O: A Novel Regulator of Myocardial Contractile Function-Linked GlcNAc Modification of Cardiac Myofilament Proteins: A Novel Regulator of Myocardial Contractile Function

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In addition to O-phosphorylation, O-linked modifications of serine and threonine by β-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc) may regulate muscle contractile function. This study assessed the potential role of O-GlcNAcylation in cardiac muscle contractile activation. To identify specific sites of O-GlcNAcylation in cardiac myofilament proteins, a recently developed methodology based on GalNAz-biotin labeling followed by dithiothreitol replacement and light chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry site mapping was adopted. Thirty-two O-GlcNAcylated peptides from cardiac myofilaments were identified on cardiac myosin heavy chain, actin, myosin light chains, and troponin I. To assess the potential physiological role of the GlcNAc, force–[Ca2+] relationships were studied in skinned rat trabeculae. Exposure to GlcNAc significantly decreased calcium sensitivity (pCa50), whereas maximal force (Fmax) and Hill coefficient (n) were not modified. Using a pan-specific O-GlcNAc antibody, it was determined that acute exposure of myofilaments to GlcNAc induced a significant increase in actin O-GlcNAcylation. This study provides the first identification of O-GlcNAcylation sites in cardiac myofilament proteins and demonstrates their potential role in regulating myocardial contractile function.

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