Specific association of growth-associated protein 43 with calcium release units in skeletal muscles of lower vertebrates
Growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43), is a strictly conserved protein among vertebrates implicated in neuronal development and neurite branching. Since GAP43 structure contains a calmodulin-binding domain, this protein is able to bind calmodulin and gather it nearby membrane network, thus regulating cytosolic calcium and consequently calcium-dependent intracellular events. Even if for many years GAP43 has been considered a neuronal-specific protein, evidence from different laboratories described its presence in myoblasts, myotubes and adult skeletal muscle fibers. Data from our laboratory showed that GAP43 is localized between calcium release units (CRUs) and mitochondria in mammalian skeletal muscle suggesting that, also in skeletal muscle, this protein can be a key player in calcium/calmodulin homeostasis. However, the previous studies could not clearly distinguish between a mitochondrion- or a triad-related positioning of GAP43. To solve this question, the expression and localization of GAP43 was studied in skeletal muscle of Xenopus and Zebrafish known to have triads located at the level of the Z-lines and mitochondria not closely associated with them. Western blotting and immunostaining experiments revealed the expression of GAP43 also in skeletal muscle of lower vertebrates (like amphibians and fishes), and that the protein is localized closely to the triad junction. Once more, these results and GAP43 structural features, support an involvement of the protein in the dynamic intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis, a common conserved role among the different species.
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Copyright (c) 2014 G.A. Caprara, S. Perni, C. Morabito, M.A. MariggiÃ², S. Guarnieri
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