Publications by authors named "Raphael Thurnheer"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Neuregulin/ErbB regulate neuromuscular junction development by phosphorylation of α-dystrobrevin.

J Cell Biol 2011 Dec 19;195(7):1171-84. Epub 2011 Dec 19.

Institute of Physiology, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, CH-4056, Basel, Switzerland.

Neuregulin (NRG)/ErbB signaling is involved in numerous developmental processes in the nervous system, including synapse formation and function in the central nervous system. Although intensively investigated, its role at the neuromuscular synapse has remained elusive. Here, we demonstrate that loss of neuromuscular NRG/ErbB signaling destabilized anchoring of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in the postsynaptic muscle membrane and that this effect was caused by dephosphorylation of α-dystrobrevin1, a component of the postsynaptic scaffold. Specifically, in mice in which NRG signaling to muscle was genetically or pharmacologically abolished, postsynaptic AChRs moved rapidly from the synaptic to the perisynaptic membrane, and the subsynaptic scaffold that anchors the AChRs was impaired. These defects combined compromised synaptic transmission. We further show that blockade of NRG/ErbB signaling abolished tyrosine phosphorylation of α-dystrobrevin1, which reduced the stability of receptors in agrin-induced AChR clusters in cultured myotubes. Our data indicate that NRG/ErbB signaling maintains high efficacy of synaptic transmission by stabilizing the postsynaptic apparatus via phosphorylation of α-dystrobrevin1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201107083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3246897PMC
December 2011

SRP-35, a newly identified protein of the skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum, is a retinol dehydrogenase.

Biochem J 2012 Jan;441(2):731-41

Department of Anaesthesia, Basel University Hospital, Hebelstrasse 20, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.

In the present study we provide evidence that SRP-35, a protein we identified in rabbit skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum, is an all-trans-retinol dehydrogenase. Analysis of the primary structure and tryptic digestion revealed that its N-terminus encompasses a short hydrophobic sequence bound to the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane, whereas its C-terminal catalytic domain faces the myoplasm. SRP-35 is also expressed in liver and adipocytes, where it appears in the post-microsomal supernatant; however, in skeletal muscle, SRP-35 is enriched in the longitudinal sarcoplasmic reticulum. Sequence comparison predicts that SRP-35 is a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase belonging to the DHRS7C [dehydrogenase/reductase (short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase family) member 7C] subfamily. Retinol is the substrate of SRP-35, since its transient overexpression leads to an increased production of all-trans-retinaldehyde. Transfection of C2C12 myotubes with a fusion protein encoding SRP-35-EYFP (enhanced yellow fluorescent protein) causes a decrease of the maximal Ca²⁺ released via RyR (ryanodine receptor) activation induced by KCl or 4-chloro-m-chresol. The latter result could be mimicked by the addition of retinoic acid to the C2C12 cell tissue culture medium, a treatment which caused a significant reduction of RyR1 expression. We propose that in skeletal muscle SRP-35 is involved in the generation of all-trans-retinaldehyde and may play an important role in the generation of intracellular signals linking Ca2+ release (i.e. muscle activity) to metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20111457DOI Listing
January 2012

Remodeling of calcium handling in skeletal muscle through PGC-1α: impact on force, fatigability, and fiber type.

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2012 Jan 14;302(1):C88-99. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

Biozentrum, Department of Pharmacology/Neurobiology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Regular endurance exercise remodels skeletal muscle, largely through the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α). PGC-1α promotes fiber type switching and resistance to fatigue. Intracellular calcium levels might play a role in both adaptive phenomena, yet a role for PGC-1α in the adaptation of calcium handling in skeletal muscle remains unknown. Using mice with transgenic overexpression of PGC-1α, we now investigated the effect of PGC-1α on calcium handling in skeletal muscle. We demonstrate that PGC-1α induces a quantitative reduction in calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum by diminishing the expression of calcium-releasing molecules. Concomitantly, maximal muscle force is reduced in vivo and ex vivo. In addition, PGC-1α overexpression delays calcium clearance from the myoplasm by interfering with multiple mechanisms involved in calcium removal, leading to higher myoplasmic calcium levels following contraction. During prolonged muscle activity, the delayed calcium clearance might facilitate force production in mice overexpressing PGC-1α. Our results reveal a novel role of PGC-1α in altering the contractile properties of skeletal muscle by modulating calcium handling. Importantly, our findings indicate PGC-1α to be both down- as well as upstream of calcium signaling in this tissue. Overall, our findings suggest that in the adaptation to chronic exercise, PGC-1α reduces maximal force, increases resistance to fatigue, and drives fiber type switching partly through remodeling of calcium transients, in addition to promoting slow-type myofibrillar protein expression and adequate energy supply.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00190.2011DOI Listing
January 2012

Minor sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane components that modulate excitation-contraction coupling in striated muscles.

J Physiol 2009 Jul 29;587(Pt 13):3071-9. Epub 2009 Apr 29.

Departments of Anesthesia and Biomedicine, Basel University Hospital, Switzerland.

In striated muscle, activation of contraction is initiated by membrane depolarisation caused by an action potential, which triggers the release of Ca(2+) stored in the sarcoplasmic reticulum by a process called excitation-contraction coupling. Excitation-contraction coupling occurs via a highly sophisticated supramolecular signalling complex at the junction between the sarcoplasmic reticulum and the transverse tubules. It is generally accepted that the core components of the excitation-contraction coupling machinery are the dihydropyridine receptors, ryanodine receptors and calsequestrin, which serve as voltage sensor, Ca(2+) release channel, and Ca(2+) storage protein, respectively. Nevertheless, a number of additional proteins have been shown to be essential both for the structural formation of the machinery involved in excitation-contraction coupling and for its fine tuning. In this review we discuss the functional role of minor sarcoplasmic reticulum protein components. The definition of their roles in excitation-contraction coupling is important in order to understand how mutations in genes involved in Ca(2+) signalling cause neuromuscular disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2009.171876DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2727015PMC
July 2009