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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Troponin I Mutations R146G and R21C Alter Cardiac Troponin Function, Contractile Properties, and Modulation by Protein Kinase A (PKA)-mediated Phosphorylation.

  • Author(s): Cheng, Yuanhua
  • Rao, Vijay
  • Tu, An-Yue
  • Lindert, Steffen
  • Wang, Dan
  • Oxenford, Lucas
  • McCulloch, Andrew D
  • McCammon, J Andrew
  • Regnier, Michael
  • et al.

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Two hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-associated cardiac troponin I (cTnI) mutations, R146G and R21C, are located in different regions of cTnI, the inhibitory peptide and the cardiac-specific N terminus. We recently reported that these regions may interact when Ser-23/Ser-24 are phosphorylated, weakening the interaction of cTnI with cardiac TnC. Little is known about how these mutations influence the affinity of cardiac TnC for cTnI (KC-I) or contractile kinetics during β-adrenergic stimulation. Here, we tested how cTnI(R146G) or cTnI(R21C) influences contractile activation and relaxation and their response to protein kinase A (PKA). Both mutations significantly increased Ca(2+) binding affinity to cTn (KCa) and KC-I. PKA phosphorylation resulted in a similar reduction of KCa for all complexes, but KC-I was reduced only with cTnI(WT). cTnI(WT), cTnI(R146G), and cTnI(R21C) were complexed into cardiac troponin and exchanged into rat ventricular myofibrils, and contraction/relaxation kinetics were measured ± PKA phosphorylation. Maximal tension (Tmax) was maintained for cTnI(R146G)- and cTnI(R21C)-exchanged myofibrils, and Ca(2+) sensitivity of tension (pCa50) was increased. PKA phosphorylation decreased pCa50 for cTnI(WT)-exchanged myofibrils but not for either mutation. PKA phosphorylation accelerated the early slow phase relaxation for cTnI(WT) myofibrils, especially at Ca(2+) levels that the heart operates in vivo. Importantly, this effect was blunted for cTnI(R146G)- and cTnI(R21C)-exchanged myofibrils. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest both mutations inhibit formation of intra-subunit contacts between the N terminus and the inhibitory peptide of cTnI that is normally seen with WT-cTn upon PKA phosphorylation. Together, our results suggest that cTnI(R146G) and cTnI(R21C) blunt PKA modulation of activation and relaxation kinetics by prohibiting cardiac-specific N-terminal interaction with the cTnI inhibitory peptide.

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