Myosin storage myopathy mutations yield defective myosin filament assembly in vitro and disrupted myofibrillar structure and function in vivo

Meera C. Viswanathan, Rick C. Tham, William A. Kronert, Floyd Sarsoza, Adriana S. Trujillo, Anthony Cammarato, Sanford I. Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Myosin storage myopathy (MSM) is a congenital skeletal muscle disorder caused by missense mutations in the β-cardiac/slow skeletal muscle myosin heavy chain rod. It is characterized by subsarcolemmal accumulations of myosin that have a hyaline appearance. MSM mutations map near or within the assembly competence domain known to be crucial for thick filament formation. Drosophila MSM models were generated for comprehensive physiological, structural, and biochemical assessment of the mutations' consequences on muscle and myosin structure and function. L1793P, R1845W, and E1883K MSM mutant myosins were expressed in an indirect flight (IFM) and jump muscle myosin null background to study the effects of these variants without confounding influences from wild-type myosin. Mutant animals displayed highly compromised jump and flight ability, disrupted muscle proteostasis, and severely perturbed IFM structure. Electron microscopy revealed myofibrillar disarray and degeneration with hyaline-like inclusions. In vitro assembly assays demonstrated a decreased ability of mutant myosin to polymerize, with L1793P filaments exhibiting shorter lengths. In addition, limited proteolysis experiments showed a reduced stability of L1793P and E1883K filaments. We conclude that the disrupted hydropathy or charge of residues in the heptad repeat of the mutant myosin rods likely alters interactions that stabilize coiled-coil dimers and thick filaments, causing disruption in ordered myofibrillogenesis and/or myofibrillar integrity, and the consequent myosin aggregation. Our Drosophila models are the first to recapitulate the human MSM phenotype with ultrastructural inclusions, suggesting that the diminished ability of the mutant myosin to form stable thick filaments contributes to the dystrophic phenotype observed in afflicted subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4799-4813
Number of pages15
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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