Aims Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) is frequently caused by cardiac myosin-binding protein C (cMyBP-C) gene mutations, which should result in C-terminal truncated mutants. However, truncated mutants were not detected in myocardial tissue of FHC patients and were rapidly degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) after gene transfer in cardiac myocytes. Since the diversity and specificity of UPS regulation lie in E3 ubiquitin ligases, we investigated whether the muscle-specific E3 ligases atrogin-1 or muscle ring finger protein-1 (MuRF1) mediate degradation of truncated cMyBP-C. Methods and resultsHuman wild-type (WT) and truncated (M7t, resulting from a human mutation) cMyBP-C species were co-immunoprecipitated with atrogin-1 after adenoviral overexpression in cardiac myocytes, and WT-cMyBP-C was identified as an interaction partner of MuRF1 by yeast two-hybrid screens. Overexpression of atrogin-1 in cardiac myocytes decreased the protein level of M7t-cMyBP-C by 80 and left WT-cMyBP-C level unaffected. This was rescued by proteasome inhibition. In contrast, overexpression of MuRF1 in cardiac myocytes not only reduced the protein level of WT- and M7t-cMyBP-C by >60, but also the level of myosin heavy chains (MHCs) by >40, which were not rescued by proteasome inhibition. Both exogenous cMyBP-C and endogenous MHC mRNA levels were markedly reduced by MuRF1 overexpression. Similar to cardiac myocytes, MuRF1-overexpressing (TG) mice exhibited 40 lower levels of MHC mRNAs and proteins. Protein levels of cMyBP-C were 29 higher in MuRF1 knockout and 34 lower in TG than in WT, without a corresponding change in mRNA levels. Conclusion These data suggest that atrogin-1 specifically targets truncated M7t-cMyBP-C, but not WT-cMyBP-C, for proteasomal degradation and that MuRF1 indirectly reduces cMyBP-C levels by regulating the transcription of MHC.
- E3 ubiquitin ligase
- Myosin-binding protein C
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)