G2Cdb::Gene report

Gene id
Gene symbol
Homo sapiens
G00000606 (Mus musculus)

Databases (9)

Curated Gene
OTTHUMG00000058924 (Vega human gene)
ENSG00000175084 (Ensembl human gene)
1674 (Entrez Gene)
1006 (G2Cdb plasticity & disease)
DES (GeneCards)
125660 (OMIM)
Marker Symbol
HGNC:2770 (HGNC)
Protein Expression
34 (human protein atlas)
Protein Sequence
P17661 (UniProt)

Synonyms (3)

  • CMD1I
  • CSM1
  • CSM2

Literature (63)

Pubmed - other

  • Severe cardiac phenotype with right ventricular predominance in a large cohort of patients with a single missense mutation in the DES gene.

    van Tintelen JP, Van Gelder IC, Asimaki A, Suurmeijer AJ, Wiesfeld AC, Jongbloed JD, van den Wijngaard A, Kuks JB, van Spaendonck-Zwarts KY, Notermans N, Boven L, van den Heuvel F, Veenstra-Knol HE, Saffitz JE, Hofstra RM and van den Berg MP

    Department of Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. j.p.van.tintelen@medgen.umcg.nl

    Background: Desmin-related myopathy is a clinically heterogenous group of disorders encompassing myopathies, cardiomyopathies, conduction disease, and combinations of these disorders. Mutations in the gene encoding desmin (DES), a major intermediate filament protein, can underlie this phenotype.

    Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical and pathologic characteristics of 27 patients from five families with an identical mutation in the head domain region (p.S13F) of desmin.

    All 27 carriers or obligate carriers of a p.S13F DES founder mutation demonstrated a fully penetrant yet variable phenotype. All patients demonstrated cardiac involvement characterized by high-grade AV block at young ages and important right ventricular (RV) involvement. RV predominance was demonstrated by the presence of right bundle branch block in 10 patients (sometimes as a first manifestation) and by RV heart failure in 6 patients, including 2 patients who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for arrhythmogenic RV cardiomyopathy. Because of this clinical overlap with desmosome cardiomyopathies, we also studied the organization of the intercalated disks, particularly the distribution of desmosomal proteins. Normal amounts of the major desmosomal proteins were found, but the intercalated disks were more convoluted and elongated and had a zigzag appearance.

    Conclusion: In this largest series to date of individuals with a single head domain DES mutation, patients show a variable yet predominantly cardiologic phenotype characterized by conduction disease at an early age and RV involvement including right bundle branch block and/or RV tachycardias and arrhythmogenic RV cardiomyopathy phenocopies. A localized effect of desmin on the structure of the cardiac intercalated disks might contribute to disease pathogenesis.

    Heart rhythm 2009;6;11;1574-83

  • Prevalence of sarcomere protein gene mutations in preadolescent children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    Kaski JP, Syrris P, Esteban MT, Jenkins S, Pantazis A, Deanfield JE, McKenna WJ and Elliott PM

    Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

    Background: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in infants and children is thought to be commonly associated with metabolic disorders and malformation syndromes. Familial disease caused by mutations in cardiac sarcomere protein genes, which accounts for most cases in adolescents and adults, is believed to be a very rare cause of HCM.

    Seventy-nine consecutive patients diagnosed with HCM aged 13 years or younger underwent detailed clinical and genetic evaluation. The protein-coding sequences of 9 sarcomere protein genes (MYH7, MYBPC3, TNNI3, TNNT2, TPM1, MYL2, MYL3, ACTC, and TNNC1), the genes encoding desmin (DES), and the gamma-2 subunit of AMP kinase (PRKAG2) were screened for mutations. A family history of HCM was present in 48 patients (60.8%). Forty-seven mutations (15 novel) were identified in 42 (53.2%) patients (5 patients had 2 mutations). The genes most commonly implicated were MYH7 (48.9%) and MYBPC3 (36.2%); mutations in TNNT2, ACTC, MYL3, and TNNI3 accounted for <5% of cases each. A total of 16.7% patients with sarcomeric mutations were diagnosed before 1 year of age. There were no differences in clinical and echocardiographic features between those children with sarcomere protein gene mutations and those without or between patients with 2 mutations and those with 1 or no mutations.

    Conclusions: This study shows that familial disease is common among infants and children with HCM and that, in most cases, disease is caused by mutations in cardiac sarcomere protein genes. The major implication is that all first-degree relatives of any child diagnosed with HCM should be offered screening. Furthermore, the finding that one sixth of patients with sarcomeric disease were diagnosed in infancy suggests that current views on pathogenesis and natural history of familial HCM may have to be revised.

    Funded by: British Heart Foundation: PG/05/135/19913; Department of Health

    Circulation. Cardiovascular genetics 2009;2;5;436-41

  • Proteomics identification of desmin as a potential oncofetal diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in colorectal cancer.

    Ma Y, Peng J, Liu W, Zhang P, Huang L, Gao B, Shen T, Zhou Y, Chen H, Chu Z, Zhang M and Qin H

    Department of Surgery, The Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200233, China.

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide and has poor prognosis. To identify the oncofetal proteins involved in CRC carcinogenesis, differentially expressed proteins among fetal colorectal tissues, CRC, and the paired tumor-adjacent normal colorectal tissues were investigated by a two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF/TOF-based proteomics approach. 42 protein spots were differentially expressed among these tissues, and 22 proteins were identified by MS analysis. Desmin and zinc finger protein 829 were found to be elevated in CRC tissue and fetal colorectal tissue compared with normal colorectal tissue. The elevated expression of desmin in CRC tissue and different developmental stages of fetus colon was confirmed by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the elevated expression of desmin was correlated with the severity and differentiation of CRC and decreased survival rate of CRC patients. Finally by developing a highly sensitive immunoassay, desmin could be detected in human serum and was significantly elevated in CRC patients compared with healthy volunteers. We propose that desmin be considered a potential oncofetal serum tumor marker for CRC that may have significance in the detection of patients with CRC.

    Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP 2009;8;8;1878-90

  • DNA methylation-histone modification relationships across the desmin locus in human primary cells.

    Lindahl Allen M, Koch CM, Clelland GK, Dunham I and Antoniou M

    Nuclear Biology Group, King's College London School of Medicine, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, 8th Floor Tower Wing, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK. Marianne_LindahlAllen@hms.harvard.edu

    Background: We present here an extensive epigenetic analysis of a 500 kb region, which encompasses the human desmin gene (DES) and its 5' locus control region (LCR), the only muscle-specific transcriptional regulatory element of this type described to date. These data complement and extend Encyclopaedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) studies on region ENr133. We analysed histone modifications and underlying DNA methylation patterns in physiologically relevant DES expressing (myoblast/myotube) and non-expressing (peripheral blood mononuclear) primary human cells.

    Results: We found that in expressing myoblast/myotube but not peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures, histone H4 acetylation displays a broadly distributed enrichment across a gene rich 200 kb region whereas H3 acetylation localizes at the transcriptional start site (TSS) of genes. We show that the DES LCR and TSS of DES are enriched with hyperacetylated domains of acetylated histone H3, with H3 lysine 4 di- and tri-methylation (H3K4me2 and me3) exhibiting a different distribution pattern across this locus. The CpG island that extends into the first intron of DES is methylation-free regardless of the gene's expression status and in non-expressing PBMCs is marked with histone H3 lysine 27 tri-methylation (H3K27me3).

    Conclusion: Overall, our results constitute the first study correlating patterns of histone modifications and underlying DNA methylation of a muscle-specific LCR and its associated downstream gene region whilst additionally placing this within a much broader genomic context. Our results clearly show that there are distinct patterns of histone H3 and H4 acetylation and H3 methylation at the DES LCR, promoter and intragenic region. In addition, the presence of H3K27me3 at the DES methylation-free CpG only in non-expressing PBMCs may serve to silence this gene in non-muscle tissues. Generally, our work demonstrates the importance of using multiple, physiologically relevant tissue types that represent different expressing/non-expressing states when investigating epigenetic marks and that underlying DNA methylation status should be correlated with histone modification patterns when studying chromatin structure.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: G78/7909

    BMC molecular biology 2009;10;51

  • Differential expression of immunohistochemical markers in bladder smooth muscle and myofibroblasts, and the potential utility of desmin, smoothelin, and vimentin in staging of bladder carcinoma.

    Council L and Hameed O

    Division of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-6823, USA.

    Distinguishing bladder muscularis propria from muscularis mucosae can be problematic especially in transurethral resection specimens performed for bladder carcinoma. Moreover, bladder carcinoma can be associated with a proliferative/desmoplastic myofibroblastic response that can resemble smooth muscle and potentially lead to overdiagnosis of muscularis propria invasion. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential role of immunohistochemistry in staging bladder carcinoma by evaluating the expression of different markers in myofibroblasts and nonvascular smooth muscle cells in 15 cases of invasive bladder carcinoma. Reactive myofibroblasts were consistently positive for vimentin and smooth muscle actin, consistently negative for caldesmon, desmin, and smoothelin, and had variable expression of actin and CD10. Nonvascular smooth muscle cells of the bladder were consistently positive for smooth muscle actin, actin, desmin, and caldesmon, and consistently negative for CD10. In contrast to smooth muscle cells of the muscularis propria, which displayed strong smoothelin expression in all 15 cases, the smooth muscle cells of the muscularis mucosae displayed moderate smoothelin expression in only 1 (9%) of 11 cases (P=10(-7)). Surprisingly, although strongly highlighting endothelial and endomysial cells, the smooth muscle cells of the muscularis propria weakly expressed vimentin in only 1 (7%) of 15 cases, whereas smooth muscle cells of the muscularis mucosae had moderate or strong expression in 9 (82%) of 11 cases (P=0.00016). The sensitivity and specificity of desmin or caldesmon expression for smooth muscle cells were 100%. The sensitivity and specificity of strong smoothelin expression for muscularis propria were 100%, whereas those of absent vimentin expression were 93 and 82%, respectively. Although morphology remains the gold standard, the findings suggest that immunohistochemistry, using a panel composed of desmin, smoothelin, and vimentin, may be potentially useful for staging of bladder carcinoma. Confirmatory larger-scale studies, especially on transurethral resection specimens, are warranted.

    Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc 2009;22;5;639-50

  • Prefrontal cortex shotgun proteome analysis reveals altered calcium homeostasis and immune system imbalance in schizophrenia.

    Martins-de-Souza D, Gattaz WF, Schmitt A, Rewerts C, Maccarrone G, Dias-Neto E and Turck CW

    Laboratório de Neurociências, Instituto de Psiquiatria, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua. Dr. Ovidio Pires de Campos, no 785, Consolação, São Paulo, SP 05403-010, Brazil.

    Schizophrenia is a complex disease, likely to be caused by a combination of serial alterations in a number of genes and environmental factors. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's Area 46) is involved in schizophrenia and executes high-level functions such as working memory, differentiation of conflicting thoughts, determination of right and wrong concepts and attitudes, correct social behavior and personality expression. Global proteomic analysis of post-mortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex samples from schizophrenia patients and non-schizophrenic individuals was performed using stable isotope labeling and shotgun proteomics. The analysis resulted in the identification of 1,261 proteins, 84 of which showed statistically significant differential expression, reinforcing previous data supporting the involvement of the immune system, calcium homeostasis, cytoskeleton assembly, and energy metabolism in schizophrenia. In addition a number of new potential markers were found that may contribute to the understanding of the pathogenesis of this complex disease.

    European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience 2009;259;3;151-63

  • A myopathy-linked desmin mutation perturbs striated muscle actin filament architecture.

    Conover GM, Henderson SN and Gregorio CC

    Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.

    Desmin interacts with nebulin establishing a direct link between the intermediate filament network and sarcomeres at the Z-discs. Here, we examined a desmin mutation, E245D, that is located within the coil IB (nebulin-binding) region of desmin and that has been reported to cause human cardiomyopathy and skeletal muscle atrophy. We show that the coil IB region of desmin binds to C-terminal nebulin (modules 160-164) with high affinity, whereas binding of this desmin region containing the E245D mutation appears to enhance its interaction with nebulin in solid-phase binding assays. Expression of the desmin-E245D mutant in myocytes displaces endogenous desmin and C-terminal nebulin from the Z-discs with a concomitant increase in the formation of intracellular aggregates, reminiscent of a major histological hallmark of desmin-related myopathies. Actin filament architecture was strikingly perturbed in myocytes expressing the desmin-E245D mutant because most sarcomeres contained elongated or shorter actin filaments. Our findings reveal a novel role for desmin intermediate filaments in modulating actin filament lengths and organization. Collectively, these data suggest that the desmin E245D mutation interferes with the ability of nebulin to precisely regulate thin filament lengths, providing new insights into the potential molecular consequences of expression of certain disease-associated desmin mutations.

    Funded by: Howard Hughes Medical Institute; NHLBI NIH HHS: HL083146, HL57461, R01 HL057461, R01 HL083146, R29 HL057461

    Molecular biology of the cell 2009;20;3;834-45

  • Constructing disease-specific gene networks using pair-wise relevance metric: application to colon cancer identifies interleukin 8, desmin and enolase 1 as the central elements.

    Jiang W, Li X, Rao S, Wang L, Du L, Li C, Wu C, Wang H, Wang Y and Yang B

    College of Bioinformatics Science and Technology and Bio-pharmaceutical Key Laboratory of Heilongjiang Province, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081, PR China. jiangweilh@gmail.com

    Background: With the advance of large-scale omics technologies, it is now feasible to reversely engineer the underlying genetic networks that describe the complex interplays of molecular elements that lead to complex diseases. Current networking approaches are mainly focusing on building genetic networks at large without probing the interaction mechanisms specific to a physiological or disease condition. The aim of this study was thus to develop such a novel networking approach based on the relevance concept, which is ideal to reveal integrative effects of multiple genes in the underlying genetic circuit for complex diseases.

    Results: The approach started with identification of multiple disease pathways, called a gene forest, in which the genes extracted from the decision forest constructed by supervised learning of the genome-wide transcriptional profiles for patients and normal samples. Based on the newly identified disease mechanisms, a novel pair-wise relevance metric, adjusted frequency value, was used to define the degree of genetic relationship between two molecular determinants. We applied the proposed method to analyze a publicly available microarray dataset for colon cancer. The results demonstrated that the colon cancer-specific gene network captured the most important genetic interactions in several cellular processes, such as proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, mitogenesis and immunity, which are known to be pivotal for tumourigenesis. Further analysis of the topological architecture of the network identified three known hub cancer genes [interleukin 8 (IL8) (p approximately 0), desmin (DES) (p = 2.71 x 10(-6)) and enolase 1 (ENO1) (p = 4.19 x 10(-5))], while two novel hub genes [RNA binding motif protein 9 (RBM9) (p = 1.50 x 10(-4)) and ribosomal protein L30 (RPL30) (p = 1.50 x 10(-4))] may define new central elements in the gene network specific to colon cancer. Gene Ontology (GO) based analysis of the colon cancer-specific gene network and the sub-network that consisted of three-way gene interactions suggested that tumourigenesis in colon cancer resulted from dysfunction in protein biosynthesis and categories associated with ribonucleoprotein complex which are well supported by multiple lines of experimental evidence.

    Conclusion: This study demonstrated that IL8, DES and ENO1 act as the central elements in colon cancer susceptibility, and protein biosynthesis and the ribosome-associated function categories largely account for the colon cancer tumuorigenesis. Thus, the newly developed relevancy-based networking approach offers a powerful means to reverse-engineer the disease-specific network, a promising tool for systematic dissection of complex diseases.

    BMC systems biology 2008;2;72

  • Characterization of a novel S13F desmin mutation associated with desmin myopathy and heart block in a Chinese family.

    Pica EC, Kathirvel P, Pramono ZA, Lai PS and Yee WC

    Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, National Neuroscience Institute, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433, Singapore.

    Desmin myopathy was identified in a Chinese man with complete heart block and mild proximal and distal limb weakness. A novel heterozygous missense S13F mutation of the desmin gene was found to be associated with the myopathy. Family members carrying the mutation showed a similar or milder phenotype. The mutation is located at a protein kinase-C phosphorylation site within a highly conserved nonapeptide sequence in the head domain of the desmin protein. Expression of the mutant desmin cDNA in cell lines induced large desmin accumulations associated with preservation of a filamentous network.

    Neuromuscular disorders : NMD 2008;18;2;178-82

  • Immunoadsorption and subsequent immunoglobulin substitution decreases myocardial gene expression of desmin in dilated cardiomyopathy.

    Kallwellis-Opara A, Staudt A, Trimpert C, Noutsias M, Kühl U, Pauschinger M, Schultheiss HP, Grube M, Böhm M, Baumann G, Völker U, Kroemer HK and Felix SB

    Department of Internal Medicine B, University of Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.

    Cardiac autoantibodies play a pathogenic role in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Removal of antibodies by immunoadsorption (IA) induces hemodynamic improvement in DCM patients. The present study investigated the effects of IA on myocardial gene expression of the intermediate cytoskeletal filament desmin, which is upregulated in heart failure. RNA was isolated from five explanted non-failing hearts and five explanted failing hearts of DCM patients, and myocardial gene expression of desmin was estimated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In a case-control study in six DCM patients (LVEF < 40%, NYHA II-III), IA and subsequent IgG substitution were performed at monthly intervals until month 3. Endomyocardial biopsies (EMBs) were obtained before and after IA (after 3-6 months). From six DCM patients without IA therapy (controls), EMBs were also obtained over a comparable time interval. Expression of the desmin gene was analyzed in these EMBs by real-time PCR. In failing explanted hearts, expression of desmin was significantly increased (0.88 +/- 0.12 vs 0.45 +/- 0.15 in non-failing hearts, P < 0.05). After IA, myocardial gene expression of desmin was significantly decreased (from 0.26 +/- 0.05 [baseline] to 0.14 +/- 0.04 [P < 0.05] vs baseline and controls). Removal of antibodies by IA modulates myocardial gene expression of desmin in DCM patients.

    Journal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany) 2007;85;12;1429-35

  • Proper perinuclear localization of the TRIM-like protein myospryn requires its binding partner desmin.

    Kouloumenta A, Mavroidis M and Capetanaki Y

    Cell Biology Division, Center of Basic Research, Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens, Athens 11527, Greece.

    Desmin, the muscle-specific intermediate filament protein, surrounds the Z disks and links the entire contractile apparatus to the sarcolemmal cytoskeleton, cytoplasmic organelles, and the nucleus. In an attempt to explore the molecular mechanisms of these associations, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screening of a cardiac cDNA library. We showed that the desmin amino-terminal domain (N-(1-103)) binds to a 413-kDa TRIM-like protein, myospryn, originally identified as the muscle-specific partner of dysbindin, a component of the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex 1 (BLOC-1). Binding of desmin with myospryn was confirmed with glutathione S-transferase pulldown assays and coimmunoprecipitation experiments. Western blot analysis revealed that the complex immunoprecipitated by desmin antibodies, in addition to myospryn, contained the BLOC-1 components dysbindin and pallidin. Deletion analysis revealed that only the (N-(1-103)) fragment of desmin binds to myospryn carboxyl terminus and that this association takes place through the 24-amino acid-long carboxyl-terminal end of the SPRY domain of myospryn. Using an antibody against the COOH terminus of myospryn, we demonstrated that myospryn colocalizes with desmin at the periphery of the nucleus, in close proximity to the endoplasmic reticulum, of mouse neonatal cardiomyocytes. In adult heart muscle, the two proteins colocalize, predominantly at intercalated disks and costameres. We also showed that myospryn colocalizes with lysosomes. Using desmin null hearts, we determined that desmin is required for both the proper perinuclear localization of myospryn, as well as the proper positioning of lysosomes, thus suggesting a potential role of desmin intermediate filaments in lysosomes and lysosome-related organelle biogenesis and/or positioning.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2007;282;48;35211-21

  • Two related Dutch families with a clinically variable presentation of cardioskeletal myopathy caused by a novel S13F mutation in the desmin gene.

    Bergman JE, Veenstra-Knol HE, van Essen AJ, van Ravenswaaij CM, den Dunnen WF, van den Wijngaard A and van Tintelen JP

    Department of Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Post Box 30001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands. j.e.h.bergman@medgen.umcg.nl

    Desmin-related myopathy is characterised by skeletal muscle weakness often combined with cardiac involvement. Mutations in the desmin gene have been described as a cause of desmin-related myopathy (OMIM 601419). We report here on two distantly related Dutch families with autosomal dominant inheritance of desmin-related myopathy affecting 15 family members. A highly heterogeneous clinical picture is apparent, varying from isolated dilated cardiomyopathy to a more generalised skeletal myopathy and mild respiratory problems. Morphological analysis of muscle biopsies revealed intracytoplasmic desmin aggregates (desmin and p62 staining). In both families we identified an identical novel pathogenic heterozygous missense mutation, S13F, in the 'head' domain of the desmin gene which cosegregates with the disease phenotype. This is the 5th reported missense mutation located at the 'head' domain of the desmin gene and the first reported Dutch family with desmin-related myopathy. This article illustrates the importance of analysing the desmin gene in patients with (familial) cardiac conduction disease, dilated cardiomyopathy and/or a progressive skeletal myopathy resembling limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.

    European journal of medical genetics 2007;50;5;355-66

  • Phenotypic patterns of desminopathy associated with three novel mutations in the desmin gene.

    Olivé M, Armstrong J, Miralles F, Pou A, Fardeau M, Gonzalez L, Martínez F, Fischer D, Martínez Matos JA, Shatunov A, Goldfarb L and Ferrer I

    Institut de Neuropatologia, IDIBELL-Hospital de Bellvitge, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. 25169mop@comb.es

    Desminopathy represents a subgroup of myofibrillar myopathies caused by mutations in the desmin gene. Three novel disease-associated mutations in the desmin gene were identified in unrelated Spanish families affected by cardioskeletal myopathy. A selective pattern of muscle involvement, which differed from that observed in myofibrillar myopathy resulting from mutations in the myotilin gene, was observed in each of the three families with novel mutations and each of three desminopathy patients with known desmin mutations. Prominent joint retractions at the ankles and characteristic nasal speech were observed early in the course of illness. These findings suggest that muscle imaging in combination with routine clinical and pathological examination may be helpful in distinguishing desminopathy from other forms of myofibrillar myopathy and ordering appropriate molecular investigations.

    Funded by: Intramural NIH HHS: Z01 NS002973-10

    Neuromuscular disorders : NMD 2007;17;6;443-50

  • Assembly defects of desmin disease mutants carrying deletions in the alpha-helical rod domain are rescued by wild type protein.

    Bär H, Mücke N, Katus HA, Aebi U and Herrmann H

    Department of Cardiology, University of Heidelberg, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany. h.baer@dkfz.de

    Most mutations of desmin that cause severe autosomal dominant forms of myofibrillar myopathy are point mutations and locate in the central alpha-helical coiled-coil rod domain. Recently, two in-frame deletions of one and three amino acids, respectively, in the alpha-helix have been described and discussed to drastically interfere with the architecture of the desmin dimer and possibly also the formation of tetramers and higher order complexes [Kaminska, A., Strelkov, S.V., Goudeau, B., Olive, M., Dagvadorj, A., Fidzianska, A., Simon-Casteras, M., Shatunov, A., Dalakas, M.C., Ferrer, I., Kwiecinski, H., Vicart, P., Goldfarb, L.G., 2004. Small deletions disturb desmin architecture leading to breakdown of muscle cells and development of skeletal or cardioskeletal myopathy. Hum. Genet. 114, 306-313.]. Therefore, it was proposed that they may poison intermediate filament (IF) assembly. We have now recombinantly synthesized both mutant proteins and subjected them to comprehensive in vitro assembly experiments. While exhibiting assembly defects when analyzed on their own, both one-to-one mixtures of the respective mutant protein with wild type desmin facilitated proper filament formation. Transient transfection studies complemented this fundamental finding by demonstrating that wild type desmin is also rescuing these assembly defects in vivo. In summary, our findings strongly question the previous hypothesis that it is assembly incompetence due to molecular rearrangements caused by the mutations, which triggers the development of disease. As an alternative, we propose that these mutations cause subtle age-dependent structural alterations of desmin IFs that eventually lead to disease.

    Journal of structural biology 2007;158;1;107-15

  • Prevalence of desmin mutations in dilated cardiomyopathy.

    Taylor MR, Slavov D, Ku L, Di Lenarda A, Sinagra G, Carniel E, Haubold K, Boucek MM, Ferguson D, Graw SL, Zhu X, Cavanaugh J, Sucharov CC, Long CS, Bristow MR, Lavori P, Mestroni L, Familial Cardiomyopathy Registry and BEST (Beta-Blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial) DNA Bank

    University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colo, USA. Matthew.Taylor@UCHSC.edu

    Background: Desmin-related myofibrillar myopathy (DRM) is a cardiac and skeletal muscle disease caused by mutations in the desmin (DES) gene. Mutations in the central 2B domain of DES cause skeletal muscle disease that typically precedes cardiac involvement. However, the prevalence of DES mutations in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) without skeletal muscle disease is not known.

    Denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography was used to screen DES for mutations in 116 DCM families from the Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy Registry and in 309 subjects with DCM from the Beta-Blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial (BEST). DES mutations were transfected into SW13 and human smooth muscle cells and neonatal rat cardiac myocytes, and the effects on cytoskeletal desmin network architecture were analyzed with confocal microscopy. Five novel missense DES mutations, including the first localized to the highly conserved 1A domain, were detected in 6 subjects (1.4%). Transfection of DES mutations in the 2B domain severely disrupted the fine intracytoplasmic staining of desmin, causing clumping of the desmin protein. A tail domain mutation (Val459Ile) showed milder effects on desmin cytoplasmic network formation and appears to be a low-penetrant mutation restricted to black subjects.

    Conclusions: The prevalence of DES mutations in DCM is between 1% and 2%, and mutations in the 1A helical domain, as well as the 2B rod domain, are capable of causing a DCM phenotype. The lack of severe disruption of cytoskeletal desmin network formation seen with mutations in the 1A and tail domains suggests that dysfunction of seemingly intact desmin networks is sufficient to cause DCM.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL67915-01A1, HL69071-01

    Circulation 2007;115;10;1244-51

  • Evaluation of desmin activity using immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining of myocardial biopsies in patients with chronic heart failure. Comparison of the two methods.

    Pawlak A, Gil RJ, Walczak E and Fidziańska A

    Department of Invasive Cardiology, CSK MWSiA, Warsaw, Poland. kardiologia.inwazyjna@cskmswia.p

    Background: Desmin plays one of the key roles in cardiomyocytes. The protein protects the integration of the cell and has the following actions: mechanical, structural and regulatory. Observed abnormalities of its activity have been associated with worsening of heart failure (HF).

    Aim: Evaluation of desmin activity detected with immunohistochemical (IHC) and immunofluorescent (IF) staining in cardiomyocytes in patients with chronic HF.

    Methods: The study population comprised 37 patients (mean age 46.5+/-15.28 years, 83.8% males) with diagnosed HF of unknown aetiology, who underwent myocardial biopsy. Coronary angiography was performed to exclude presence of significant coronary artery disease. Heart failure was diagnosed based on clinical assessment and echocardiography showing left ventricular ejection fraction below 45%.

    Results: The IHC and IF evaluation of cardiomyocyte desmin showed that these methods were consistent with respect to classification of 31 specimens (83.8%), while being discrepant in 6 (16.2%) cases. Desmin detection in myocardial biopsy specimens with IHC staining showed normal amounts of this protein in 11 (29.8%) cases, excess in 18 (48.6%) patients and deficiency in 8 (21.6%) cases, whereas in IF stained specimens respective values were 12 (32.4%), 15 (40.6%) and 10 (27%). No significant differences were found between all desmin groups (i.e. normal level, excessive and deficiency) evaluated with IHC and IF staining (p=0.39; p=0.25; p=0.31, respectively).

    Conclusions: The IHC and IF methods allow evaluation of desmin activity in cardiomyocytes and division into three types of expression. Both methods have high consistency. The IHC, which is the more available method, seems to be a sufficient assay.

    Kardiologia polska 2007;65;3;229-35; discussion 236

  • Desmin mutations in a St. Petersburg cohort of cardiomyopathies.

    Kostareva A, Gudkova A, Sjoberg G, Kiselev I, Moiseeva O, Karelkina E, Goldfarb L, Schlyakhto E and Sejersen T

    Department of Woman and Child Health, and Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

    Several desmin mutations have been described over the past few years in patients with dilated and restrictive cardiomyopathy, often in association with distal myopathy. However, the role of desmin mutations as a cause of various types of cardiomyopathy is still undetermined. The aim of this study was to analyse the frequency of desmin mutations in patients with cardiomyopathy identified and diagnosed in the St. Petersburg area of Russia. We screened 98 patients with dilated, 40 with hypertrophic and 4 with restrictive cardiomyopathy. All exons of the desmin gene were amplified by PCR and studied by sequencing. Two out of 98 patients showed the presence of desmin gene mutations, not previously described in dilated cardiomyopathy. A novel IVS2-2A-->G splice site mutation, presumably causing skipping of exon 3, was detected in a case of familial right ventricular dilated cardiomyopathy. An A213V mutation was associated with a case of late onset dilated cardiomyopathy. No desmin mutations were found in patients with hypertrophic or restrictive cardiomyopathy. Desmin mutations should be considered a relatively rare cause of dilated cardiomyopathy in this specific geographic area.

    Acta myologica : myopathies and cardiomyopathies : official journal of the Mediterranean Society of Myology 2006;25;3;109-15

  • The human desmin locus: gene organization and LCR-mediated transcriptional control.

    Tam JL, Triantaphyllopoulos K, Todd H, Raguz S, de Wit T, Morgan JE, Partridge TA, Makrinou E, Grosveld F and Antoniou M

    Nuclear Biology Group, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, King's College London School of Medicine, King's College London-Guy's Campus, 8th Floor Guy's Tower, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK.

    Locus control regions (LCRs) are defined by their ability to confer reproducible physiological levels of transgene expression in mice and therefore thought to possess the ability to generate dominantly a transcriptionally active chromatin structure. We report the first characterization of a muscle-cell-specific LCR, which is linked to the human desmin gene (DES). The DES LCR consists of five regions of muscle-specific DNase I hypersensitivity (HS) localized between -9 and -18 kb 5' of DES and reproducibly drives full physiological levels of expression in all muscle cell types. The DES LCR DNase I HS regions are highly conserved between humans and other mammals and can potentially bind a broad range of muscle-specific and ubiquitous transcription factors. Bioinformatics and direct molecular analysis show that the DES locus consists of three muscle-specific (DES) or muscle preferentially expressed genes (APEG1 and SPEG, the human orthologue of murine striated-muscle-specific serine/threonine protein kinase, Speg). The DES LCR may therefore regulate expression of SPEG and APEG1 as well as DES.

    Genomics 2006;87;6;733-46

  • Temporal response of desmin and dystrophin proteins to progressive resistance exercise in human skeletal muscle.

    Woolstenhulme MT, Conlee RK, Drummond MJ, Stites AW and Parcell AC

    Human Performance Research Center, 120-E Richards Bldg., Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA.

    We have investigated the adaptations of the cytoskeletal proteins desmin and dystrophin in relationship to known muscular adaptations of resistance exercise. We measured desmin, dystrophin, and actin protein contents, myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform distribution, muscle strength, and muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) during 8 wk of progressive resistance training or after a single bout of unaccustomed resistance exercise. Muscle biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis of 12 untrained men. For the single-bout group (n=6) biopsies were taken 1 wk before the single bout of exercise (week 0) and 1, 2, 4, and 8 wk after this single bout of exercise. For the training group (n=6), biopsies were taken 1 wk before the beginning of the program (week 0) and at weeks 1, 2, 4, and 8 of the progressive resistance training program. Desmin, dystrophin, and actin protein levels were determined with immunoblotting, and MHC isoform distribution was determined using SDS-PAGE at each time point for each group. In the training group, desmin was significantly increased compared with week 0 beginning at week 4 (182% of week 0; P<0.0001) and remained elevated through week 8 (172% of week 0; P<0.0001). Desmin did not change at any time point for the single-bout group. Actin and dystrophin protein contents were not changed in either group at any time point. The percentage of MHC type IIa increased and MHC type IIx decreased at week 8 in the training group with no changes occurring in the single-bout group. Strength was significantly increased by week 2 (knee extension) and week 4 (leg press), and it further increased at week 8 for both these exercises in the training group only. Muscle CSA was significantly increased at week 4 for type II fibers in the training group only (5,719+/-382 and 6,582+/-640 microm2, weeks 0 and 4, respectively; P<0.05). Finally, a significant negative correlation was observed between the desmin-to-actin ratio and the percentage of MHC IIx (R=-0.31; P<0.05, all time points from both groups). These data demonstrate a time course for muscular adaptation to resistance training in which desmin increases shortly after strength gains and in conjunction with hypertrophy, but before changes in MHC isoforms, whereas dystrophin remains unchanged.

    Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985) 2006;100;6;1876-82

  • [Correlation between desmin gene, platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase gene and dilated cardiomyopathy].

    Wang B, Rao L, Zhang L, Zhou B, Wang YP and Chen XY

    Department of Cardiology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.

    Objective: To test the Missense mutation of Desmin gene (Ile451Met), the frequency of missense mutation (G994-->T) of Platelet-Activating Factor Acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) gene, and the correlation between these mutations and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in the Chinese population with DCM.

    Methods: A case control study was conducted with 89 DCM patients and 110 healthy people (control group) participating in the study. The exon 8 of Desmin gene and exon 9 of PAF-AH gene were identified by polymerase chain reaction, restriction enzyme digestion, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing for described mutation site of Desmin (Ile451Met) and PAF-AH (Val279Phe).

    Results: No mutation (Ile451Met) in Desmin gene was found in either the DCM patients or the healthy people. There was no significant difference in the frequency of PAF-AH gene mutation (Val279Phe) between the patient and control groups (P>0.05).

    Conclusion: Neither the mutation of Ile451Met in gene encoding for Desmin exon 8 nor the mutation frequency of PAF-AH gene (G994-->T) has correlation with the DCM.

    Sichuan da xue xue bao. Yi xue ban = Journal of Sichuan University. Medical science edition 2006;37;3;391-4

  • A novel desmin R355P mutation causes cardiac and skeletal myopathy.

    Fidziańska A, Kotowicz J, Sadowska M, Goudeau B, Walczak E, Vicart P and Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz I

    Neuromuscular Unit, MRC, Polish Academy of Science, Pawinskiego 5, Warsaw 02-106, Poland. neurmyol@cmdik.pan.pl

    A novel desmin R355P mutation has been identified in a patient with familial cardiac and skeletal myopathy. Two types of desmin storage were observed in the skeletal muscles. The spheroid-like bodies dominated in type 2 fibres while extensive accumulation of granulofilamentous material was found in type 1 fibres and in cardiomyocytes. A novel missense mutation R355P in the rod domain located in the C-terminal part of the 2B subunit is the eighth missense mutation, which changes the original aminoacid into proline. Proline is known to disrupt the alpha-helix and distort a unique stutter sequence that is critically important for proper filament assembly.

    Neuromuscular disorders : NMD 2005;15;8;525-31

  • The enlarging spectrum of desminopathies: new morphological findings, eastward geographic spread, novel exon 3 desmin mutation.

    Vrabie A, Goldfarb LG, Shatunov A, Nägele A, Fritz P, Kaczmarek I and Goebel HH

    Department of Neuropathology, Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center, Langenbeckstrasse 1, 55101 Mainz, Germany.

    A 52-year-old man, who had developed distal muscle weakness in legs and arms, was found to have distal muscle atrophy as well as cardiac arrhythmia. His 10-year younger brother developed restrictive cardiomyopathy at the age of 20 years, which required cardiac transplantation at the age of 41 years. Skeletal muscle biopsy specimens of the older brother revealed granulofilamentous material and plaques containing numerous proteins, foremost desmin, as did cardiac biopsy tissue. The explanted heart of the younger brother showed similar protein-rich plaques and granulofilamentous material within cardiac myocytes. A novel heterozygous Glu245Asp (E245D) missense mutation in exon 3 of the desmin gene (DES) at 2q35 was found in the older brother. While clinical data and muscle biopsy pathology of the older brother conform to the nosological spectrum of desminopathies, the early-onset cardiomyopathy, a similar cardiac pathology as in skeletal muscle tissues and a novel missense mutation in the DES gene, enlarge the nosological spectrum of desminopathies.

    Acta neuropathologica 2005;109;4;411-7

  • Identification of trichoplein, a novel keratin filament-binding protein.

    Nishizawa M, Izawa I, Inoko A, Hayashi Y, Nagata K, Yokoyama T, Usukura J and Inagaki M

    Division of Biochemistry, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, 1-1 Kanokoden, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8681, Japan. minagaki@aichi-cc.jp

    Keratins 8 and 18 (K8/18) are major components of the intermediate filaments (IFs) of simple epithelia. We report here the identification of a novel protein termed trichoplein. This protein shows a low degree of sequence similarity to trichohyalin, plectin and myosin heavy chain, and is a K8/18-binding protein. Among interactions between trichoplein and various IF proteins that we tested using two-hybrid methods, trichoplein interacted significantly with K16 and K18, and to some extent with K5, K6a, K8 and K14. In in vitro co-sedimentation assays, trichoplein directly binds to K8/18, but not with vimentin, desmin, actin filaments or microtubules. An antibody raised against trichoplein specifically recognized a polypeptide with a relative molecular mass of 61 kDa in cell lysates. Trichoplein was immunoprecipitated using this antibody in a complex with K8/18 and immunostaining revealed that trichoplein colocalized with K8/18 filaments in HeLa cells. In polarized Caco-2 cells, trichoplein colocalized not only with K8/18 filaments in the apical region but also with desmoplakin, a constituent of desmosomes. In the absorptive cells of the small intestine, trichoplein colocalized with K8/18 filaments at the apical cortical region, and was also concentrated at desmosomes. Taken together, these results suggest that trichoplein is a keratin-binding protein that may be involved in the organization of the apical network of keratin filaments and desmosomes in simple epithelial cells.

    Journal of cell science 2005;118;Pt 5;1081-90

  • Yeast two-hybrid identification of prostatic proteins interacting with human sex hormone-binding globulin.

    Pope SN and Lee IR

    School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University of Technology, G.P.O. Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia.

    Yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screening of a prostate cDNA library with the cDNA for sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) has been used to identify proteins through which SHBG may exert autocrine or paracrine effects on sex steroid target tissues. The library screen gave 230 positive interactions of which around 60 have been sequenced. Of the proteins identified to date from database (BLAST) searches of these sequences, SHBG is one of those occurring most frequently. Amongst the proteins of interest are the membrane-associated proteins flotillin-1 and PRV-1, the enzymes cathepsin D, kallikrein 4 and acid phosphatase, various metallothioneins and translation elongation factor 1 alpha. The significance of the interaction of SHBG with these proteins is discussed.

    The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 2005;94;1-3;203-8

  • Desmin increases with high-intensity concentric contractions in humans.

    Woolstenhulme MT, Jutte LS, Drummond MJ and Parcell AC

    Human Performance Research Center, 120-E Richards Building, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, USA.

    To investigate the role desmin may play in muscular adaptation to exercise, we measured desmin protein content in the vastus lateralis muscle of seven untrained men in response to 8 weeks of high-intensity cycle training. Training involved 15-s sprints separated by rest for 5 min. Subjects began with four sprints twice per week, and progressed to six sprints three times per week. Peak power was measured before and after training with a 30-s maximal sprint test. Mean power during the first 15 s increased significantly after training (P < 0.05). Desmin and actin protein levels were determined by immunoblotting, from pretraining and posttraining muscle biopsies. Desmin protein levels were increased by 60% after training (P < 0.01), whereas actin protein levels did not change with training. We conclude that the cytoskeletal protein desmin increases in response to a high-tension, concentric-only load consequent to sprint training. Desmin appears to increase as the force generating capacity of the muscle increases. A reinforced desmin cytoskeleton may be necessary for increased force generation by the muscle.

    Muscle & nerve 2005;31;1;20-4

  • The status, quality, and expansion of the NIH full-length cDNA project: the Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC).

    Gerhard DS, Wagner L, Feingold EA, Shenmen CM, Grouse LH, Schuler G, Klein SL, Old S, Rasooly R, Good P, Guyer M, Peck AM, Derge JG, Lipman D, Collins FS, Jang W, Sherry S, Feolo M, Misquitta L, Lee E, Rotmistrovsky K, Greenhut SF, Schaefer CF, Buetow K, Bonner TI, Haussler D, Kent J, Kiekhaus M, Furey T, Brent M, Prange C, Schreiber K, Shapiro N, Bhat NK, Hopkins RF, Hsie F, Driscoll T, Soares MB, Casavant TL, Scheetz TE, Brown-stein MJ, Usdin TB, Toshiyuki S, Carninci P, Piao Y, Dudekula DB, Ko MS, Kawakami K, Suzuki Y, Sugano S, Gruber CE, Smith MR, Simmons B, Moore T, Waterman R, Johnson SL, Ruan Y, Wei CL, Mathavan S, Gunaratne PH, Wu J, Garcia AM, Hulyk SW, Fuh E, Yuan Y, Sneed A, Kowis C, Hodgson A, Muzny DM, McPherson J, Gibbs RA, Fahey J, Helton E, Ketteman M, Madan A, Rodrigues S, Sanchez A, Whiting M, Madari A, Young AC, Wetherby KD, Granite SJ, Kwong PN, Brinkley CP, Pearson RL, Bouffard GG, Blakesly RW, Green ED, Dickson MC, Rodriguez AC, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Myers RM, Butterfield YS, Griffith M, Griffith OL, Krzywinski MI, Liao N, Morin R, Morrin R, Palmquist D, Petrescu AS, Skalska U, Smailus DE, Stott JM, Schnerch A, Schein JE, Jones SJ, Holt RA, Baross A, Marra MA, Clifton S, Makowski KA, Bosak S, Malek J and MGC Project Team

    The National Institutes of Health's Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) project was designed to generate and sequence a publicly accessible cDNA resource containing a complete open reading frame (ORF) for every human and mouse gene. The project initially used a random strategy to select clones from a large number of cDNA libraries from diverse tissues. Candidate clones were chosen based on 5'-EST sequences, and then fully sequenced to high accuracy and analyzed by algorithms developed for this project. Currently, more than 11,000 human and 10,000 mouse genes are represented in MGC by at least one clone with a full ORF. The random selection approach is now reaching a saturation point, and a transition to protocols targeted at the missing transcripts is now required to complete the mouse and human collections. Comparison of the sequence of the MGC clones to reference genome sequences reveals that most cDNA clones are of very high sequence quality, although it is likely that some cDNAs may carry missense variants as a consequence of experimental artifact, such as PCR, cloning, or reverse transcriptase errors. Recently, a rat cDNA component was added to the project, and ongoing frog (Xenopus) and zebrafish (Danio) cDNA projects were expanded to take advantage of the high-throughput MGC pipeline.

    Funded by: PHS HHS: N01-C0-12400

    Genome research 2004;14;10B;2121-7

  • Small deletions disturb desmin architecture leading to breakdown of muscle cells and development of skeletal or cardioskeletal myopathy.

    Kaminska A, Strelkov SV, Goudeau B, Olivé M, Dagvadorj A, Fidzianska A, Simon-Casteras M, Shatunov A, Dalakas MC, Ferrer I, Kwiecinski H, Vicart P and Goldfarb LG

    Neuromuscular Unit, Medical Research Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.

    Desmin ( DES) mutations have been recognized as a cause of desmin-related myopathy (OMIM 601419), or desminopathy, a disease characterized by progressive limb muscle weakness and accumulation of desmin-reactive granular aggregates in the myofibers. We have studied three families with skeletal or cardioskeletal myopathy caused by small in-frame deletions in the desmin gene. The newly identified in-frame deletions E359_S361del and N366del alter the heptad periodicity within a critical 2B coiled-coil segment. Structural analysis reveals that the E359_S361 deletion introduces a second stutter immediately downstream of the naturally occurring stutter, thus doubling the extent of the local coiled-coil unwinding. The N366del mutation converts the wild-type stutter into a different type of discontinuity, a stammer. A stammer, as opposed to a stutter, is expected to cause an extra overwinding of the coiled-coil. These mutations alter the coiled-coil geometry in specific ways leading to fatal damage to desmin filament assembly. Expression studies in two cell lines confirm the inability of desmin molecules with this changed architecture to polymerize into a functional filamentous network. This study provides insights into molecular pathogenetic mechanisms of desmin mutation-associated skeletal and cardioskeletal myopathy.

    Human genetics 2004;114;3;306-13

  • Complete sequencing and characterization of 21,243 full-length human cDNAs.

    Ota T, Suzuki Y, Nishikawa T, Otsuki T, Sugiyama T, Irie R, Wakamatsu A, Hayashi K, Sato H, Nagai K, Kimura K, Makita H, Sekine M, Obayashi M, Nishi T, Shibahara T, Tanaka T, Ishii S, Yamamoto J, Saito K, Kawai Y, Isono Y, Nakamura Y, Nagahari K, Murakami K, Yasuda T, Iwayanagi T, Wagatsuma M, Shiratori A, Sudo H, Hosoiri T, Kaku Y, Kodaira H, Kondo H, Sugawara M, Takahashi M, Kanda K, Yokoi T, Furuya T, Kikkawa E, Omura Y, Abe K, Kamihara K, Katsuta N, Sato K, Tanikawa M, Yamazaki M, Ninomiya K, Ishibashi T, Yamashita H, Murakawa K, Fujimori K, Tanai H, Kimata M, Watanabe M, Hiraoka S, Chiba Y, Ishida S, Ono Y, Takiguchi S, Watanabe S, Yosida M, Hotuta T, Kusano J, Kanehori K, Takahashi-Fujii A, Hara H, Tanase TO, Nomura Y, Togiya S, Komai F, Hara R, Takeuchi K, Arita M, Imose N, Musashino K, Yuuki H, Oshima A, Sasaki N, Aotsuka S, Yoshikawa Y, Matsunawa H, Ichihara T, Shiohata N, Sano S, Moriya S, Momiyama H, Satoh N, Takami S, Terashima Y, Suzuki O, Nakagawa S, Senoh A, Mizoguchi H, Goto Y, Shimizu F, Wakebe H, Hishigaki H, Watanabe T, Sugiyama A, Takemoto M, Kawakami B, Yamazaki M, Watanabe K, Kumagai A, Itakura S, Fukuzumi Y, Fujimori Y, Komiyama M, Tashiro H, Tanigami A, Fujiwara T, Ono T, Yamada K, Fujii Y, Ozaki K, Hirao M, Ohmori Y, Kawabata A, Hikiji T, Kobatake N, Inagaki H, Ikema Y, Okamoto S, Okitani R, Kawakami T, Noguchi S, Itoh T, Shigeta K, Senba T, Matsumura K, Nakajima Y, Mizuno T, Morinaga M, Sasaki M, Togashi T, Oyama M, Hata H, Watanabe M, Komatsu T, Mizushima-Sugano J, Satoh T, Shirai Y, Takahashi Y, Nakagawa K, Okumura K, Nagase T, Nomura N, Kikuchi H, Masuho Y, Yamashita R, Nakai K, Yada T, Nakamura Y, Ohara O, Isogai T and Sugano S

    Helix Research Institute, 1532-3 Yana, Kisarazu, Chiba 292-0812, Japan.

    As a base for human transcriptome and functional genomics, we created the "full-length long Japan" (FLJ) collection of sequenced human cDNAs. We determined the entire sequence of 21,243 selected clones and found that 14,490 cDNAs (10,897 clusters) were unique to the FLJ collection. About half of them (5,416) seemed to be protein-coding. Of those, 1,999 clusters had not been predicted by computational methods. The distribution of GC content of nonpredicted cDNAs had a peak at approximately 58% compared with a peak at approximately 42%for predicted cDNAs. Thus, there seems to be a slight bias against GC-rich transcripts in current gene prediction procedures. The rest of the cDNAs unique to the FLJ collection (5,481) contained no obvious open reading frames (ORFs) and thus are candidate noncoding RNAs. About one-fourth of them (1,378) showed a clear pattern of splicing. The distribution of GC content of noncoding cDNAs was narrow and had a peak at approximately 42%, relatively low compared with that of protein-coding cDNAs.

    Nature genetics 2004;36;1;40-5

  • Functional significance of the specific sites phosphorylated in desmin at cleavage furrow: Aurora-B may phosphorylate and regulate type III intermediate filaments during cytokinesis coordinatedly with Rho-kinase.

    Kawajiri A, Yasui Y, Goto H, Tatsuka M, Takahashi M, Nagata K and Inagaki M

    Division of Biochemistry, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8681, Japan.

    Aurora-B is a protein kinase required for chromosome segregation and the progression of cytokinesis during the cell cycle. We report here that Aurora-B phosphorylates GFAP and desmin in vitro, and this phosphorylation leads to a reduction in filament forming ability. The sites phosphorylated by Aurora-B; Thr-7/Ser-13/Ser-38 of GFAP, and Thr-16 of desmin are common with those related to Rho-associated kinase (Rho-kinase), which has been reported to phosphorylate GFAP and desmin at cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. We identified Ser-59 of desmin to be a specific site phosphorylated by Aurora-B in vitro. Use of an antibody that specifically recognized desmin phosphorylated at Ser-59 led to the finding that the site is also phosphorylated specifically at the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis in Saos-2 cells. Desmin mutants, in which in vitro phosphorylation sites by Aurora-B and/or Rho-kinase are changed to Ala or Gly, cause dramatic defects in filament separation between daughter cells in cytokinesis. The results presented here suggest the possibility that Aurora-B may regulate cleavage furrow-specific phosphorylation and segregation of type III IFs coordinatedly with Rho-kinase during cytokinesis.

    Molecular biology of the cell 2003;14;4;1489-500

  • On noxious desmin: functional effects of a novel heterozygous desmin insertion mutation on the extrasarcomeric desmin cytoskeleton and mitochondria.

    Schröder R, Goudeau B, Simon MC, Fischer D, Eggermann T, Clemen CS, Li Z, Reimann J, Xue Z, Rudnik-Schöneborn S, Zerres K, van der Ven PF, Fürst DO, Kunz WS and Vicart P

    Department of Neurology, University Hospital Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany. rolf.schroeder@ikb.uni-bonn.de

    Recent studies in desmin (-/-) mice have shown that the targeted ablation of desmin leads to pathological changes of the extrasarcomeric intermediate filament cytoskeleton, as well as structural and functional abnormalities of mitochondria in striated muscle. Here, we report on a novel heterozygous single adenine insertion mutation (c.5141_5143insA) in a 40-year-old patient with a distal myopathy. The insertion mutation leads to a frameshift and a truncated desmin (K239fs242). Using transfection studies in SW13 and BHK21 cells, we show that the K239fsX242 desmin mutant is incapable of forming a desmin intermediate filament network. Furthermore, it induces the collapse of a pre-existing desmin cytoskeleton, alters the subcellular distribution of mitochondria and leads to abnormal cytoplasmic protein aggregates reminiscent of desmin-immunoreactive granulofilamentous material seen in the ultrastructural analysis of the patient's muscle. Analysis of mitochondrial function in isolated saponin-permeablized skeletal muscle fibres from our patient showed decreased maximal rates of respiration with the NAD-dependent substrate combination glutamate and malate, as well as a higher amytal sensitivity of respiration, indicating an in vivo inhibition of complex I activity. Our findings suggest that the heterozygous K239fsX242 desmin insertion mutation has a dominant negative effect on the polymerization process of desmin intermediate filaments and affects not only the subcellular distribution, but also biochemical properties of mitochondria in diseased human skeletal muscle. As a consequence, the intermediate filament pathology-induced mitochondrial dysfunction may contribute to the degeneration/regeneration process leading to progressive muscle dysfunction in human desminopathies.

    Human molecular genetics 2003;12;6;657-69

  • Progressive skeletal myopathy, a phenotypic variant of desmin myopathy associated with desmin mutations.

    Dalakas MC, Dagvadorj A, Goudeau B, Park KY, Takeda K, Simon-Casteras M, Vasconcelos O, Sambuughin N, Shatunov A, Nagle JW, Sivakumar K, Vicart P and Goldfarb LG

    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 4B37, 10 Central Drive, MSC 1361, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

    Desmin myopathy is a familial or sporadic disorder characterized by the presence of desmin mutations that cause skeletal muscle weakness associated with cardiac conduction block, arrhythmia and heart failure. Distinctive histopathologic features include intracytoplasmic accumulation of desmin-reactive deposits and electron-dense granular aggregates in skeletal and cardiac muscle cells. We describe two families with features of adult-onset slowly progressive skeletal myopathy without cardiomyopathy. N342D point mutation was present in the desmin helical rod domain in patients of family 1, and I451M mutation was found in the non-helical tail domain in patients of family 2. Of interest, the same I451M mutation has previously been reported in patients with cardiomyopathy and no signs of skeletal myopathy. Some carriers of the I451M mutation did not develop any disease, suggesting incomplete penetrance. Expression studies demonstrated inability of the N342D mutant desmin to form cellular filamentous network, confirming the pathogenic role of this mutation, but the network was not affected by the tail-domain I451M mutation. Progressive skeletal myopathy is a rare phenotypic variant of desmin myopathy allelic to the more frequent cardio-skeletal form.

    Neuromuscular disorders : NMD 2003;13;3;252-8

  • Caspase proteolysis of desmin produces a dominant-negative inhibitor of intermediate filaments and promotes apoptosis.

    Chen F, Chang R, Trivedi M, Capetanaki Y and Cryns VL

    Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.

    Caspase cleavage of key cytoskeletal proteins, including several intermediate filament proteins, triggers the dramatic disassembly of the cytoskeleton that characterizes apoptosis. Here we describe the muscle-specific intermediate filament protein desmin as a novel caspase substrate. Desmin is cleaved selectively at a conserved Asp residue in its L1-L2 linker domain (VEMD downward arrow M(264)) by caspase-6 in vitro and in myogenic cells undergoing apoptosis. We demonstrate that caspase cleavage of desmin at Asp(263) has important functional consequences, including the production of an amino-terminal cleavage product, N-desmin, which is unable to assemble into intermediate filaments, instead forming large intracellular aggregates. Moreover, N-desmin functions as a dominant-negative inhibitor of filament assembly, both for desmin and the structurally related intermediate filament protein vimentin. We also show that stable expression of a caspase cleavage-resistant desmin D263E mutant partially protects cells from tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced apoptosis. Taken together, these results indicate that caspase proteolysis of desmin at Asp(263) produces a dominant-negative inhibitor of intermediate filaments and actively participates in the execution of apoptosis. In addition, these findings provide further evidence that the intermediate filament cytoskeleton has been targeted systematically for degradation during apoptosis.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: NS31957

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2003;278;9;6848-53

  • Screening the proteins that interact with calpain in a human heart cDNA library using a yeast two-hybrid system.

    Jiang LQ, Wen SJ, Wang HY and Chen LY

    Division of Biochemistry, Cardiovascular Institute and Fu Wai Hospital, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, PR China.

    Calpain, a cytosolic cysteine protease, requires calcium ions for activity. It has been reported that calpain is involved in the degradation of myofibrillar and neurofilament proteins, and the activation of phosphorylase b kinase and protein kinase C. More recently, calpain was shown to participate in apoptosis. In order to understand the calpain-related signal transduction pathway and its changes during hypertrophy, and especially in hypertension, we screened a human heart cDNA library to find proteins that interact with calpain. 1) Using PCR we amplified the full-length, domain II, domain III and domain IV cDNA of calpain (calcium-activated neutral protease, CANP) I large subunit respectively. 2) Then the fragments were cloned into pGBKT7 vector, resulting in 4 bait expression constructs (pGBKT7-CANP, pGBKT7-CANP II, pGBKT7-CANP III, and pG BKT7-CANP IV). 3) After 4 bait vectors were transformed into AH109 by the lithium acetate-mediated method, AH109/pGBKT7-CANP, AH109/pGBKT7-CANP II, AH109/pGBKT7-CANP III, and AH109/pGBKT7-CANP IV were obtained, respectively. 4) After the human heart cDNA library was sequentially transformed into AH109/ pGBKT7-CANP, 1000-1200 positive clones were grown on SD/Trp-Leu-Ade-His-. Only 150 positive clones were obtained through a colony-lift filter assay to detect beta-galactosidase activity. 5) Total 105 clones among above 150 positive clones were eliminated through that the duplicate, pseudopositive and autoactive detection, respectively. 6) Finally, sequencing eliminated clones with a wrong open reading frame (ORF). Eight clones were cancelled with wrong ORF. The remaining 37 positive clones were analyzed using BLAST software available on the Internet and classified as follows: 1. enzymes or proteins related to signal transduction in the cell; 2. contraction proteins 3. matrix proteins 4. unknown proteins. 7) In order to determine which domain of the calpain I large subunit was involved in the interaction with these real clones, the 37 clones were transformed into AH109/pGBKT7-CANP II, AH109/pGBKT7-CANP III or AH109/pGBKT7-CANP IV. Among these 37 clones, 29 clones could interact with domain II, 5 clones could interact with domain III and 6 clones could interact with domain IV. Thus, we successfully constructed 4 bait expression vectors, pGBKT7-CANP, pGBKT7-CANP II, pGBKT7-CANP III and pGBKT7-CANP IV, and obtained 37 real positive clones that interacted with the calpain I large subunit by screening a human heart cDNA library using pGBKT7-CANP as bait. Among them, 29 clones could interact with domain II of the calpain I large subunit, where the active site of calpain is located. Additional studies will be needed to clarify the calpain-related signal transduction pathway in greater detail.

    Hypertension research : official journal of the Japanese Society of Hypertension 2002;25;4;647-52

  • GNIP, a novel protein that binds and activates glycogenin, the self-glucosylating initiator of glycogen biosynthesis.

    Skurat AV, Dietrich AD, Zhai L and Roach PJ

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Center for Diabetes Research, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.

    Glycogenin is a self-glucosylating protein involved in the initiation of glycogen biosynthesis. Self-glucosylation leads to the formation of an oligosaccharide chain, which, when long enough, supports the action of glycogen synthase to elongate it and form a mature glycogen molecule. To identify possible regulators of glycogenin, the yeast two-hybrid strategy was employed. By using rabbit skeletal muscle glycogenin as a bait, cDNAs encoding three different proteins were isolated from the human skeletal muscle cDNA library. Two of the cDNAs encoded glycogenin and glycogen synthase, respectively, proteins known to be interactors. The third cDNA encoded a polypeptide of unknown function and was designated GNIP (glycogenin interacting protein). Northern blot analysis revealed that GNIP mRNA is highly expressed in skeletal muscle. The gene for GNIP generates at least four isoforms by alternative splicing. The largest isoform GNIP1 contains, from NH(2)- to COOH-terminal, a RING finger, a B box, a putative coiled-coil region, and a B30.2-like motif. The previously identified protein TRIM7 (tripartite motif containing protein 7) is also derived from the GNIP gene and is composed of the RING finger, B box, and coiled-coil regions. The GNIP2 and GNIP3 isoforms consist of the coiled-coil region and B30.2-like domain. Physical interaction between GNIP2 and glycogenin was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation, and in addition GNIP2 was shown to stimulate glycogenin self-glucosylation 3-4-fold. GNIPs may represent a novel participant in the initiation of glycogen synthesis.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2002;277;22;19331-8

  • Association of syncoilin and desmin: linking intermediate filament proteins to the dystrophin-associated protein complex.

    Poon E, Howman EV, Newey SE and Davies KE

    Department of Human Anatomy, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX13QX, United Kingdom.

    We recently identified a novel protein called syncoilin, a putative intermediate filament protein that interacts with alpha-dystrobrevin, a member of the dystrophin-associated protein complex. Syncoilin is found at the neuromuscular junction, sarcolemma, and Z-lines and is thought to be important for muscle fiber integrity. Based on the similar protein structure and cellular localization of syncoilin and desmin, we proposed that these proteins interact in vivo. The data presented confirm an interaction between syncoilin and desmin and demonstrate their co-localization in skeletal muscle. Intriguingly, whereas these proteins interact, COS-7 cell expression studies show that desmin and syncoilin do not assemble into heterofilaments. Furthermore, fractionation assay and immunofluorescence study of H2K myoblasts and myotubes suggest that, unlike typical intermediate filament proteins, syncoilin does not participate in filament formation with any protein. However, it is possible that syncoilin is involved in the anchoring of the desmin intermediate filament network at the sarcolemma and the neuromuscular junction. This interaction is likely to be important for maintaining muscle fiber integrity and may also link the dystrophin-associated protein complex to the cytoskeleton. The dysfunction or absence of syncoilin may result in the disruption of the intermediate filament network leading to muscle necrosis. Syncoilin is therefore an ideal candidate gene for muscular dystrophies and desmin-related myopathies.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2002;277;5;3433-9

  • Molecular dissection of the interaction of desmin with the C-terminal region of nebulin.

    Bang ML, Gregorio C and Labeit S

    Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Operative Care, Universitätsklinikum Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

    In vertebrate skeletal muscle, ultrastructural studies have suggested that the Z-line and extracellular intermediate filaments are linked, although a structural basis for this has remained elusive. We searched for potential novel ligands of the Z-line portion of nebulin by a yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) approach. This identified that the nebulin modules M160 to M170 interact with desmin. In desmin, deletion series experiments assigned a 19-kDa central coiled-coil domain as the nebulin-binding site. The specific interactions of nebulin and desmin were confirmed in vitro by GST pull-down experiments. In situ, the nebulin modules M176 to M181 colocalize with desmin in a Z-line-associated, striated pattern as shown by immunofluorescence studies. Our data are consistent with a model that desmin attaches directly to the Z-line through its interaction with the nebulin repeats M163-M170. This interaction may link myofibrillar Z-discs to the intermediate filament system, thereby forming a lateral linkage system which contributes to maintain adjacent Z-lines in register.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL03985, HL57461

    Journal of structural biology 2002;137;1-2;119-27

  • Polycystin-1 interacts with intermediate filaments.

    Xu GM, Sikaneta T, Sullivan BM, Zhang Q, Andreucci M, Stehle T, Drummond I and Arnaout MA

    Renal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.

    Polycystin-1, the protein defective in a majority of patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, is a ubiquitously expressed multi-span transmembrane protein of unknown function. Subcellular localization studies found this protein to be a component of various cell junctional complexes and to be associated with the cytoskeleton, but the specificity and nature of such associations are not known. To identify proteins that interact with the polycystin-1 C-tail (P1CT), this segment was used as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screening of a kidney epithelial cell library. The intermediate filament (IF) protein vimentin was identified as a strong polycystin-1-interacting partner. Cytokeratins K8 and K18 and desmin were also found to interact with P1CT. These interactions were mediated by coiled-coil motifs in polycystin-1 and IF proteins. Vimentin, cytokeratins K8 and K18, and desmin also bound directly to P1CT in GST pull-down and in in vitro filament assembly assays. Two observations confirmed these interactions in vivo: (i) a cell membrane-anchored form of recombinant P1CT decorated the IF network and was found to associate with the cytoskeleton in detergent-solubilized cells and (ii) endogenous polycystin-1 distributed with IF at desmosomal junctions. Polycystin-1 may utilize this association for structural, storage, or signaling functions.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: P01 DK54711

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2001;276;49;46544-52

  • Structural and functional analysis of a new desmin variant causing desmin-related myopathy.

    Goudeau B, Dagvadorj A, Rodrigues-Lima F, Nédellec P, Casteras-Simon M, Perret E, Langlois S, Goldfarb L and Vicart P

    Laboratoire Cytosquelette et Développement, UMR CNRS 7000, Faculté de Médecine, Paris, France.

    Desmin-related myopathy is a familial or sporadic disease characterized by skeletal muscle weakness and cardiomyopathy as well as the presence of intracytoplasmic aggregates of desmin-reactive material in the muscle cells. Previously, two kinds of deletions and eight missense mutations have been identified in the desmin gene and proven to be responsible for the disorder. The present study was conducted to determine structural and functional defects in a pathogenic desmin variant that caused a disabling disorder in an isolated case presenting with distal and proximal limb muscle weakness and cardiomyopathy. We identified a novel heterozygous Q389P desmin mutation located at the C-terminal part of the rod domain as the causative mutation in this case. Transfection of desmin cDNA containing the patient's mutation into C2.7, MCF7, and SW13 cells demonstrated that the Q389P mutant is incapable of constructing a functional intermediate filament network and has a dominant negative effect on filament formation. We conclude that Q389P mutation is the molecular event leading to the development of desmin-related myopathy.

    Human mutation 2001;18;5;388-96

  • Desmuslin, an intermediate filament protein that interacts with alpha -dystrobrevin and desmin.

    Mizuno Y, Thompson TG, Guyon JR, Lidov HG, Brosius M, Imamura M, Ozawa E, Watkins SC and Kunkel LM

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Division of Genetics, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Dystrobrevin is a component of the dystrophin-associated protein complex and has been shown to interact directly with dystrophin, alpha1-syntrophin, and the sarcoglycan complex. The precise role of alpha-dystrobrevin in skeletal muscle has not yet been determined. To study alpha-dystrobrevin's function in skeletal muscle, we used the yeast two-hybrid approach to look for interacting proteins. Three overlapping clones were identified that encoded an intermediate filament protein we subsequently named desmuslin (DMN). Sequence analysis revealed that DMN has a short N-terminal domain, a conserved rod domain, and a long C-terminal domain, all common features of type 6 intermediate filament proteins. A positive interaction between DMN and alpha-dystrobrevin was confirmed with an in vitro coimmunoprecipitation assay. By Northern blot analysis, we find that DMN is expressed mainly in heart and skeletal muscle, although there is some expression in brain. Western blotting detected a 160-kDa protein in heart and skeletal muscle. Immunofluorescent microscopy localizes DMN in a stripe-like pattern in longitudinal sections and in a mosaic pattern in cross sections of skeletal muscle. Electron microscopic analysis shows DMN colocalized with desmin at the Z-lines. Subsequent coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirmed an interaction with desmin. Our findings suggest that DMN may serve as a direct linkage between the extracellular matrix and the Z-discs (through plectin) and may play an important role in maintaining muscle cell integrity.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2001;98;11;6156-61

  • Myopalladin, a novel 145-kilodalton sarcomeric protein with multiple roles in Z-disc and I-band protein assemblies.

    Bang ML, Mudry RE, McElhinny AS, Trombitás K, Geach AJ, Yamasaki R, Sorimachi H, Granzier H, Gregorio CC and Labeit S

    European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg 69117, Germany.

    We describe here a novel sarcomeric 145-kD protein, myopalladin, which tethers together the COOH-terminal Src homology 3 domains of nebulin and nebulette with the EF hand motifs of alpha-actinin in vertebrate Z-lines. Myopalladin's nebulin/nebulette and alpha-actinin-binding sites are contained in two distinct regions within its COOH-terminal 90-kD domain. Both sites are highly homologous with those found in palladin, a protein described recently required for actin cytoskeletal assembly (Parast, M.M., and C.A. Otey. 2000. J. Cell Biol. 150:643-656). This suggests that palladin and myopalladin may have conserved roles in stress fiber and Z-line assembly. The NH(2)-terminal region of myopalladin specifically binds to the cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP), a nuclear protein involved in control of muscle gene expression. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy studies revealed that myopalladin also colocalized with CARP in the central I-band of striated muscle sarcomeres. Overexpression of myopalladin's NH(2)-terminal CARP-binding region in live cardiac myocytes resulted in severe disruption of all sarcomeric components studied, suggesting that the myopalladin-CARP complex in the central I-band may have an important regulatory role in maintaining sarcomeric integrity. Our data also suggest that myopalladin may link regulatory mechanisms involved in Z-line structure (via alpha-actinin and nebulin/nebulette) to those involved in muscle gene expression (via CARP).

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL03985, HL57461, HL61497, HL62881, R01 HL057461, R01 HL061497, R01 HL062881, R29 HL057461, T32 HL007249

    The Journal of cell biology 2001;153;2;413-27

  • Desmin splice variants causing cardiac and skeletal myopathy.

    Park KY, Dalakas MC, Goebel HH, Ferrans VJ, Semino-Mora C, Litvak S, Takeda K and Goldfarb LG

    Clinical Neurogenetics Unit and Neuromuscular Disorders Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

    Desmin myopathy is a hereditary or sporadic cardiac and skeletal myopathy characterised by intracytoplasmic accumulation of desmin reactive deposits in muscle cells. We have characterised novel splice site mutations in the gene desmin resulting in deletion of the entire exon 3 during the pre-mRNA splicing. Sequencing of cDNA and genomic DNA identified a heterozygous de novo A to G change at the +3 position of the splice donor site of intron 3 (IVS3+3A-->G) in a patient with sporadic skeletal and cardiac myopathy. A G to A transition at the highly conserved -1 nucleotide position of intron 2 affecting the splice acceptor site (IVS2-1G-->A) was found in an unrelated patient with a similar phenotype. Expression of genomic DNA fragments carrying the IVS3+3A-->G and IVS2-1G-->A mutations confirmed that these mutations cause exon 3 deletion. Aberrant splicing leads to an in frame deletion of 32 complete codons and is predicted to result in mutant desmin lacking 32 amino acids from the 1B segment of the alpha helical rod. Functional analysis of the mutant desmin in SW13 (vim-) cells showed aggregation of abnormal coarse clumps of desmin positive material dispersed throughout the cytoplasm. This is the first report on the pathogenic potentials of splice site mutations in the desmin gene.

    Journal of medical genetics 2000;37;11;851-7

  • A novel de novo mutation in the desmin gene causes desmin myopathy with toxic aggregates.

    Sugawara M, Kato K, Komatsu M, Wada C, Kawamura K, Shindo PS, Yoshioka PN, Tanaka K, Watanabe S and Toyoshima I

    First Department of Internal Medicine, Akita University School of Medicine, Hondo, Japan. masashir@med.akita-u.ac.jp

    Objective: To determine the cause and pathogenic mechanisms of a 21-year-old patient's cardioskeletal myopathy. The patient's muscle atrophy and weakness began in distal parts of limbs; cardiac and facial muscles were later involved.

    Background: Desmin myopathy is a skeletal myopathy often associated with cardiomyopathy, caused by mutations in the desmin gene and characterized by desmin accumulation in affected muscle fibers, a leading marker of myofibrillar myopathies. Two kinds of deletions and seven missense mutations in the desmin gene have been identified.

    Methods: Clinical examination, electron microscopy of muscle tissue, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, DNA sequencing, restriction enzyme analysis, and gene transfection were performed.

    Results: Electron microscopy showed disruption of sarcomeres at Z discs and electron-dense aggregates in biopsied skeletal and heart muscle. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of the patient's skeletal muscle proteins showed massive accumulation of desmin. The authors identified a novel desmin mutation, L385P in one allele in the carboxyl end of the rod domain 2B in the patient's leukocytes and skeletal muscle; neither parent had the mutation. Serologic study and DNA markers confirmed the de novo mutation. A peptide harboring desmin rod domains 2A and 2B with L385P tagged with green fluorescent protein induced cytoplasmic aggregates, nuclear DNA condensation, and cell death.

    Conclusions: A novel de novo mutation, L385P, causes desmin myopathy. An expression study indicated the toxic effect of the L385P mutation.

    Neurology 2000;55;7;986-90

  • Balance between activities of Rho kinase and type 1 protein phosphatase modulates turnover of phosphorylation and dynamics of desmin/vimentin filaments.

    Inada H, Togashi H, Nakamura Y, Kaibuchi K, Nagata K and Inagaki M

    Division of Biochemistry, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, 1-1 Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8681, Japan.

    To analyze the cell cycle-dependent desmin phosphorylation by Rho kinase, we developed antibodies specifically recognizing the kinase-dependent phosphorylation of desmin at Thr-16, Thr-75, and Thr-76. With these antibodies, phosphorylation of desmin was observed specifically at the cleavage furrow in late mitotic Saos-2 cells. We then found that treatment of the interphase cells with calyculin A revealed phosphorylation at all the three sites of desmin. We also found that an antibody, which specifically recognizes vimentin phosphorylated at Ser-71 by Rho kinase, became immunoreactive after calyculin A treatment. This calyculin A-induced interphase phosphorylation of vimentin at Ser-71 was blocked by Rho kinase inhibitor or by expression of the dominant-negative Rho kinase. Taken together, our results indicate that Rho kinase is activated not only in mitotic cells but also interphase ones, and phosphorylates intermediate filament proteins, although the apparent phosphorylation level is diminished to an undetectable level due to the constitutive action of type 1 protein phosphatase. The balance between intermediate filament protein phosphorylation by Rho kinase and dephosphorylation by type 1 protein phosphatase may affect the continuous exchange of intermediate filament subunits between a soluble pool and polymerized intermediate filaments.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1999;274;49;34932-9

  • A missense mutation in the desmin rod domain is associated with autosomal dominant distal myopathy, and exerts a dominant negative effect on filament formation.

    Sjöberg G, Saavedra-Matiz CA, Rosen DR, Wijsman EM, Borg K, Horowitz SH and Sejersen T

    Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

    In some myopathies of distal onset, the intermediate filament desmin is abnormally accumulated in skeletal and cardiac muscle. We report the first point mutation in desmin cosegregating with an autosomal dominant form of desmin-related myopathy. The L345P desmin missense mutation occurs in a large, six generation Ashkenazi Jewish family. The mutation is located in an evolutionarily highly conserved position of the desmin coiled-coil rod domain important for dimer formation. L345P desmin is incapable of forming filamentous networks in transfected HeLa and SW13 cells. We conclude that the L345P desmin missense mutation causes myopathy by interfering in a dominant-negative manner with the dimerization-polymerization process of intermediate filament assembly.

    Human molecular genetics 1999;8;12;2191-8

  • The calcium-modulated proteins, S100A1 and S100B, as potential regulators of the dynamics of type III intermediate filaments.

    Garbuglia M, Verzini M, Sorci G, Bianchi R, Giambanco I, Agneletti AL and Donato R

    Section of Anatomy, Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.

    The Ca2+-modulated, dimeric proteins of the EF-hand (helix-loop-helix) type, S100A1 and S100B, that have been shown to inhibit microtubule (MT) protein assembly and to promote MT disassembly, interact with the type III intermediate filament (IF) subunits, desmin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), with a stoichiometry of 2 mol of IF subunit/mol of S100A1 or S100B dimer and an affinity of 0.5-1.0 microM in the presence of a few micromolar concentrations of Ca2+. Binding of S100A1 and S100B results in inhibition of desmin and GFAP assemblies into IFs and stimulation of the disassembly of preformed desmin and GFAP IFs. S100A1 and S100B interact with a stretch of residues in the N-terminal (head) domain of desmin and GFAP, thereby blocking the head-to-tail process of IF elongation. The C-terminal extension of S100A1 (and, likely, S100B) represents a critical part of the site that recognizes desmin and GFAP. S100B is localized to IFs within cells, suggesting that it might have a role in remodeling IFs upon elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration by avoiding excess IF assembly and/or promoting IF disassembly in vivo. S100A1, that is not localized to IFs, might also play a role in the regulation of IF dynamics by binding to and sequestering unassembled IF subunits. Together, these observations suggest that S100A1 and S100B may be regarded as Ca2+-dependent regulators of the state of assembly of two important elements of the cytoskeleton, IFs and MTs, and, potentially, of MT- and IF-based activities.

    Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas 1999;32;10;1177-85

  • Desmin mutation responsible for idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

    Li D, Tapscoft T, Gonzalez O, Burch PE, Quiñones MA, Zoghbi WA, Hill R, Bachinski LL, Mann DL and Roberts R

    Section of Cardiology, Molecular Biology Computational Resource, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.

    Background: Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, of which approximately 20% of cases are familial (FDCM), is a primary myocardial disorder characterized by ventricular dilatation and impaired systolic function. It is a common cause of heart failure and the need for cardiac transplantation. Although 6 chromosomal loci responsible for autosomal dominant FDCM have been mapped by linkage analysis, none of these genes have been identified. By use of the candidate-gene approach, actin was identified recently as being responsible for dilated cardiomyopathy. Considerable evidence suggests desmin, a muscle-specific intermediate filament, plays a significant role in cardiac growth and development.

    To determine whether a defect of desmin induces dilated cardiomyopathy, 44 probands with FDCM underwent clinical evaluation and DNA analysis. Diagnostic criteria, detected by echocardiography, consisted of ventricular dimension of >/=2.7 cm/m(2) with an ejection fraction </=50% in the absence of other potential causes. After amplification by polymerase chain reaction, the exons of the desmin gene were sequenced. A missense desmin mutation, Ile451Met, which cosegregates with FDCM without clinically evident skeletal muscle abnormalities, was identified in a 4-generation family but was not detected in 460 unrelated healthy individuals.

    Conclusions: A novel missense mutation of desmin, Ile451Met, was identified as the genetic cause of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. This finding is of particular significance because this is the first mutation detected in the desmin tail domain, and the function of the desmin tail remains unknown. Because this mutation leads to a restricted cardiac phenotype in the family studied in the present report, it suggests that the tail of desmin plays an important functional role in cardiac tissue.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: P50-HL54313, T32-HLO7706

    Circulation 1999;100;5;461-4

  • A dysfunctional desmin mutation in a patient with severe generalized myopathy.

    Muñoz-Mármol AM, Strasser G, Isamat M, Coulombe PA, Yang Y, Roca X, Vela E, Mate JL, Coll J, Fernández-Figueras MT, Navas-Palacios JJ, Ariza A and Fuchs E

    Fundación Echevarne, 08037 Barcelona, Spain.

    Mice lacking desmin produce muscle fibers with Z disks and normal sarcomeric organization. However, the muscles are mechanically fragile and degenerate upon repeated contractions. We report here a human patient with severe generalized myopathy and aberrant intrasarcoplasmic accumulation of desmin intermediate filaments. Muscle tissue from this patient lacks the wild-type desmin allele and has a desmin gene mutation encoding a 7-aa deletion within the coiled-coil segment of the protein. We show that recombinant desmin harboring this deletion cannot form proper desmin intermediate filament networks in cultured cells, nor is it able to assemble into 10-nm filaments in vitro. These findings provide direct evidence that a mutation in desmin can cause human myopathies.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: R01 AR027883, R01 AR042047, R01-AR27883, R01-AR42047

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1998;95;19;11312-7

  • Missense mutations in desmin associated with familial cardiac and skeletal myopathy.

    Goldfarb LG, Park KY, Cervenáková L, Gorokhova S, Lee HS, Vasconcelos O, Nagle JW, Semino-Mora C, Sivakumar K and Dalakas MC

    Medical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. goldfarb@codon.nih.gov

    Desmin-related myopathy (OMIM 601419) is a familial disorder characterized by skeletal muscle weakness associated with cardiac conduction blocks, arrhythmias and restrictive heart failure, and by intracytoplasmic accumulation of desmin-reactive deposits in cardiac and skeletal muscle cells. The underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. Involvement of the desmin gene (DES) has been excluded in three families diagnosed with desmin-related myopathy. We report two new families with desmin-related cardioskeletal myopathy associated with mutations in the highly conserved carboxy-terminal end of the desmin rod domain. A heterozygous A337P mutation was identified in a family with an adult-onset skeletal myopathy and mild cardiac involvement. Compound heterozygosity for two other mutations, A360P and N393I, was detected in a second family characterized by childhood-onset aggressive course of cardiac and skeletal myopathy.

    Nature genetics 1998;19;4;402-3

  • Spatial and temporal expression of the beta1D integrin during mouse development.

    van der Flier A, Gaspar AC, Thorsteinsdóttir S, Baudoin C, Groeneveld E, Mummery CL and Sonnenberg A

    Division of Cell Biology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam.

    The beta1D protein is a recently characterized isoform of the integrin beta1 subunit that is present in cardiac and skeletal muscles. In this study, we have examined the expression of beta1D in different types of skeletal muscle and in cardiac muscle and studied its distribution during mouse development, using new monoclonal antibodies specific for beta1D. Immunoprecipitation studies revealed that, while beta1A is strongly expressed in proliferating C2C12 myoblasts, beta1D is only expressed after their differentiation to myotubes. In these myotubes, beta1D is associated with different alpha subunits, namely alpha3A, alpha5, alpha7A, or alpha7B. Initially, during embryogenesis, the alpha1A subunit is the only beta1 variant expressed in skeletal and cardiac muscle. The beta1D subunit is first detected in skeletal muscle at E17.5, whereas in cardiac muscle its expression begins around the time of birth. Later the expression of beta1A in skeletal and cardiac muscle becomes restricted to capillary cells, whereas beta1D eventually becomes the only variant expressed in adult cardiac and skeletal muscle cells. The switch from the beta1A to the beta1D subunit in cardiac muscle cells coincides with the expression of alpha7. In adults there is a distinct concentration of beta1D at the myotendinous junctions of muscle fibers and at costameres in both cardiac and skeletal muscle. In addition, beta1D is present at intercalated discs in cardiac muscle and at neuromuscular junctions in skeletal muscle cells. The amount of beta1D in different types of skeletal muscle (fast, slow, and mixed-type) was similar, but cardiac muscle expressed almost five times as much of this protein. We suggest that beta1D plays a role in the maintenance of the cytoarchitecture of mature muscle and in the functional integrity of the muscle cells.

    Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists 1997;210;4;472-86

  • Two-hybrid analysis reveals fundamental differences in direct interactions between desmoplakin and cell type-specific intermediate filaments.

    Meng JJ, Bornslaeger EA, Green KJ, Steinert PM and Ip W

    Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0521, USA.

    Desmosomes are cell junctions that act as sites of strong intercellular adhesion and also serve to anchor the intermediate filament (IF) cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane of a variety of cell types. Previous studies demonstrated that the COOH terminus of the desmosomal plaque protein, desmoplakin (DP), is required for the association of DP with IF networks in cultured cells and that this domain interacts directly with type II epidermal keratin polypeptides in vitro. However, these studies left open the question of how desmosomes might anchor other IF types known to associate with these junctions. In this report we used yeast two-hybrid and in vitro dot blot assays to further examine the requirements for direct interactions between desmoplakin and various IF types. Our results confirm the ability of the DP COOH terminus (DPCT) to interact with at least two regions of the head domain of the type II epidermal keratin K1 and also demonstrate that DPCT can interact with the type III IF family members, vimentin and desmin, as well as simple epithelial keratins. Unlike the situation for type II epidermal keratins, the interaction between DPCT and simple epithelial keratins appears to depend on heterodimerization of the type I and II keratin polypeptides, since both are required to detect an interaction. Furthermore, although the interaction between DPCT and K1 requires the keratin head domain, deletion of this domain from the simple epithelial keratins does not compromise interaction with DPCT. The interaction between DPCT and type III or simple epithelial keratins also appeared to be less robust than that between DPCT and K1. In the case of K8/K18, however, the interaction as assessed by yeast two-hybrid assays increased 9-fold when a serine located in a protein kinase A consensus phosphorylation site 23 residues from the end of DP was altered to a glycine. Taken together, these data indicate that DP interacts directly with different IF types in specific ways.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: R01 AR35973, R01 AR43380

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1997;272;34;21495-503

  • Human desmin gene: cDNA sequence, regional localization and exclusion of the locus in a familial desmin-related myopathy.

    Vicart P, Dupret JM, Hazan J, Li Z, Gyapay G, Krishnamoorthy R, Weissenbach J, Fardeau M and Paulin D

    Université Paris VII, Paris, France.

    Desmin is a muscle-specific intermediate filament that is encoded by a gene assigned to human chromosome 2q35. Desmin-related myopathies are inherited disorders characterized by an intrasarcoplasmic accumulation of desmin. Recently, the knockout of the desmin gene was shown to generate a myopathic syndrome in transgenic mice, suggesting that functional abnormality of desmin may generate similar clinical symptoms in mouse and human. To determine the potential role of the desmin gene in a well-defined desmin-related myopathy (autosomal dominant form of Fardeau), human desmin cDNAs obtained from affected and unaffected individuals were cloned, sequenced and compared. No obvious mutation was detected. A BssHII restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) was identified in exon 6 of the desmin gene. This RFLP was associated with a previously identified EcoRV RFLP in exon 4 to generate a tetra-allelic system, which was tested for linkage to the desmin-related myopathy in three families. The human desmin gene was localized within an 11-cM interval on chromosome 2q using a panel of radiation hybrids. This 11-cM region was clearly excluded by linkage analysis in the three desmin-related myopathy families using a set of highly polymorphic microsatellite markers. These results suggest that the desmin gene is not primarily involved in this disease.

    Human genetics 1996;98;4;422-9

  • Effects of calcium-binding proteins (S-100a(o), S-100a, S-100b) on desmin assembly in vitro.

    Garbuglia M, Verzini M, Giambanco I, Spreca A and Donato R

    Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.

    S-100a(o), the alpha alpha isoform of a subfamily of Ca(2+)-binding proteins of the EF-hand type expressed in cardiac and skeletal muscle cells, is reported to inhibit the assembly of the intermediate filament subunit desmin and to stimulate the disassembly of desmin intermediate filaments in the presence of micromolar levels of free Ca(2+). These effects are dose-dependent with respect to the S-100a(o) concentration and maximal at a desmin/S-100a(o) (dimer) molar ratio of approximately 2. Other members of the S-100 subfamily [S-100a (alpha beta) and S-100b (beta beta) and the unfractionated mixture of S-100a plus S-100b produce qualitatively similar effects on desmin assembly, with a potency that depends on the fraction of S-100alpha subunit (the most potent) or S-100beta subunit (the least potent) present in the S-100 isoforms tested. A binding stoichiometry of 2 mol of desmin/mol of S-100a(o) (dimer) and an affinity in the submicromolar range are calculated. The S-100beta subunit also interacts with desmin, but with a lower affinity compared with S-100alpha. By contrast, the S-100-like proteins calcyclin and p11 neither interact with desmin nor affect desmin assembly. The present data suggest that S-100a(o) might play a role in the regulation of the state of assembly of desmin intermediate filaments.

    Funded by: Telethon: 591

    FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 1996;10;2;317-24

  • Expression of vimentin, cytokeratin, and desmin in Sertoli cells of human fetal, cryptorchid, and tumour-adjacent testicular tissue.

    Rogatsch H, Jezek D, Hittmair A, Mikuz G and Feichtinger H

    Department of Pathology, University of Innsbruck, Austria.

    The intermediate filament of mature human Sertoli cells is vimentin. A co-expression of vimentin together with cytokeratin has been demonstrated in Sertoli cells during embryonal development and under pathologic conditions in adult testes. We analysed the presence of vimentin, cytokeratin, and desmin in Sertoli cells of fetal testes (n=20), in seminiferous tubules of cryptorchid testes (n=10) and adjacent to testicular germ cell tumours (n=47) using specific monoclonal antibodies and single and double-labelling immunohistochemistry. During embryonal development prominent cytokeratin expression disappears after the 20th week of gestation. Interestingly, we also found desmin in immature intratubular Sertoli cells between weeks 11 and 14. In adult cryptorchid testes and in peritumour tubules, desmin was also prominently present in Sertoli cells in the vast majority of the cases investigated, as well as vimentin and cytokeratin co-expression. This first description of desmin immunoreactivity may shed some light on the ontogeny of human Sertoli cells and demonstrates that this cell type is able to express three types of intermediate filaments in a complex manner.

    Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology 1996;427;5;497-502

  • The cleavage of host cell proteins by HIV-1 protease.

    Snásel J and Pichová I

    Department of Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic.

    Folia biologica 1996;42;5;227-30

  • Desmin myopathy: a multisystem disorder involving skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle.

    Ariza A, Coll J, Fernández-Figueras MT, López MD, Mate JL, García O, Fernández-Vasalo A and Navas-Palacios JJ

    Department of Pathology, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Barcelona, Spain.

    Myopathy associated with desmin-type intermediate filaments is an uncommon disorder of skeletal and/or cardiac muscle. The present study focuses on a 28-year-old man with generalized muscular atrophy, cardiomyopathy, and intestinal malabsorption and pseudo-obstruction. Abundant sarcoplasmic granular and filamentous aggregates that were ultrastructurally continuous with Z lines or dense bodies and exhibited intense immunostaining for desmin were present throughout the skeletal musculature, myocardium, and smooth muscle of the intestine. Moreover, neurofilament-immunoreactive axonal spheroids were identified in the spinal cord and roots. These widely distributed findings illustrate the multisystemic character of desmin myopathy, which in this instance first adds intestinal smooth muscle involvement to its already known skeletal and cardiac muscle manifestations. The additional presence of neurofilament aggregates in the spinal cord and roots constitutes an extremely rare conjunction of intermediate filament pathology of the neuromuscular system.

    Human pathology 1995;26;9;1032-7

  • Myofibrillogenesis in primary tissue cultures of adult human skeletal muscle: expression of desmin, titin, and nebulin.

    Behr T, Fischer P, Müller-Felber W, Schmidt-Achert M and Pongratz D

    Friedrich-Baur-Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany.

    To investigate the in vitro development of myofibrils in skeletal muscle cells derived from adult human muscle biopsies, immunohistochemical analysis was performed using monoclonal antibodies against desmin, titin, and nebulin. Diffuse desmin reactivity was detected 48 h after plating in about 60% of all mononucleated cells. This supports the use of desmin as a marker for undifferentiated rhabdomyosarcomas in man. Titin was visible from day 4 onwards, while nebulin was not found in mononucleated cells. After 1 week polynucleated myotubes appeared, and grew up to 30 days. Desmin was distributed diffusely throughout the cytoplasm until day 21, when the pattern became patchy. Titin began to be organized in a predominantly longitudinal orientation at day 15, while nebulin, which appeared for the first time in fusing myoblasts on the fifth to the seventh day, was almost immediately organized in a dotted longitudinal pattern, which became a Z line connected striation in matured myotubes.

    The Clinical investigator 1994;72;2;150-5

  • Cleavage of human and mouse cytoskeletal and sarcomeric proteins by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease. Actin, desmin, myosin, and tropomyosin.

    Shoeman RL, Sachse C, Höner B, Mothes E, Kaufmann M and Traub P

    Max-Planck-Institut für Zellbiologie, Ladenburg, Federal Republic of Germany.

    HeLa cell actin was cleaved by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease when in its soluble, globular form (G-actin). No cleavage of the polymerized, filamentous form of actin (F-actin) was observed when examined by denaturing gel electrophoresis; however, electron microscopy revealed a low level of cleavage of F-actin. Immunoblotting of mouse skeletal and human pectoral muscle myofibrils treated in vitro with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease showed that myosin heavy chain, desmin, tropomyosin, and a fraction of the actin were all cleaved. Electron microscopy of these myofibrils demonstrated changes consistent with cleavage of these proteins: Z-lines were rapidly lost, the length of the A bands was shortened, and the thick filaments (myosin filaments) were often laterally frayed such that the structures disintegrated. Nonmuscle myosin heavy chains were also cleaved by this enzyme in vitro. These data demonstrate that this protease can cause alterations in muscle cell ultrastructure in vitro that may be of clinical relevance in infected individuals.

    The American journal of pathology 1993;142;1;221-30

  • High level desmin expression depends on a muscle-specific enhancer.

    Li ZL and Paulin D

    Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire de la Différentiation Cellulaire, Université Paris, France.

    Expression of the desmin gene is increased several-fold during myogenesis. To identify the DNA sequences involved in this regulation, a 16-kilobase fragment containing a 4.5-kilobase 5'-flanking region and the complete sequence of the human desmin gene has been isolated. The transcription initiation sites were determined by S1 nuclease mapping and primer extension analysis. A series of constructs have been made by fusing different lengths of human desmin 5'-flanking fragments to the bacterial chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) gene, these constructs were introduced either into mouse myogenic cells or into nonmyogenic cells. Comparison of the transient expression of CAT between myogenic and nonmyogenic cells demonstrated that the sequence including 228 base pairs upstream of the transcription initiation site is sufficient to confer low level, muscle-specific expression of the desmin gene. A negative region was located between -693 and -228 base pairs relative to the desmin mRNA start site. High level expression of the gene depends on a 280-base pair muscle-specific enhancer located between -693 and -973 base pairs upstream of the transcription initiation site. This enhancer can activate either the desmin promoter or heterologous promoters about 20-70-fold in myogenic cells. The enhancer, which also acts in myoblast, is discussed in the context of early expression of the desmin during skeletal myogenesis in the mammalian embryo.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1991;266;10;6562-70

  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease cleaves the intermediate filament proteins vimentin, desmin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein.

    Shoeman RL, Höner B, Stoller TJ, Kesselmeier C, Miedel MC, Traub P and Graves MC

    Max-Planck-Institut für Zellbiologie, Abteilung Traub, Rosenhof, Federal Republic of Germany.

    The intermediate filament proteins vimentin, desmin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein are cleaved in vitro by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease (HIV-1 PR). Microsequencing showed that HIV-1 PR cleaved both human and murine vimentin between leucine-422 and arginine-423 within the sequence between positions 418 and 427, Ser-Ser-Leu-Asn-Leu/Arg-Glu-Thr-Asn-Leu (SSLNL/RETNL). Minor cleavages at other sites were also observed. Heat-denatured vimentin was cleaved by HIV-1 PR less efficiently than native vimentin. A decapeptide containing the sequence SSLN-LRETNL was also cleaved in vitro by HIV-1 PR as predicted. The presence of a charged residue (arginine) at the primary cleavage site distinguishes this from other known naturally occurring cleavage sites. Microinjection of HIV-1 PR into cultured human fibroblasts resulted in a 9-fold increase in the percentage of cells with an altered and abnormal distribution of vimentin intermediate filaments. Most commonly, the intermediate filaments collapsed into a clump with a juxtanuclear localization. These results support the possibility that intermediate filament proteins may serve as substrates within HIV-1-infected cells.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1990;87;16;6336-40

  • Assignment of human desmin gene to band 2q35 by nonradioactive in situ hybridization.

    Viegas-Péquignot E, Li ZL, Dutrillaux B, Apiou F and Paulin D

    URA 620 CNRS, Structure et Mutagenèse Chromosomiques, Institut Curie, Paris, France.

    A 3-kb DNA fragment, inserted in Bluescribe vector, was used to localize the desmin gene by in situ hybridization on human metaphase chromosomes. The probe was labelled by Bio-11-dUTP and detected by immunofluorescence. Subsequent R-banding indicated that the desmin gene is located in band 2q35.

    Human genetics 1989;83;1;33-6

  • Human desmin-coding gene: complete nucleotide sequence, characterization and regulation of expression during myogenesis and development.

    Li ZL, Lilienbaum A, Butler-Browne G and Paulin D

    Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire de la Différentiation Cellulaire, Université Paris, France.

    A recombinant clone encoding for the human desmin gene (des) has been isolated and characterized and its complete nucleotide sequence has been determined. The 8.4-kb gene has nine exons separated by introns ranging in size from 0.1-2.2 kb. Comparison of the human des gene with that of the hamster has shown that there is a full correspondence in position, size and sequence of the exons. There are eight introns in both the human and the hamster des genes. Although the nucleotide sequence of the introns reveals a large divergence, splice junction sequence signals are conserved. A particularly striking feature of the human des gene is the 1.2-kb repetitive sequence found in the introns. These sequences all belong to the human AluI family. When the 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions of the human vim and des genes were compared it was found that there was a 16-mer consensus element similar to that described by Quax et al. [Cell 43 (1985) 327-338] for the hamster and an 11-bp sequence with homology to the distal regulatory sequence of human and mouse alpha-cardiac actin-coding genes [Minty and Kedes, Mol. Cell. Biol. 6 (1986) 2125-2136] in the 5'-flanking region. The 3'-untranslated region of the human des gene was found to be conserved when compared to the hamster des gene. Only one species of desmin RNA of 2.2 kb was found in human striated and smooth muscle both in vivo and in vitro.

    Gene 1989;78;2;243-54

  • Association of spectrin with desmin intermediate filaments.

    Langley RC and Cohen CM

    The association of erythrocyte spectrin with desmin filaments was investigated using two in vitro assays. The ability of spectrin to promote the interaction of desmin filaments with membranes was investigated by electron microscopy of desmin filament-erythrocyte inside-out vesicle preparations. Desmin filaments bound to erythrocyte inside-out vesicles in a spectrin-dependent manner, demonstrating that spectrin is capable of mediating the association of desmin filaments with plasma membranes. A quantitative sedimentation assay was used to demonstrate the direct association of spectrin with desmin filaments in vitro. When increasing concentrations of spectrin were incubated with desmin filaments, spectrin cosedimented with desmin filaments in a concentration-dependent manner. At near saturation the spectrin:desmin molar ratio in the sedimented complex was 1:230. Our results suggest that, in addition to its well characterized associations with actin, spectrin functions to mediate the association of intermediate filaments with plasma membranes. It might be that nonerythrocyte spectrins share erythrocyte spectrin's ability to bind to intermediate filaments and function in nonerythroid cells to promote the interaction of intermediate filaments with actin filaments and/or the plasma membrane.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL24382

    Journal of cellular biochemistry 1986;30;2;101-9

Gene lists (5)

Gene List Source Species Name Description Gene count
L00000009 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSD Human orthologues of mouse PSD adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1080
L00000016 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSP Human orthologues of mouse PSP adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1121
L00000061 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-CONSENSUS Mouse cortex PSD consensus (ortho) 984
L00000069 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-FULL Human cortex biopsy PSD full list 1461
L00000071 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-FULL Mouse cortex PSD full list (ortho) 1556
© G2C 2014. The Genes to Cognition Programme received funding from The Wellcome Trust and the EU FP7 Framework Programmes:
EUROSPIN (FP7-HEALTH-241498), SynSys (FP7-HEALTH-242167) and GENCODYS (FP7-HEALTH-241995).

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