supporting interactions with the cardiac myofilaments; whereas the C-terminal nebulin modules can. The expression of the N-terminal or C-terminal superrepeats did not alter the distribution of actin, alpha-actinin or titin in either atrial or ventricular cultures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2006.12.016DOI Listing
March 2007

Expression of nebulette during early cardiac development.

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton 2007 Apr;64(4):258-73

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.

Nebulette, a cardiac homologue of nebulin, colocalizes with alpha-actinin in the pre-myofibrils of spreading cardiomyocytes and has been hypothesized to play a critical role in the formation of the thin-filament-Z-line complex early during myofibrillogenesis. Data from mesodermal explants or whole tissue mounts of developing hearts suggest that the pattern of myofibrillogenesis in situ may differ from observations of spreading cardiomyocytes. To evaluate the role of nebulette in myofibrillogenesis, we have analyzed the expression of nebulette in chicken heart rudiments by immunoblots and immunofluorescence. We detect the 110 kDa nebulette in heart rudiments derived from stage 9-10 using the anti-nebulin mAb, N114, or polyclonal anti-nebulette Abs by immunoblotting. Immunofluorescence analysis of explants stained with anti-nebulette and anti-alpha-actinin Abs demonstrates that both proteins localize along actin filaments in punctate to continuous manner at early stages of cardiac development and later give rise to striations. In both cases, the punctate staining had a periodicity of approximately 1.0 microm indicating a pre-myofibrils distribution at the earliest time points examined. We demonstrate that nebulette is indeed associated with premyofibrils in very early stages of myofibrillogenesis and suggest that nebulette may play an important role in the formation of these structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cm.20180DOI Listing
April 2007

Talin2 is induced during striated muscle differentiation and is targeted to stable adhesion complexes in mature muscle.

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton 2007 Mar;64(3):157-73

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0509, USA.

The cytoskeletal protein talin serves as an essential link between integrins and the actin cytoskeleton in several similar, but functionally distinct, adhesion complexes, including focal adhesions, costameres, and intercalated disks. Vertebrates contain two talin genes, TLN1 and TLN2, but the different roles of Talin1 and Talin2 in cell adhesion are unclear. In this report we have analyzed Talin1 and Talin2 in striated muscle. Using isoform-specific antibodies, we found that Talin2 is highly expressed in mature striated muscle. Using mouse C2C12 cells and primary human skeletal muscle myoblasts as models of muscle differentiation, we show that Talin1 is expressed in undifferentiated myoblasts and that Talin2 expression is upregulated during muscle differentiation at both the mRNA and protein levels. We have also identified regulatory sequences that may be responsible for the differential expression of Talin1 and Talin2. Using GFP-tagged Talin1 and Talin2 constructs, we found that GFP-Talin1 targets to focal adhesions while GFP-Talin2 targets to abnormally large adhesions in myoblasts. We also found that ectopic expression of Talin2 in myoblasts, which do not contain appreciable levels of Talin2, dysregulates the actin cytoskeleton. Finally we demonstrate that Talin2, but not Talin1, localizes to costameres and intercalated disks, which are stable adhesions required for the assembly of mature striated muscle. Our results suggest that Talin1 is the primary link between integrins and actin in dynamic focal adhesions in undifferentiated, motile cells, but that Talin2 may serve as the link between integrins and the sarcomeric cytoskeletonin stable adhesion complexes in mature striated muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cm.20173DOI Listing
March 2007

Linker region of nebulin family members plays an important role in targeting these molecules to cellular structures.

Cell Tissue Res 2007 Feb 3;327(2):353-69. Epub 2006 Oct 3.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.

The nebulin family of actin-binding proteins plays an essential role in cytoskeletal dynamics and actin filament stability. All of the family members are modular proteins with their key defining structural feature being the presence of the 35-residue nebulin modules. The family members now include nebulin, nebulette, N-RAP, LASP-1, and LIM-nebulette. Nebulin and nebulette are associated with the thin filament/Z-line junction of striated muscle. LASP-1 and LIM-nebulette are found within focal adhesions, and N-RAP is associated with muscle cellular junctions. Although much investigation has focused on the role of the interactions between nebulin modules and actin, each of these proteins contains other domains that are essential for their cellular targeting and functions. The serine-rich linker region of nebulette has previously been shown to serve just such a purpose by targeting the association of the nebulin modules to the cardiac Z-line in cultured cardiomyocytes. In this report, we analyze the targeting functions of the homologous regions of LASP-1 and LIM-nebulette in their incorporation into focal adhesions. We have found that the linker region of LASP-1 is indeed important for its cellular localization and that the shortened linker region of LIM-nebulette drives the association of nebulin modules to focal adhesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00441-006-0305-2DOI Listing
February 2007

Nebulin isoforms of extraocular muscle.

Cell Tissue Res 2007 Feb 12;327(2):415-20. Epub 2006 Oct 12.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.

The extraocular muscles (EOMs), which are responsible for reflexive and voluntary eye movements, have many unique biochemical, physiological, and ultrastructural features that set them apart from other skeletal muscles. For example, rodent EOMs lack M-lines and express EOM-specific myosin heavy chain (MYH13) and alpha-cardiac myosin heavy chain. Recent gene-expression profiling studies indicate the presence of other cardiac-specific proteins in adult EOMs. This interesting mixture of myofibrillar and cytoskeletal proteins poses the questions as to whether nebulette, as opposed to nebulin, might be expressed in EOM, and what isoforms of titin are expressed in the EOM. We have performed gel electrophoresis and immunological analyses to determine the titin and nebulin isoforms expressed in the EOM. We have found that the mass of the titin isoforms expressed in the EOM most closely resemble those found in the skeletal muscles tested, viz., the soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL). We also demonstrate that, although the EOM expresses cardiac isoforms of myosin, it does not express nebulette and contains a nebulin isoform with a mass consistent with that found in the prototypical fast hindlimb muscle EDL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00441-006-0311-4DOI Listing
February 2007

Rho GTPase activity modulates paramyxovirus fusion protein-mediated cell-cell fusion.

Virology 2006 Jul 28;350(2):323-34. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, 741 South Limestone, Lexington, KY 40536-0509, USA.

The paramyxovirus fusion protein (F) promotes fusion of the viral envelope with the plasma membrane of target cells as well as cell-cell fusion. The plasma membrane is closely associated with the actin cytoskeleton, but the role of actin dynamics in paramyxovirus F-mediated membrane fusion is unclear. We examined cell-cell fusion promoted by two different paramyxovirus F proteins in three cell types in the presence of constitutively active Rho family GTPases, major cellular coordinators of actin dynamics. Reporter gene and syncytia assays demonstrated that expression of either Rac1(V12) or Cdc42(V12) could increase cell-cell fusion promoted by the Hendra or SV5 glycoproteins, though the effect was dependent on the cell type expressing the viral glycoproteins. In contrast, RhoA(L63) decreased cell-cell fusion promoted by Hendra glycoproteins but had little affect on SV5 F-mediated fusion. Also, data suggested that GTPase activation in the viral glycoprotein-containing cell was primarily responsible for changes in fusion. Additionally, we found that activated Cdc42 promoted nuclear rearrangement in syncytia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2006.01.033DOI Listing
July 2006

Mutations in the motor domain modulate myosin activity and myofibril organization.

J Cell Sci 2003 Oct 2;116(Pt 20):4227-38. Epub 2003 Sep 2.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.

We have investigated the functional impact on cardiac myofibril organization and myosin motor activity of point mutations associated with familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathies (FHC). Embryonic chicken cardiomyocytes were transfected with vectors encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to a striated muscle myosin heavy chain (GFP-myosin). Within 24 hours of transfection, the GFP-myosin is found co-assembled with the endogenous myosin in striated myofibrils. The wild-type GFP-myosin had no effect on the organization of the contractile cytoskeleton of the cardiomyocytes. However, expression of myosin with the R403Q FHC mutation resulted in a small but significant decrease in myofibril organization, and the R453C and G584R mutations caused a more dramatic increase in myofibril disarray. The embryonic cardiomyocytes beat spontaneously in culture and this was not affected by expression of the wild-type or mutant GFP-myosin. For the biochemical analysis of myosin motor activity, replication defective adenovirus was used to express the wild-type and mutant GFP-myosin in C2C12 myotubes. The R403Q mutation enhanced actin filament velocity but had no effect on the myosin duty ratio. The R453C and G584R mutations impaired actin filament movement and both increased the duty ratio. The effects of these mutations on myosin motor activity correlate with changes in myofibril organization of live cardiomyocytes. Thus, mutations associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathies that alter myosin motor activity can also impair myofibril organization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.00709DOI Listing
October 2003

Targeted disruption of nebulette protein expression alters cardiac myofibril assembly and function.

Exp Cell Res 2002 Feb;273(2):204-18

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.

To evaluate nebulette's role in cardiac myofibrils, cardiomyocytes expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-nebulette constructs were monitored for their ability to contract and myofilament protein distribution was analyzed. Cells expressing full-length GFP-nebulette appear unaffected and exhibit normal beating frequencies. Expression of the GFP linker and SH3 results in loss of the endogenous nebulette and tropomyosin; however, Z-line and thick filaments are undisturbed. Cells expressing either of these domains have dramatically reduced beating frequencies, consistent with the loss of thin filament proteins. This loss was inhibited by the addition of protease inhibitors during culturing. The GFP repeat domain disrupts both myofibrillogenesis and contraction in spreading cardiomyocytes, whereas introduction of this protein into well-spread cardiomyocytes results in localization at the Z-line and a 50% reduction in beating frequency. Ultimately, these cells form bundles containing the GFP repeat and many myofilament proteins. Interestingly, butanedione monoxime inhibition of contraction inhibited the formation of these bundles. These results show that the GFP-nebulette domains have a dominant-negative effect on the distribution and function of the sarcomeric proteins. Taken together with the observation that nebulette colocalizes with alpha-actinin in the pre-, nascent, and mature myofibrils, our data demonstrate the importance of this cardiac-specific nebulin isoform in myofibril organization and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/excr.2001.5423DOI Listing
February 2002
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