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Zhang, JQ, Elzey, B, Williams, G, Lu, S, Law, DJ and Horowits, R (2001) Ultrastructural and biochemical localization of N-RAP at the interface between myofibrils and intercalated disks in the mouse heart. Biochemistry 40:14898-906
N-RAP is a recently discovered muscle-specific protein found at cardiac intercalated disks. Double immunogold labeling of mouse cardiac muscle reveals that vinculin is located immediately adjacent to the fascia adherens region of the intercalated disk membrane, while N-RAP extends approximately 100 nm further toward the interior of the cell. We partially purified cardiac intercalated disks using low- and high-salt extractions followed by density gradient centrifugation. Immunoblots show that this preparation is highly enriched in desmin and junctional proteins, including N-RAP, talin, vinculin, beta1-integrin, N-cadherin, and connexin 43. Electron microscopy and immunolabeling demonstrate that N-RAP and vinculin are associated with the large fragments of intercalated disks that are present in this preparation, which also contains numerous membrane vesicles. Detergent treatment of the partially purified intercalated disks removed the membrane vesicles and extracted vinculin and beta1-integrin. Further separation on a sucrose gradient removed residual actin and myosin and yielded a fraction morphologically similar to fasciae adherentes that was highly enriched in N-RAP, N-cadherin, connexin 43, talin, desmin, and alpha-actinin. The finding that N-RAP copurifies with detergent-extracted intercalated disk fragments even though beta-integrin and vinculin have been completely removed suggests that N-RAP association with the adherens junction region is mediated by the cadherin system. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that recombinant N-RAP fragments bind alpha-actinin in a gel overlay assay. In addition, immunofluorescence shows that N-RAP remains bound at the ends of isolated, detergent-treated cardiac myofibrils. These results demonstrate that N-RAP remains tightly bound to myofibrils and fasciae adherentes during biochemical purification and may be a key constituent in the mechanical link between these two structures.
Animals; Cell Fractionation; Detergents/chemistry; Immunoblotting; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Microscopy, Electron; Muscle Proteins/analysis; Muscle Proteins/isolation & purification; Muscle Proteins/metabolism; Myocardium/chemistry; Myocardium/metabolism; Myocardium/ultrastructure; Myofibrils/chemistry; Myofibrils/metabolism; Myofibrils/ultrastructure; Organ Specificity; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Sarcosine/analogs & derivatives; Sarcosine/chemistry; Vinculin/analysis
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