Although major constituents of the thick filaments of vertebrate striated muscles, the myosin binding proteins (MyBP-C and MyBP-H) are still of uncertain function. Distributed in the cross-bridge bearing zone of the A-bands of myofibrils, in a series of transverse 43 nm stripes, the proteins are constructed of a tandem series of small globular domains, each composed of approximately 90–100 amino acids, which have sequence similarities to either the C2-set of immunoglobulins (IgC2) and the fibronectin type III (FnIII) motifs. MyBP-C is composed of ten globular domains (approximately 130 kDa) whereas MyBP-H is smaller (approximately 58 kDa) and consists of a unique N-terminal segment followed by four globular domains, the order of which is identical to that of MyBP-C (FnIII-IgC2-FnIII-IgC2). To improve our understanding of this protein family we have characterized the domains in each of these two proteins which are required for targeting the proteins to their native site(s) in the sarcomere during myogenesis. Cultures of skeletal muscle myoblasts were transfected with expression plasmids encoding mutant constructs of the MyBPs bearing an N-terminal myc epitope, and their localization to the A-band examined by immunofluorescence microscopy. Based on the clarity and intensity of the myc A-band signals we concluded that constructs encoding the four C-terminal motifs of MyBP-C and MyBP-H (approximately 360 amino acids) were all that was necessary to efficiently localize each of these peptides to the A-band. Truncation mutants lacking one of these 4 domains were less efficiently targeted to the C-zone of the sarcomere. Deletion of the last C-terminal motif of MyBP-H, its myosin binding domain, abolished all localization to the A-band. A chimeric construct, HU-3C10, in which the C-terminal motif of MyBP-H was replaced by the myosin binding domain of MyBP-C, efficiently localized to the A-band. Taken together, these observations indicate that MyBP-C and MyBP-H are localized to the A-band by the same C-terminal domain, composed of two IgC2 and two FnIII motifs. A model has been proposed for the interaction and positioning of the MyBPs in the thick filament through a ternary complex of the four C-terminal motifs with the myosin rods and titin.
- © 1999 by Company of Biologists