Vinculin directly binds zonula occludens-1 and is essential for stabilizing connexin-43-containing gap junctions in cardiac myocytes

Alice E. Zemljic-Harpf, Joseph C. Godoy, Oleksandr Platoshyn, Elizabeth K. Asfaw, Anna R. Busija, Andrea A. Domenighetti, Robert S. Ross*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vinculin (Vcl) links actin filaments to integrin-and cadherin-based cellular junctions. Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1, also known as TJP1) binds connexin-43 (C×43, also known as GJA1), cadherin and actin. Vcl and ZO-1 anchor the actin cytoskeleton to the sarcolemma. Given that loss of Vcl from cardiomyocytes causes maldistribution of C×43 and predisposes cardiomyocyte-specific Vcl-knockout mice with preserved heart function to arrhythmia and sudden death, we hypothesized that Vcl and ZO-1 interact and that loss of this interaction destabilizes gap junctions. We found that Vcl, C×43 and ZO-1 colocalized at the intercalated disc. Loss of cardiomyocyte Vcl caused parallel loss of ZO-1 from intercalated dics. Vcl coimmunoprecipitated C×43 and ZO-1, and directly bound ZO-1 in yeast two-hybrid studies. Excision of the Vcl gene in neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes caused a reduction in the amount of Vcl mRNA transcript and protein expression leading to (1) decreased protein expression of C×43, ZO-1, talin, and β1D-integrin, (2) reduced PI3K activation, (3) increased activation of Akt, Erk1 and Erk2, and (4) cardiomyocyte necrosis. In summary, this is the first study showing a direct interaction between Vcl and ZO-1 and illustrates how Vcl plays a crucial role in stabilizing gap junctions and myocyte integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1104-1116
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of cell science
Volume127
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Cardiac myocyte
  • Gap junction
  • Heart
  • Vcl
  • Vinculin
  • ZO-1
  • Zonula occludens-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Vinculin directly binds zonula occludens-1 and is essential for stabilizing connexin-43-containing gap junctions in cardiac myocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this