New mechanism controlling proper organization of the muscle contractile units indentified

Muscle-specific protein cofilin-2 controls the length of actin filaments in muscle cells.

Sliding of myosin and past each other provides the force for . In contrast to most non-, the actin filaments in muscle sarcomeres are of precise length and relatively stable. Defects in the organization of these actin filament arrays result in various heart and muscle disorders, such as myopathies.

The research group of professor Pekka Lappalainen at Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, has now revealed a new mechanism that is essential for the correct organization of sarcomeres.

"We discovered that a muscle-specific protein cofilin-2 'trims' the ends of sarcomeric actin filaments to control their precise length. To this end, cofilin-2 is specific in that it can also disassemble ATP-actin segments, which are expected to be present in the ends of sarcomeric actin filaments," Pekka Lappalainen explains.

These findings also explain why mutations in cofilin-2 gene result in nemaline myopathy.


Explore further

Atomic structure of key muscle component revealed

Provided by University of Helsinki
Citation: New mechanism controlling proper organization of the muscle contractile units indentified (2014, November 7) retrieved 23 February 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-11-mechanism-proper-muscle-contractile-indentified.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more