Molecular and functional effects of a splice site mutation in the MYL2 gene associated with cardioskeletal myopathy and early cardiac death in infants

Zhiqun Zhou, Wenrui Huang, Jingsheng Liang, Danuta Szczesna-Cordary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The homozygous appearance of the intronic mutation (IVS6-1) in the MYL2 gene encoding for myosin ventricular/slow-twitch skeletal regulatory light chain (RLC) was recently linked to the development of slow skeletal muscle fiber type I hypotrophy and early cardiac death. The IVS6-1 (c403-1G > C) mutation resulted from a cryptic splice site in MYL2 causing a frameshift and replacement of the last 32 codons by 19 different amino acids in the RLC mutant protein. Infants who were IVS6-1+/+-positive died between 4 and 6 months of age due to cardiomyopathy and heart failure. In this report we have investigated the molecular mechanism and functional consequences associated with the IVS6-1 mutation using recombinant human cardiac IVS6-1 and wild-type (WT) RLC proteins. Recombinant proteins were reconstituted into RLC-depleted porcine cardiac muscle preparations and subjected to enzymatic and functional assays. IVS6-1-RLC showed decreased binding to the myosin heavy chain (MHC) compared with WT, and IVS6-1-reconstituted myosin displayed reduced binding to actin in rigor. The IVS6-1 myosin demonstrated a significantly lower Vmax of the actin-activated myosin ATPase activity compared with WT. In stopped-flow experiments, IVS6-1 myosin showed slower kinetics of the ATP induced dissociation of the acto-myosin complex and a significantly reduced slope of the kobs-[MgATP] relationship compared to WT. In skinned porcine cardiac muscles, RLC-depleted and IVS6-1 reconstituted muscle strips displayed a significant decrease in maximal contractile force and a significantly increased Ca2+ sensitivity, both hallmarks of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-associated mutations in MYL2. Our results showed that the amino-acid changes in IVS6-1 were sufficient to impose significant conformational alterations in the RLC protein and trigger a series of abnormal protein-protein interactions in the cardiac muscle sarcomere. Notably, the mutation disrupted the RLC-MHC interaction and the steady-state and kinetics of the acto-myosin interaction. Specifically, slower myosin cross-bridge turnover rates and slower second-order MgATP binding rates of acto-myosin interactions were observed in IVS6-1 vs. WT reconstituted cardiac preparations. Our in vitro results suggest that when placed in vivo, IVS6-1 may lead to cardiomyopathy and early death of homozygous infants by severely compromising the ability of myosin to develop contractile force and maintain normal systolic and diastolic cardiac function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number240
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - Jun 17 2016


  • Actin-myosin interaction
  • Cardioskeletal myopathy
  • Fluorescence measurements
  • Muscle contraction
  • Myosin ATPase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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