Mutations in myosin binding protein-C (MyBP-C) cause both cardiac and skeletal muscle diseases, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and distal arthrogryposis. There are three isoforms of MyBP-C: slow-skeletal, fast-skeletal, and cardiac (ssMyBP-C, fsMyBP-C, and cMyBP-C, respectively). These isoforms reside within the sarcomere, the functional unit of muscle contraction at the molecular level. However, the function of the three major MyBP-C isoforms remains unclear. The present study is the first to focus on the least characterized isoform, fsMyBP-C, which is expressed in fast- and mixed-type skeletal muscles. To determine the necessity of fsMyBP-C for regulation of contraction in the sarcomere, we generated a conventional fast-skeletal MyBP-C knockout (FSKO) mouse model. We analyzed both structural changes and regulatory function of skeletal muscles from heterozygous (FSKO−/+) and homozygous (FSKO−/−), compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Neither heterozygous nor homozygous FSKO mice exhibited changes in morbidity or mortality relative to WT mice. Molecular analyses revealed a complete knockout of fsMyBP-C in the FSKO−/− skeletal muscles compared to FSKO−/+ and WT mice. Histopathological analyses of both Extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus muscles revealed no obvious abnormalities, such as fibrosis or calcification, in either heterozygous or homozygous FSKO mice. Though fiber structure is preserved, we demonstrated that EDL muscles from FSKO−/− mice increases Ca2+-sensitivity of force development, suggesting that fsMyBP-C regulates contraction at the molecular level by decreasing Ca2+-sensitivity. While others have previously proposed the role of cMyBP-C is to increase Ca2+-sensitivity to normalize a Ca2+ gradient imbalance in the heart, we propose that the role of fsMyBP-C in skeletal muscles is to reduce Ca2+-sensitivity of the thin filaments in order to normalize the reversed Ca2+ gradient imbalance. Despite opposite effects on Ca2+-sensitivity, MyBP-C share the same functional role in both cardiac and skeletal muscles. Thus, in addition to elucidating the role of fast-skeletal MyBP-C and its regulation of skeletal muscle contraction, the present study provides insight into the cardiac isoform and its regulation of cardiac contraction.
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