Insights into the kinetics of Ca2+-regulated contraction and relaxation from myofibril studies
The precise mechanism of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) proteolysis in myocardial stunning is not fully understood. Accordingly, we determined the effect of cTnI C terminus truncation on chemo-mechanical transduction in isolated skinned rat trabeculae. Recombinant troponin complex (cTn), containing either mouse cTnI-(1-193) or human cTnI-(1-192) was exchanged into skinned cardiac trabeculae; Western blot analysis confirmed that 60-70% of the endogenous cTn was replaced by recombinant Tn. Incorporation of truncated cTnI induced significant reductions ( approximately 50%) in maximum force and cooperative activation as well as increases ( approximately 50%) in myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity and tension cost. Similar results were obtained with either mouse or human truncated cTn. Presence of truncated cTnI increased maximum actin-activated S1 ATPase activity as well as its Ca(2+) sensitivity in vitro. Partial exchange (50%) for truncated cTnI resulted in similar reductions in maximum force and cooperativity; tension cost was increased in proportion to truncated cTnI content. In vitro, to determine the molecular mechanism responsible for the enhanced myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity, we measured Ca(2+) binding to cTn as reported using a fluorescent probe. Incorporation of truncated cTnI did not affect Ca(2+) binding affinity to cTn alone. However, when cTn was incorporated into thin filaments, cTnI truncation induced a significant increase in Ca(2+) binding affinity to cTn. We conclude that cTnI truncation induces depressed myofilament function. Decreased cardiac function after ischemia/reperfusion injury may directly result, in part, from proteolytic degradation of cTnI, resulting in alterations in cross-bridge cycling kinetics.