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Zeugmatin is part of the Z-band targeting region of titin.

Published Article
Cell structure and function
Publication Date
PMID: 9113393


Originally, zeugmatin was identified as a 600-800 kD muscle specific protein in Z-bands of cardiac and skeletal muscles by Maher et al. (1985). In this presentation we review our work on myofibrillogenesis and present evidence that zeugmatin is actually part of the Z-Band region of titin and that this region of titin plays an important role in the assembly of the Z-bands and myofibrils. Rhee et al. (1994) reported that during myofibrillogenesis, zeugmatin antibody localization is detected in fully formed Z-bands in the mature myofibrils, in the Z-bodies of the nascent myofibrils, but not in the Z-bodies of the premyofibrils. These observations lead to the suggestion that zeugmatin might be responsible for the fusion of the Z-bodies to form the solid Z-bands of the mature myofibrils (Rhee et al. 1994). As part of a study to test aspects of this model of myofibrillogenesis, we isolated a 1.8 kb cDNA from a chicken cardiac expression library using an anti-zeugmatin antibody (Turnacioglu et al., 1996). We found this chicken cDNA to be 60% identical at the amino acid level to a segment of the Z-band region of human cardiac titin (connectin) sequenced by Labeit and Kolmerer (1995). This homology along with Western blot analysis with purified titin, suggested that zeugmatin is in fact part of the N-terminal region of chicken titin. When expressed in non-muscle cells, Z1.1 product colocalized with the alpha-actinin in stress fiber dense bodies and focal adhesions. Cultures of non-muscle cells, skeletal myotubes and cardiomyocytes were also transfected with a fusion construct (Z1.1GFP) consisting of the Z1.1 kb cDNA linked to the cDNA for green fluorescent protein (GFP). The Z1.1 kb cDNA encodes only 362 of the approximately 2,000 amino acids which comprise the Z-band region of titin; nevertheless, the Z1.1GFP fusion protein targets in vivo to the alpha-actinin rich Z-bands of contracting myofibrils. A dominant negative phenotype was observed in living cells expressing high levels of this Z1.1GFP fusion protein with inhibition of myofibrillogenesis as well as the disassembly of preexisting myofibrils in these cells. These data indicate that the Z-band region of titin (connectin) plays an important role in organizing and maintaining the structure of the myofibril.

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